• New Jersey Blood Services will conduct blood drives that are open to the public. The following blood drives are scheduled: Dec. 1, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 2, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Dec. 3, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 8, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 9, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Dec. 10, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; and Dec. 15, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m. To donate blood, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org
• Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey is seeking volunteers to provide support to hospice patients and their families throughout Monmouth County. Volunteers visit with patients in their home, which can also be nursing facilities and/or assisted living facilities, at least once a week. Visits can also be virtual and are during the day or early evening. To sign up for the next virtual training class, contact Deborah Adams at 732-405-3035 or email email@example.com
• The Monmouth County Park System will host The Casual Birder on Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. at the Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan, meet at the Activity Center; and on Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. at Thompson Park, Lincroft, meet in the Marlu Lake parking area. Join a park system naturalist for a laid-back morning bird walk and meander for about 90 minutes to see what birds you can find. Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. This is a free activity. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will host a “Clear the House Stroll” at 10 a.m. Dec. 24 at Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown. Send everyone for a one-hour stroll through the gardens with a park system naturalist to enjoy Deep Cut’s winter splendor. This is a free activity. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will present a Winter Beach Walk from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan. Take a guided walk with a park system naturalist along the beach while collecting and identifying some of the ocean’s natural treasures. Dress in warm clothing and bring along something to carry shells. This is a free activity. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will present “The Sounds of Christmas” from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 13 at Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel. Enjoy sounds of the season as Larry Moser and Mary Nagin play Christmas carols on the hammered dulcimer and fiddle. This is a free activity. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will sponsore Wondrous Winter Walks on Dec. 2 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown, meet in the parking lot; and on Dec. 16 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell, meet in the parking lot. Join a park system naturalist and explore nature. Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. Sturdy footwear is recommended; trails used may have inclines or tree roots to step over. This is a free activity. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Ocean County Library will present a virtual program, “Coping With the Holidays,” at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 9. The program is designed to help those whose holiday season follows the loss of a loved one. After the program, attendees will be welcome to take part in a live question-answer discussion with Samaritan Bereavement Program Supervisor Joan Ordille. Registration is required for this free program. Registrants will be emailed a link to join the
discussion. See details at www.theoceancountylibrary.org/events
• The Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, has announced two exhibitions which will take place during the 2020-21 holiday season. The 42nd annual Juried Art Exhibition and the Member Miniatures show will be in the Main and Nilson galleries, respectively, from Nov. 13 through Jan. 3. Reserve a space ahead of time at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/125176537393. Details: 732-224-1988.
• The Monmouth Civic Chorus will present a virtual performance of “Joy to the World: From Our Homes to Yours” at 4 p.m. Dec. 20. This is a free event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Joy to the World” to register. The virtual chorus of more than 60 voices will be joined by celebrated baritone Kenneth Wasser.
• The Monmouth County Library is offering a weekly virtual bereavement meeting for all
those who have lost a loved one and are navigating the maze of emotions and trying to make decisions in a new way. The virtual meetings provide an opportunity for people to share experiences, feelings and ideas. Sessions are conducted on Webex and registration is possible on Eventkeeper in order to receive information on how to access the meetings, held Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. Details: Email email@example.com
• Embroiderers’ Guild of America – Monmouth Chapter is dedicated to teaching and sharing the joys of needlework. The organization welcome stitchers of all levels. Evening stitchers will meet via Zoom on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. Day stitchers will meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. Details: Toni, 732-462-5540, or visit website:www.mcega.org
• Families and individuals seeking help in autism-related matters may access a database through the Ocean County Library website. The OCL Autism Resources Center offers links to groups that help those on the autism spectrum and their caregivers. There are links to services available through New Jersey state government agencies, and local, statewide and national autism-related organizations devoted to education, employment training, housing assistance, therapy, medical practices, multiple services, information and referral, safety, and legal issues. Details: www.theoceancountylibrary.org/autism.
• Residents struggling with substance use issues may call 1-844-ReachNJ to speak with counselors ready to offer assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ReachNJ is a free, confidential hotline that provides individuals with concerns about their own or a family member’s substance use immediate help and treatment referrals. The help line is always answered by a live specialist.
• The Mental Health Association in New Jersey – Ocean County has expanded community outreach with new wellness initiatives, group meetings and discussion groups related to mental health and recovery. The agency is providing support with a special focus on the pandemic. Interested participants can connect to a virtual group meeting using a cell phone or computer; video is optional, not required. Groups offered weekdays and weekends at various times. There is no cost to participate. Days and times of the virtual meetings can be found on Facebook, Mental Health Association in New Jersey – Ocean County; Instagram OceanMhanj; or by calling 732-244-0940.
Items for the Datebook may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.