Deal with Cabin Fever by Volunteering

March 02, 2011|By HARRY NOGLE

Keeping busy is another way to deal with Cabin Fever.  When people sit and do nothing, then they have more time to think about how much they are not able to do.  Finding activities that help others is another way of dealing with Cabin Fever.  Helping others usually comes to mind first when people think of volunteers.  

Volunteers of all ages can start right away in March at the Antietam National Battlefield to help with environmental and historical restoration projects this spring and summer.  Volunteers are needed from Monday through Saturday from March 12 to May 14.  Contact Andrew Landsman at 301-432-2243 or at Andrew_Landsman@nps,gov.

Volunteers are needed to help clean and restore Civil War sites on Park Day, Saturday, April 2.  Volunteers will rake leaves and haul trash, paint signs and plant trees in exchange for a T-shirt.  For the Antietam National Battlefield, contact Debbie Cohen at or Susan Rosenvold for the Pry House at the Antietam National Battlefield at  

Volunteering makes people feel better about themselves.  

Barb Creager has volunteered at the Literacy Council for 12 years.

“Volunteers work one-on-one with people using Dr. Frank Laubach's ‘Each One Teach One’ method,” Creager said.

The purpose of the Literacy Council is to promote literacy in Washington County, Maryland, by providing free, individualized basic reading and writing instruction and conversation skills to non-literate, semi-literate or non-English speaking people.  For information call 301-739-4208 or email

Hospice of Washington County is the only licensed provider for hospice care in Washington County.  Hospice volunteers are neighbors, men and women of all ages who work various jobs or are retirees.  Many of them have taken care of seriously ill family members and understand how much help is needed when someone is ill.  All volunteers have completed a training course and are supervised by hospice staff.

To learn more about hospice services through Hospice of Washington County, or to make a referral, call 301-791-6360 or during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Over 300 volunteers serve at the Meritus Medical Center and the Robinwood Medical Center. Volunteers range in age from adolescent “Volunteens” through very active seniors, some in their ‘90’s.

“People volunteer for many reasons,” said Mitch Towe, Director of Volunteer Services for the Meritus Medical Center.  “Some feel a need to give back to the community and the medical center is a place to do it,” Towe said.  “Others feel a spiritual need,” he said.

Some volunteers at the Meritus Medical Center lend a helping hand by assisting at the information desk and greeting visitors in various departments.

Other volunteers help by transporting patients, delivering flowers, delivering mail to patients and assisting in the gift shop.

Other volunteers assist in the emergency department, volunteer services, medical / surgical floors, total rehab, coffee shop, and the John R. Marsh Cancer Center.

For more information, call the Volunteer Services at 301-790-8143 or inquire on-line.

At Hagerstown Community College (HCC) volunteers provide assistance to the staff and students at the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.  

At HCC, a volunteer can volunteer on a weekly schedule in some specific area of the college or sign on to work with a short term project or special event.  Volunteer coordinator Irene Young says that nearly 120 volunteers contribute to the college.

To learn more about volunteering at HCC, contact Irene Young at 301-790-2800 x217.

The Washington County Commission on Aging RSVP Volunteer Program serves as a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities in Washington County.  The program is designed to recruit and place individuals 55 years of age and older in volunteer service.  

Volunteers serve in such areas as law enforcement, literacy and tutoring, health clinics, long term care facilities, hospitals, theaters and museums, libraries, historic sites, surplus food and clothing programs, housing construction and home retrofitting.

“Folks usually will know exactly what they want to do,” said RSVP Director Hannah Cramer.  “Over 425 senior volunteers assist at over 70 facilities in the county, with between 370 and 380 volunteering in any month,” Cramer said.

For more information contact Hannah S. Cramer, COA Deputy Director and RSVP Director at 301-790-0275 ext. 209.

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