Tri-Town News Datebook, Dec. 23

• The Ocean County Library invites community members to sit in on a live virtual interview with former NFL running back Keith Elias at 6 p.m. Jan. 26. Registrants planning to use more than one device should provide an email address for each device. Attendees may send questions to lehereader@theoceancountylibrary.org until Jan. 20 or ask them during the event. Elias played college football at Princeton University and professional football with the NFL’s New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts, and the XFL’s New York-New Jersey Hitmen. Registration is required for this free program. Sign up at www.theoceancountylibrary.org/events

• With the continued spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey, the administrators of the Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, have decided to temporarily close the museum. The Nilson and Main galleries will be closed to visitors beginning Jan. 4. The Wonder Wing and the Becker Children’s Wing will remain temporarily closed. The museum is open by appointment only now through Jan. 4 with its 42nd annual Juried Exhibit and the Members Miniatures Exhibit. Details: Email info@monmouthmuseum.org

• 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.

• New Jersey Blood Services will conduct blood drives that are open to the public. The following blood drives are scheduled: Dec. 24, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 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

• New Jersey Blood Services will conduct blood drives that are open to the public. The following blood drives are scheduled at the Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell: Jan. 5, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Jan. 6, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Jan. 7, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Jan. 12, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Jan. 13, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Jan. 14, 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. Details: Deborah Adams, 732-405-3035, or email deborah@dovehs.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 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 mcl@monmouthcountylib.org

• 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 news@thetritownnews.com. Please submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.