A number of temporary jobs will soon be opening up for people looking to make a little extra money, and to help fulfill what is a constitutional mandate – the decennial count of the country’s population.

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of workers for temporary jobs available nationwide in advance of the 2020 Census. That includes here in St. Mary’s County.

The 2020 Census jobs website allows applicants to apply for a range of positions, including recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, clerks, census field supervisors and census takers. The positions will offer flexible work hours, including daytime, evenings and weekends.

In addition to the temporary paid jobs that will soon be opening up, St. Mary’s County has fielded a Complete Count Committee, headed by Bill Hunt, the county’s director of land use and growth management.

“The purpose [of the committee] is to try to get volunteers to reach traditionally low-response populations,” Hunt said. The St. Mary’s committee, which works with state efforts, is meeting to determine best practices to reach people to alert them to the importance of completing the upcoming Census. The official count is used for many purposes, including to determine congressional representation in states and how to dole out federal dollars for various programs and grants.

New next year will be the ability to complete Census information online, in addition to the traditional mail or phone responses, Hunt said. It’s imperative that people complete the forms, one way or another, as soon as possible after receiving them next year, he said.

The more folks who complete their Census information early, the fewer required follow-ups will be needed, which in turn saves tax dollars. Hunt said groups represented in the committee, which is made up of local government staff as well as private sector and nonprofit representatives, will soon start reaching out to their constituents about the Census, which officially takes place on April 1, 2020.

As for the upcoming paid jobs, they include:

• Recruiting assistants travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities.

• Office operations supervisors assist in the management of office functions and day-to-day activities in one or more functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.

• Clerks perform various administrative and clerical tasks to support various functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.

• Census field supervisors conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers and/or to follow up in situations where census takers have confronted issues, such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.

• Census takers work in the field. Some field positions require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other field positions require interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home, such as in the evening and on weekends.

Applicants will be placed in an applicant pool for Census field positions for positions they qualify for and will be contacted as work becomes available in their area. For more information, call 1-855-JOB-2020 or visit the 2020 Census jobs page at www.2020census.gov/jobs.html or the Census Bureau’s Facebook.

Free holiday dinner offered next Thursday

The Church of the Ascension is having a community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 28, from noon to 3 p.m. The is located at 21641 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park. All are welcome to the family style holiday dinner, at no cost. For more, call 301-863-8551.

College to host state legislators today

St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Center for the Study of Democracy will hold a legislative preview session today, Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. in the Glendening Annex on the college’s campus. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Elected officials invited to participate include Sen. Jack Bailey (R-St. Mary’s, Calvert), Del. Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R-St. Mary’s, Calvert), Del. Brian Crosby (D-St. Mary’s) and Del. Matt Morgan (R-St. Mary’s).

Center for the Study of Democracy Director Antonio Ugues Jr., an associate professor of political science, will facilitate the discussion and lead a question-and-answer session among legislators, students and the audience.

Special holiday concert planned for museum

Timothy Seaman will deliver a special Thanksgiving weekend treat for the family on Friday, Nov. 29, at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons. Seaman is a master of the hammered dulcimer, creating cascades of beautiful sound. Every selection is introduced in a manner that creates a meaningful context, enriching the experience of listening in a vibrant blend of Appalachian, classical, Celtic and contemporary approaches. He also plays the flute, whistle, mountain dulcimer, vocals and psaltery. Doors to the show, which is part of the museum’s Maritime Performance Series, open at 6 p.m. with beer and wine for sale, and the performance will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 online at bit.ly/MaritimeConcerts, and $25 at the door. For more, contact 410-326-2042, ext. 45, or email Laura.Cole@calvertcountymd.gov.

Fall craft show planned

The annual fall craft show sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department will be held at the Hollywood firehouse this Sunday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; there is no admission fee. There are many returning vendors as well as several new ones this year.

The vendors’ merchandise will feature handmade crafts such as baskets, jewelry, clothing, art, fall and Christmas decorations, wood carvings, floral arrangements, decorative and repurposed dishes and bottles, crocheted and knitted items, ceramics, quilts, jerky, jelly, animal bandanas, soaps, hair bands and bows, doll clothes, signs and much more.

The ladies auxiliary will have various lunch items for sale, and stuffed ham will be available for purchase by the pound, too. There will also be a bake sale with homemade goodies like cakes, pies and brownies.

Raffle tickets will be sold to win a fire truck toy box handmade by a fire department member. The toy box will be raffled at the firehouse’s Christmas tree lighting event on Sunday, Dec. 1.

There will be a collection box available to accept donations of nonperishable food items to be given to the St. Mary’s Helping Hands Food Pantry.

Proceeds from the craft show will benefit the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department to assist them in providing fire protection and fire education and safety to the community.

For more information about the craft show, email Craftshow@hvfd7.com.

Council’s art supply drive continues until Dec. 15

Bethany Yates, an artist and social worker, is collecting art supplies through Dec. 15 for local children in need. Donations of items may be made at the St. Mary’s County Arts Council office in Leonardtown or at Yates’ office in Lexington Park. Local pickup may also be arranged. Email Bethany@thetherapycafe.com for more information.

Food, toys now accepted

Community Bank of the Chesapeake is hosting its ninth annual holiday food and toy drive now through Dec. 6. Nonperishable food items and new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at any Community Bank branch.

The drive will benefit several nonprofit organizations in the area. Food collected in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties will be donated to the Southern Maryland Food Bank, according to a release from the bank. All toys collected will benefit the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots programs in Southern Maryland and Fredericksburg.

“I am proud to share we donated over 1,000 toys in St. Mary’s County to children in need last year. We have a great group of volunteers that participate each year in the Toys for Tots program and we are always amazed on how giving the community is,” Chuck Jones, director of St. Mary’s Toys for Tots program, said in the release.

For more information regarding the drive, contact Stefanie at 240-427-1048 or cusicks@cbtc.com.

Get help with home repairs

Apply now for home repair help for the 2020 Christmas in April in St. Mary’s County. The event, to be held on April 25, 2020, will be the 30th year for the one-day restoration and renovation blitz.

The volunteer organization rehabilitates houses of low income, elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners. Applications may be picked up at local libraries and senior centers, as well as on the website www.christmasinaprilsmc.org. For more information, call 301-884-2905.

Teachers can borrow wildlife education trunks

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering a variety of wildlife education trunks for use by classroom teachers, home-school educators, naturalists, scout leaders and other instructors. These unique, interdisciplinary teaching tools designed to educate and engage students about local wildlife while building on fundamental disciplines like art, language arts, math, physical education, science and social studies.

Each trunk contains an educator guide with background information, lesson plans, as well as activity supplies, books and other hands-on items. The trunks are available for a variety of subjects, including aquatic invasive species, bats, furbearers, white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, and can be borrowed free of charge for up to two weeks. They are available at seven locations around the state. More information is available at http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/Education/education_trunks.aspx.