Volunteer services

"The best gift is you" wall art

As parents, we strive to teach our children about compassion, generosity, and social responsibility, and we demonstrate these values through our service events.

WAM recognizes how fortunate we are to have access to several free facilities—parks and playgrounds, recreation centers, libraries, and nature centers—that consistently provide excellent programming and resources for our families. Our volunteer service events are our way of giving back to our community and supporting many of the resources that we benefit from. For example, WAM makes donations to the White Oak Library and Brookside Nature Center where we host many events.

We also understand that no one should have to go it alone, and thus we strive to help our fellow WAM members and our neighbors. Through our Helping Hands program, we assist our internal community when members are in need of extra help, such as welcoming a new baby, moving, or dealing with a major medical situation.

Many of our external service events benefit low-income families, victims of abuse, refugees, and others in need of assistance. Organizations that we have worked with—such as A Wider Circle, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, the Greater DC Diaper Bank, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, and the Montgomery County Family Justice Center—assist local Wheaton and Silver Spring residents.

To achieve this level of outreach, WAM aims to host 1 service event per month that benefits our community in some way. WAM works with various local non-profits, organizes drives, and sponsors hands-on events that take place mostly during the weekdays. All of our volunteer service events include a group playdate, which allows our children to enjoy themselves while learning about community service.

Past initiatives have included the following:

  • Donating books to our local libraries and hospitals
  • Packing wholesome meals for the weekend for low-income families
  • Knitting blankets and hats for sick children
  • Collecting clothes and other household items for survivors of domestic abuse

WAM members can participate in any or all service events that interest them, but we do expect members to participate in at least 1 volunteer service per year, which can be done through donating time, items, or money. Our service coordinator organizes these events and posts them to WAM’s shared Google calendar, which enables members to see what events are coming up next.

Note: We do not publish our current calendar on the Internet to protect the privacy and safety of our members.

Helping Hands assistance

many adults hands overlapping

First and foremost, WAM is a community of parents who help support each other through the good times and the challenging times. When one of our own needs a little extra help because of a new baby, serious illness, or other challenging circumstance, we want to provide assistance.

Through Helping Hands, our members can either request help or offer help to other WAM members in need. If you just had a baby or are experiencing health problems or a family hardship, our Helping Hands coordinator can match you with other members who can assist with meals, playdates, or errands.

Members who sign up to deliver a Helping Hands meal usually provide a family with dinner for 1 night. If members wish to provide additional servings for more nights, that’s very kind but not expected.

We all know that managing to get dinner on the table for your own family can be a challenge, so here are a few ways in which you can make preparing an extra meal easier:

  • Order delivery for the family via DoorDash or order pizza.
  • Pick up a rotisserie chicken and heat-and-eat sides from the grocery store.
  • Save take-out containers, large yogurt containers, or GladWare to use for delivering meals.
  • Double the servings of whatever you are making for dinner.
  • Make use of that slow or pressure cooker.

If you are interested in receiving or providing Helping Hands assistance, please email us at wheaton.area.moms@gmail.com, and state in the subject line “Helping Hands inquiry.”

Smart Sacks

Stacked cans of Campbell's tomato soup

WAM has been partnering with Manna Food Center on its Smart Sacks program, which provides weekend food for school kids from low-income families. Twice a month, WAM holds Smart Sacks events, which any of our members can attend to help pack bags of food while our kids play together.

A sample bag would include a pound of dry pasta, a can of beans, a can of vegetables, a bottle of milk, two packs of oatmeal, a snack bar, a fruit cup, and possibly more. Basically, it is enough food to prepare a complete meal for breakfast and lunch on both days of the weekend.

Other events

Other service events have included the following: