• The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is inviting New Jersey high school students to create original music with substance use prevention messages as part of the 2023 Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music competition. The competition is open to any type of music genre or any musical style. Entries accepted through March 5. Students interested in sharing their musical talent can submit original music with lyrics about substance use prevention. The finalists’ songs will be showcased in a virtual Prevention Concert on April 26. For competition rules, contact Diane Higgins at 973-275-7985 or email@example.com.
• The Monmouth County Park System will host the Casual Birder on Dec. 20 at 9 a.m.
at Thompson Park, Lincroft, meet by Marlu Lake. Join a park system naturalist for a laid-back morning bird walk. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will host a Nature Lecture Series: Snowy Owls of Monmouth County on Dec. 15 from 7-8 p.m. at the Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Middletown. Find out where these owls come from, where they go, what they eat and why they are so mysterious. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, will conduct the following blood drives which are open to the public: Dec. 15, Most Holy Redeemer, 133 Amboy Road, Matawan, 1-7 p.m.; Dec. 19, North Centerville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, 372 Middle Road, Hazlet, 1-7 p.m.; Dec. 27, Lincroft Bible Church, 790 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, 1-7 p.m.; and Dec. 30, St. Dorothea Church, 240 Broad St., Eatontown, 12:30-6:30 p.m. To donate blood or for information about how to organize a blood drive, call toll free, 1-800-933-2566, or visit www.nybloodcenter.org
• Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey is seeking volunteers who are willing to make a difference with individuals who are experiencing the challenge of end-of-life. Volunteers dedicate a small amount of time each month to provide companionship-friendly visits; play cards; sewing, knitting or craft projects; music enrichment; pet therapy; and office or administrative assistance. Dove Hospice Services is also seeking veterans who are interested in providing compassion, support and outreach to fellow veterans and their families. Visits can be made to individuals living in facilities or private homes. Ongoing training is provided. Volunteers must be 18 or older and a COVID vaccine is required. Details: Michelle Rutigliano, 732-405-3035.
• Women of Color discussion group is an online meeting held once a month (third Tuesday at 5:30 pm) to discuss issues, coping strategies and resources relevant to women of color. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. Upcoming meeting dates are Dec. 20. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a link.
• “A Gathering of Womyn of Color” is an online group that meets once a month for all LGBTQ womyn of color in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color community. The group is an open discussion of multiple topics. The group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, the agency’s PEWS program and the Emotional Support for Families of Color Initiative. To receive a link, email email@example.com.
Items for the Datebook may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.