• The Monmouth County Park System will sponsor Wondrous Winter Walks on Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, meet in the Environmental Center parking lot. Join a park system naturalist to explore a park in the winter. Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. Sturdy footwear is recommended, trails used may have inclines or tree roots to step over. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will present Cutting, Splitting and Hewing on Jan. 8 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel. Get warmed up using a two-man saw and splitting wedge, and learn how farmers used a froe to rive shingles or a broad ax to hew beams. Open to adults. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will present the Casual Birder on Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell. Join a park system naturalist for a morning bird walk. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• Organizing expert Jamie Novak will offer a “January Jumpstart 10-Day Declutter Challenge” in a virtual program presented by the Ocean County Library Jackson Branch at 3 p.m. Jan. 18. Novak will help to convert households “from chaos to calm.” Her books are
available as eBooks through hoopla in the Ocean County Library catalog. Registration at www.theoceancountylibrary.org/events is required for the free Jan. 18 program, sponsored by Jackson Friends of the Library. Each registrant will receive a link to the program by email.
• 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.
• New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, will conduct the following blood drives which are open to the public: and Dec. 29, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 1:30-8:30 p.m. To donate blood or for information on 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. 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 submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.