Tri-Town News Datebook, Feb. 17

• The Art Society of Monmouth County is preparing a virtual “Oldies but Goodies” show sponsored by OceanFirst Foundation. Art society members may submit two entries each from Feb. 15 through 3 p.m. Feb. 19. For more information on show submission, how to become a member or to sign up for the society’s newsletter, visit https://www.artsocietyofmonmouthcounty.org/

• New Jersey Blood Services is conducting blood drives which are open to the public. The following drives are scheduled in the near future: Feb. 18, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Feb. 23, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Feb. 24, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Feb. 25, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m. To donate blood, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org

• New Jersey Blood Services is conducting blood drives which are open to the public. The following drives are scheduled in the near future: March 1, Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold Township, 1-7 p.m.; March 2, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; March 3, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; March 4, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; March 8, Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold Township, 1-7 p.m.; March 9, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; March 10, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; March 11, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; March 15, Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold Township, 1-7 p.m. To donate blood, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org

• New Jersey Blood Services, which provides blood for local patients, is looking for a few good volunteers. Blood drive volunteers assist donors with registration and/or at the refreshment area. No medical background necessary. Volunteers should be outgoing to provide friendly customer service and be able to perform tasks as needed. Must have transportation. All training is provided. For additional information, call or text Sharon Zetts at 732-850-8906, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To apply online as a blood drive volunteer, visit https://www.nybc.org/support-us/volunteer-nybc/volunteer-application/

• The Monmouth County Park System will host a Wondrous Winter Walk on Feb. 24 from 10-11:30 a.m. at Big Brook Park, Marlboro, meet in the parking lot. Join a park system naturalist and explore a park in wintertime. Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. Sturdy footwear is recommended; trails may have inclines or tree roots to step over. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.

• “Relationships During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a Zoom Talk by Dr. Jay Levin, will be presented by the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, Freehold Township. at 2 p.m. Feb. 21. Admission is $7 for museum members and $10 for non-members. For reservations, ca;; 732-252-6990. A Zoom link will be provided by email upon registration.

• The Moms Online Group is a peer-run group for mothers seeking mutual support, coping strategies, self-care tips and wellness resources. Meets weekly via Zoom at 8 p.m. on Wednesday or by call-in. Virtual participants use zoom./us/join and meeting ID 932 2282 2193. Phone-in participants call 929-205-6099. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey – Ocean County. Details: Email mleotis@mhanj.org

• “Creativity Unleashed” is a weekly online group; participants explore art as an outlet for expression and a means to enhance positive mood and emotions. No art skills required.  Meets at 2 p.m. on Sunday online or by call-in. Use this link zoom./us/join and meeting ID 933 5544 9291. Call-in option is 929-205-6099. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey – Ocean County. Details: Email mleotis@mhanj.org

• “Dealing with Depression” is a weekly support group for individuals who have dealt with depression and individuals living with depression; peers provide support, strategies and understanding. Meets at 7 p.m. on Monday via Zoom at zoom./us/join with meeting ID 989 0902 6160 or by call-in at 929-205-6099. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey – Ocean County. Details: Email mleotis@mhanj.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 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 welcomes 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.