• The Mental Health Association – Ocean County offers a free, weekly online group at 6 p.m. on Thursdays to individuals who have chosen medication-assisted treatment as a part of their substance use recovery. This peer-run meeting provides a non-judgmental, safe space to find support. The group meets via call-in or Zoom; to receive a link, email firstname.lastname@example.org or dial 1-929-205-6099.
• Jackson residents may volunteer to serve on municipal boards and commissions. The following advisory boards and committees exist: Veterans Commission, Rent Leveling Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Economic Development Commission, Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, Pathfinders, Environmental Commission, Historical Commission and Shade Tree Commission. All requests for consideration should be received by Dec. 18. A citizen leadership form may be found at www.jacksontwpnj.net. Details: 732-928-1200, ext 1211.
• Members of the community are invited to celebrate Advent and Christmas at DeBows United Methodist Church through online worship services. Sunday services are at 10 a.m. and the Christmas Eve service will be at 6:30 p.m. (replays available). View online services at debows.online.church. Visit www.debowsumc.org for the most up-to-date information.
• The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County will offer a Zoom presentation, “Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema,” from 6 p.m. Dec. 22 through 6 p.m. Dec. 25. Call 732-252-6990 to receive a Zoom link which is good for viewing the film at any time between the dates and times noted. All donations are appreciated.
• The St. Monica’s Knights of Columbus Council No. 11529, Jackson, is selling Christmas trees for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and local charities. The lot is at Glory’s Market, corner of Route 527 and Route 526, Jackson. Fraser firs between 4 feet and 14 feet tall are for sale. Decorated wreaths and grave blankets are also available. The Christmas tree lot is open Monday through Friday, 1-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Details: Chris Althaver, 732-691-5461.
• New Jersey Blood Services will conduct blood drives that are open to the public. The following blood drives are scheduled: Dec. 17, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 22, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 23, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Dec. 24, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 29, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 30, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Dec. 31, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 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. Details: Deborah Adams, 732-405-3035, or email email@example.com
• 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 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 now 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.