Lend a Hand and Make Some Friends

Sunday, July 8, 2007

So you want to volunteer, but you're loath to commit to something that will require your elbow grease every single weekend. We've got a solution for you: One Brick, a nonprofit gateway for volunteering. The D.C. chapter is celebrating its one-year anniversary Saturday with a picnic at the National Zoo and a scavenger hunt.

In its first year, One Brick D.C. has amassed 2,500 people on its e-mail list and has poured roughly 600 hours of community service into the city per month. Volunteering through One Brick is almost too easy: Visit http://www.onebrick.org, click the D.C. link, search the calendar for an event that appeals to you and your schedule, RSVP, show up, work, feel better about yourself and join your fellow volunteers for a drink afterward. Do it just once, or do it as many times as you want. It's a way to serve people and meet people.

"It has a great appeal to a lot of busy working professionals," says D.C. chapter founder Lindsay Reishman, 30. "There's that social component. We gather for a drink afterward and have happy hours once a month. It's a good way to meet like-minded people if you're just out of school."

Saturday's event is a potluck picnic, though you can chip in a few bucks if you don't have food or drink to bring. You can also join a citywide scavenger hunt earlier in the day for a $10 donation to One Brick. The hunt, which starts at 12:45 p.m. at Union Station, will traverse the area between Chinatown, the Mall and Dupont Circle, and will conclude at the zoo in time for the picnic. RSVP on the group's Web site.

-- Dan Zak

One Brick One-Year Anniversary Picnic: Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, jenk@onebrick.org, http://www.onebrick.org.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company