“Did you know that one easy way to support local organizations and families is by preparing casseroles? Volunteering to make a casserole or two helps to keep the freezers full for many of our most vulnerable neighbors. Your effort saves organizations and volunteers time, money and helps to eliminate any immediate food insecurity issues they may be experiencing. And you don’t even have to leave the house!”
Sign-up here to participate in the latest Casseroles for a Cause. Together let’s help make a difference in our community!
Learn more about Silver Spring Cares and how we work to strengthen the Silver Spring community through the power of connection. Whether you are looking to donate items, donate funds, or donate time, Silver Spring Cares is your destination for information on our community’s needs and opportunities for service. By engaging the diverse needs and resources of our residents, we can create a community in which all of us may thrive.
We are proud of the impact Silver Spring Cares continues to make in our community. Their latest effort, the “Not Your Traditional Back to School Drive,” collected specific items to assist families and students as they begin the new school year. The drive benefitted 8 Silver Spring schools.
Read more from Silver Spring Cares in the recap below:
Our Not Your Traditional Back to School Drive was aimed at allowing all children in our community to start the school year with confidence and dignity. Our efforts provided a helping hand by collecting specific items for 25 families (think new shoes, lunch boxes, underwear, clothing, and backpacks) as well as general items to be distributed to teachers, counselors, and students including hygiene products, graphing calculators, water bottles, books, puzzles, art supplies, and more!
The drive benefitted students/families in the following local schools:
Montgomery Knolls Elementary
New Hampshire Estates Elementary
Rolling Terrace Elementary
Broad Acres Elementary
Oak View Elementary
Green Castle Elementary
Eastern Middle School
Silver Spring International Middle School
Blair High School
Silver Spring Cares works to strengthen the Silver Spring community through the power of connection. In addition to the Not Your Traditional Back to School Drive, Silver Spring Cares has connected over 4,000 donors and volunteers to a robust network of 30 local nonprofits, delivered over 3,000 meals through our Casseroles for a Cause program, and warmed over 350 families through our Warm Clothing Drive.
Photos from the Not Your Traditional Back To School Drive:
Want to participate in the next Silver Spring Cares community event?
The official start of summer is right around the corner but doesn’t mean the summer spirit hasn’t around come into full gear! We’ve put together a list of the most fun and most entertaining summer festivals and events in the area. Get out your dancing shoes, check out some art, try an array of great food and much more at these fun summer festivals. There’s a little bit of something for everyone!
Put on your “dancing flip-flops!” Silver Spring’s Thursday night Summer Concerts are a perfect, free night out for the whole family. You can groove to the tunes on long summer nights while your kids enjoy games and face painting. Silver Spring’s long running and popular Thursday Night Concerts kickoff on June 20 with a mix of crowd favorites and new offerings in the Silver Spring Season. The concert series features a raffle with free prizes for adults as well as toys and gifts for kids.
When: Thursdays from 7pm-9pm // June 20 – August 8th Where: Silver Spring Civic Building, Veterans Plaza, One Veterans Place. Cost: Free!
Taste delicious ethnic food from Nigeria, Jamaica, Thailand, Greece and get refreshed with a scoop of ice cream or shaved ice or even a fresh smoothie!! Enjoy a cultural performance show with folk dances from Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and much more! You will have an array of vendors to choose from with more than 60 artists displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between.
When: Sunday, June 23rd Where: Silver Spring Civic Building, Veterans Plaza, One Veterans Place. Cost: Free!
Kensington Fire Department puts on this great family event. Bring your kids to the park for a night viewing of classic movies, including ‘The Princes Bride’! There will also be food trucks before the movie!
When: Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, July 23 at 6:30pm – 10pm Where: St. Paul Park, Kensington, MD 20895 Cost: Free!
Go see Takoma Park’s 130th Independence Day Celebration! This year’s theme is Community Heroes and leading the parade will be our Grand Marshals, Takoma Park’s First Responders. This event is a great way to start your 4th of July celebrations!
When: Parade starts at 10am. Evening activities starts at 7pm Where: 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912-4939 Cost: Free!
Break out those shorts and sundresses the weather is going to be great for dancing! DJ Lineup: TMF, The Underground, DJ Cel, Handz on Radio, and Tommy Wickens aka A Plane, Cyberjamz Radio. Food and drinks will be provided by Nich’s Kitchen.
When: Parade starts at 10am. Evening activities starts at 7pm Where: Polka Dot Park, 4320 Hamilton Street, Hyattsville, MD 20781 Cost: $8
Grab your pup and join The Big Bad Woof for Yappy Hour at Republic! This event takes place on the last Sunday of each month through October. There will be treats and samples for the pups and tasty food and drink specials for the humans.
When: June 30 from 3pm – 5pm Where: 6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912 Cost: FREE!
StoryCorps, a National Public Radio (NPR) production, is coming to Silver Spring from April 23 through May 22.
StoryCorps is a non profit organization which has been in operation since 2003, their work captures and records meaningful conversations between individuals. One feature of this production is their Mobile Tour which showcases their mobile recording studio, the MobileBooth, which is a silver trailer that travels across the United States recording over 1000 conversations annually.
The MobileBooth will be parked outside of Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring. Slots are available for anyone who wants to have a meaningful conversation with someone in your life. The first batch of appointments will be available on April 9th, and the a second batch of appointments will be made available on April 24th.
You and your conversation partner will have your conversation recorded for up to 40 minutes. You will get a copy of your recorded conversation and with your permission, they will preserve and store your recording in the Library of Congress.
We are in the thick of summer with the new school year still a ways away – this means more time for the kids to be bored and restless while they wait for school to start. Silver Spring Cares put together a great list to fight this with 10 ways to get your kids involved in the local community this summer!
Read some below or head on over to their site to read the full list.
Welcome to the endless summer, Maryland! Where you’ll get 4,200 additional renditions of “I’m Bored!” Ok ok, school does start back September 4 but that seems really far away. So to help you reduce the “I’m Boreds” by 10, here are ten things your kids can do to help others this summer (with minimal supervision).
Host a food drive for Manna Food Center
Check out the Most Needed Foods list, make flyers, and let your neighbors know your kids will do porch pickup of food donations. Summer time is a lean time for food pantries so getting your neighborhood involved to bridge the summer food gap!
Paint Kindness Rocks inspired by Small Things Matter
Create kindness rocks to be abandoned and discovered by others as a Random Act of Kindness. Spread messages of love and kindness throughout your community!
Pick Up Litter on your Street for the Friends of Sligo Creek
Grab a trash bag and gloves and send your kids down your street to pick up the trash that gathers in the gutters. Trash gets washed to the creek from gutters so picking up trash along your street can help protect Sligo Creek!
Make Cards for our Senior Community Members through Silver Spring Village
Put your kids’ art skills to use and make beautiful drawings, colorings or cards to give to Silver Spring Village to distribute to their clients.
Clean out Closets for Mary’s Center
Two birds, one stone here, parents! Have your kids clean out their closets and toys and donate gently used things they no longer wear/play with to Mary’s Center for the families they serve.
You’ve seen them around – maybe lined up in an organized row in downtown Silver Spring, maybe in a heap of a pile blocking a sidewalk or a bus stop. They come in all different colors! Green, Yellow, Orange, Red! Two things are for sure, they are making their way around the community and there are lots of opinions.
How do these bikes work? Generally, you download the app for the appropriate bike rental company – LimeBike for example, put in your information, create and account, etc. Then when you are interested in riding – you scan a bike, and it gets unlocked releasing the wheel. After your ride, you scan it again to lock it up and complete your ride. You don’t have to leave it in the same place as where you picked it up. For the rider looking for a quick trip from work to an appointment, or a ride to the bus stop from home these bikes seem like the perfect solution.
But of course there couldn’t be convenience without a dissenting inconvenience.
There have been bikes reported as being in the middle of sidewalks, fallen over, blocking a path for pedestrians, people with strollers or those in wheelchairs. Other bikes seem to have been left in more off the track places making them less apt to be ridden and often stay there for quite some time. WTOP just this weekend reported people parking bikes on the frozen C&O Canal. WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Dockless bikes aren’t for everyone it seems. There is a percentage of people that generally can’t use the bikes, those that travel and are responsible for young kids can’t easily run errands on dockless bikes. There’s also a risk that you get stranded and someone picks up the bike you left for your way back home. An argument also is that those that are avid bikers likely own bikes already.
Vicki King Taitano, a Silver Spring resident, is frustrated that a bike has been in her yard for over two weeks. The burden then falls on her to call the company and have them remove it. She mentions that she thought about putting in her narrow street but is afraid of causing an accident. “It sort of illustrates the point that this company expects me to participate in its business whether I want to or not. I don’t have the app and no one in my family rode the bike to my house, yet there it is unless I do something about it,” Taitano states.
After riding dockless bikes several times from her home to run errands in downtown Silver Spring, Liz Brent started a Facebook group called “Silver Spring’s Battle of the Bikes.” In this group, members frequently comment on both the positive and negative impact of these bikes. The pictures of kids riding the bikes and the convince of getting around downtown Silver Spring has been highlighted and lauded. It seems to be getting people to ride a bit more than normal. The environmental benefits also do not go unnoticed. Downtown Silver Spring is notorious for being frustrating to navigate in a car, especially during rush hour. By adding an easy bike option, many can get around without polluting or contributing to traffic.
Furthermore, it’s been noted that just because there are complaints and frustrations with the way that some of the companies handle the bikes being strewn about or where they are located, that doesn’t automatically translate into disliking the dockless bike programs as a whole. A general sentiment is that it’s a cool program but has lots of kinks to work out. Hopefully, the business model will only improve and expand to address needs and concerns.
“I think it’s odd that the rollout for the dockless bikes was in October, just as things would be getting cold here. On the other hand, on average our winters are usually so much milder than this, and the companies may have been counting on that,” notes Sandra Schmidt, a new rider and downtown Silver Spring resident. One would think that anyone familiar with the DC area knows how unpredictable the weather can be and how could it can become, deterring the casual bike rider.
As of now, there are many unanswered questions that we look forward to figuring out in the coming months as the weather warms, and bikers are more inclined to ride again. Will there be more bike accidents as drivers and riders get used to one another? Will a lack of helmet-wearers impact this? Will there be a more mainstream plan to move disruptively located bikes?
What do you think about the influx of dockless bikes in our community? Do you have a success story or an interesting anecdote? Let us know! If you’re interested in learning more about the different types (yes, there are plenty!) take a peek at their websites for more information. Montgomery County is open to questions or comments regarding the Dockless Bikeshare Program; residents can contact MC311 or email Commuter Services at email@example.com.
With Halloween gone and passed, the Holiday season is approaching us fast! This month, we’ve gathered together some of our favorite community events in the area from local craft markets to the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade. We’re ready to get into the spirit and we hope you are too.
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Silver Spring Craft Market
When: Sunday, 11/5 Where: Denizen’s Brewing Company Address: 1115 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring Time: 12pm – 4pm Cost: FREE
Crafts and Drafts pop-up artisan market in the beer garden. Pop-up craft market of local artisans selling jewelry, ceramics, candles, children’s décor, home accessories.
The streets are being overrun with turkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, and reindeer! No, the zoo hasn’t opened their gates – it is the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade! With marching bands an Latin dancing groups, floats, giant characters and balloons, and over 120 units, the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is the only Thanksgiving Parade in the metro DC area.
Held in downtown Silver Spring, the exciting parade traditionally heralds the start of the holiday season. The parade steps off from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street and proceeds south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue. It also is televised live on News Channel 8 and rerun on Thanksgiving Day.
Step into a magical winter wonderland illuminated with more than one million dazzling colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals and other natural elements. Stroll from garden to garden enjoying twinkling tree forms, sparkling fountains, and whimsical winter scenes. The Garden of Lights celebrates its 19th season as a Baltimore/Washington, DC area family holiday tradition.
The night wouldn’t be complete without a visit inside the Conservatory to enjoy watching G-Scale model trains wind through a seasonal landscape. Afterward, warm up inside the Visitors Center while you sip hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances.
When: Saturday, 11/25 Time: 12pm – 6:30pm Where: Montgomery Blair High School Address: 51 University Boulevard East
This Nov 25, we want to share Small Business Saturday® with you! It’s a holiday shopping tradition that celebrates small businesses. And it wouldn’t be a celebration without customers like you joining us to Shop Small.
So mark your calendars for Nov 25 – the Saturday after Thanksgiving – for the Silver Spring Small Business Saturday Community Fair and get ready to Shop Small® with us. Grab a friend (or two) or the whole family and join us for shopping and family fun between 12 noon and 6:30 pm on the big day.
You can help get the word out and celebrate Small Business Saturday by sharing this event using the hashtag #SHOPSMALL with your friends and family on Facebook and all of your social networks.
This year we’ll be featuring more than 40 small business owners, FREE face painting (1 pm – 4 pm), a children’s craft center, holiday gift wrapping station, food, music, FREE professional headshots for small business owners and lots of family fun. This event is FREE to the public. Eventbrite tickets are not required but highly recommended! Register on Eventbrite to receive a free Shop Small tote at the event full of awesome swag from small businesses around the area (while supplies last).