Meeting Others: Volunteering Event | Peace Through Action USA

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Meeting Others: Volunteering to Foster Peace | Thursday, January 12, 2023

Peace Through Action USA held a virtual learning event about volunteerism as a peaceful practice. The event took place Thursday, January 12, 2023.

Event DescriptionMeeting Others: Volunteering to Foster Peace explored the instrumental role of volunteering in sustaining peaceful communities. This event was timed to coincide with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the only federal holiday recognized as a National Day of Service.

Enhanced by reflections from professionals with volunteer management experience in Calvert County, Maryland, this interactive discussion reviewed the impact of volunteering on community relationships, shared resources for local service, and surveyed a broad range of strategies for strengthening peace through volunteer activities. Participants learned methods to build and maintain a culture of peace by working together on a common cause. While the term “peacebuilding” often refers to the prevention of violence and aggressive conflict, this session presented volunteerism as a vital peacebuilding practice for the ongoing promotion of harmony, order, and justice. After attending this event, participants enriched their understanding of volunteerism’s contribution to the development of resilient social connections, inclusive institutions, and a better future for all.

Presenter Biographies

Bob Reeg, of Washington, DC, is the chief executive officer, secretary, and founder of Peace Through Action USA, a national, charitable, civic and social capital-building organization that activates and equips Americans to implement practical peaceful solutions to aggression and violence in their communities and our country. Bob is responsible for leading all aspects of the organization’s development and growth, including supporting the board of directors, complying with legal requirements on nonprofit organizations, guiding strategic planning, building support for the organization, generating financial resources to deliver the organization’s programs and services, and managing the organization’s operations.

Bob is an accomplished nonprofit organization program director, certified nonprofit professional and volunteer administrator, and active community volunteer.

Bob has held positions in program development, national service project management, and public policy advocacy with organizations such as the American Legion Auxiliary, Healthy Teen Network, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, National Network for Youth, National Coalition for the Homeless, and American Public Human Services Association.

Bob holds a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) and a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA). He is an alumnus of the American Express Leadership Academy and a StartingBloc social innovation fellow.

Bob is an active regular volunteer at his church and various theater arts organizations. He is a public member on the District of Columbia Commission on National and Community Service. Bob is an Eagle Scout. He is the recipient of a Daily Point of Light Award in recognition for his service to military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

Additional information about Bob is available at LinkedIn and LeaderStories.

Cara Fogarty, of Leonardtown, Md., is a senior consultant at the Nonprofit Institute at the College of Southern Maryland. Cara is responsible for the Institute and all of its work with nonprofits in the tri-county region. She is also a Standards for Excellence Institute® Licensed Consultant.

Cara brings to this speaking event a deep knowledge of the nonprofit sector in Calvert County and all of Southern Maryland. During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, she served on the Charles County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force and on the Maryland Governor’s Nonprofit Working Group which made recommendations to Governor Hogan’s COVID-19 response plan, “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”

Prior to joining the Nonprofit Institute, Cara worked as the communications director at the Greenwell Foundation in St. Mary’s County. She also served on the Nonprofit Institute Advisory Council for St. Mary’s County and the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Committee. Before working in the nonprofit arena, Cara had a career as a journalist. After working as a news reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and upstate New York, she joined the now-defunct Mutual Broadcasting System/NBC Radio Network in Arlington, Va., where she produced national newscasts. She later joined NPR in Washington, DC, where she was the supervising online editor for NPR.org in the early days of the web. Cara holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is an adjunct professor at CSM where she teaches writing and communication courses.

Cara is motivated to contribute to this event because she is passionate about nonprofit organizations which are often the heart and soul of a community. Among many things, nonprofits foster civic engagement through volunteerism – people can volunteer their time and share their knowledge and expertise.  Volunteering creates opportunities for collaboration and networking, skill-building and leadership development, and establishing important social bonds. Many corporate and individual partners contribute to the governance and operations of these vital organizations by serving on a board of directors, assisting with special events, and lending their personal time and talent to fulfill the needs of the nonprofit. Volunteerism truly helps build strong nonprofits and strong communities.

Jenn Dorsch-Messler has been the Director of the Rebuild Program for the Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM) based out of New Windsor, MD since February 2015. She oversees the domestic program that provides volunteer construction labor and leadership to rebuild homes in disaster affected communities.

BDM is a member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) and Jenn serves as the member representative. She also served on the Board of Directors for NVOAD from August 2016-May 2017 and October 2017-May 2022. From May 2018-2020, she served as Secretary for the Executive Committee of the NVOAD Board as well. She is active with NVOAD work on the LTRG and Housing Committees. On the state level, she currently serves are the Secretary on the Executive Committee of Maryland VOAD and has been on the Board since March 2017.

Jenn holds a B.A. in Communications and Art from Juniata College and completed the master’s program at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding with a M.A. in Conflict Transformation and a focus on Peacebuilding and Trauma Healing. She currently lives in Lititz, PA and is an active member of Ephrata Church of the Brethren where she attends with her family and her husband is the lead pastor. Jenn is also on staff in a part-time Communications Support role.

Ricky Brown is the Special Events Director for End Hunger In Calvert County.  He has a background in sales, but saw an opportunity at End Hunger that was more fulfilling than any job in sales could offer. Ricky has been with End Hunger in his current role since August of 2022 and he operates as the lead for all in-person and virtual fundraising events. Ricky began his relationship with End Hunger as a Volunteer for their events and immediately felt the passion and pride that the organization represents. He knew right away that he wanted to do more and seeks to inspire others to engage in their communities.

Joseph Carr is the Director of Development with the Community Mediation Center of Calvert County. Established in 2006, CMCC’s mission is to provide conflict management services and education to empower people to create and develop their own solutions. The Community Mediation Center has a long and successful history of working with families, the courts, law enforcement and businesses to help bring about meaningful and peaceful conflict resolution. CMCC offers their services in a range of locations and settings conveniently located throughout the county.

CMCC’s exposure and services have greatly expanded over the years to include:  District Court Peace Orders, foster care Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) mediations, family separation, parenting plan and property distribution mediations and reentry mediations for those about to leave the county detention center and rejoin the community.  The center also facilitates difficult community conversations related to conflict resolution. Joe and his team at the Community Mediation Center now have more than 20 active volunteer mediators and trainers supporting more than 150 mediations and numerous workshops and facilitations each year.

Learning Resources

Resources to Volunteer with Our Presenter Organizations

  • End Hunger in Calvert County believes everyone deserves the dignity of self-sufficiency and develops big-picture solutions to support lasting change by supporting feeding organizations, teaching life skills, and empowering like-valued nonprofits committed to breaking the cycle of poverty.
  • Maryland VOAD is an umbrella organization made up of diverse disaster response agencies that includes faith-based, non-profit, non-governmental organizations and government partners.
  • The Community Mediation Center of Calvert County provides a variety of no cost mediation and conflict resolution services to the residents of Calvert County. CMCC trains community members to become volunteer mediators and provides conflict resolution skills training to organizations throughout the county.
  • The Nonprofit Institute at CSM is the premier source of professional development and capacity-building for the diverse array of nonprofits serving the Southern Maryland region. The Nonprofit Institute stewards the volunteering ecosystem by supporting a range of nonprofits in Calvert County and throughout Southern Maryland.

More Volunteer Resources and Services in Calvert County, Maryland

  • Explore this directory from Calvert County’s Public Safety Department to engage in municipal volunteer activities.
  • The United Way of Southern Maryland (UWSOMD)’s mission is to impact lives in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties by mobilizing the caring power of community to advance the common good.
  • Use this resource page to find a food pantry and support one or more of Southern Maryland’s wide variety of Feeding Organizations.

About Peace Through Action Events

Peace Through Action Events gather youth and adults of all ages to learn about civic and social topics with a focus on peace. Using delivery methods of subject expert lecture, skills training, film discussion, artistic presentation, reflection, and experiential activities, Peace Through Action Events participants gain knowledge on compassionate living, peaceful practices, and social justice concerns.

To keep informed of Peace Through Action Events sign up for our national email or our Calvert County, Maryland email.

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