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Votes

Volunteer Opportunities

To have an item listed, mail to the Gazette, 1604 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314; fax to 703-917-0991 or e-mail to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. If you have any questions, call Elizabeth Orr at 703-917-6449.

United Community Ministries (UCM)’s Youth in Action program is collecting school supplies for children in need, with a goal of outfitting more than 500 children. Donors can drop off donations at 7511 Fordson Road until Aug. 18. Items needed include backpacks, pens, pencils, glue sticks, crayons, markers, highlighters, composition books, notebook paper, three-ring binders, dividers, rulers, scissors, protractors, compasses and calculators for high school. Volunteers are also needed to sort and distribute supplies in August. Volunteers are asked to sign up for at least a two-hour shift. For more information on UCM and Youth in Action, or to make a contribution or volunteer, please contact Julio at 703-768-7106 ext. 306.

Fairfax County's Meals on Wheels program needs volunteers, especially in Alexandria and other eastern sections of Fairfax County. Regular and substitute drivers are needed, and volunteers may deliver prepared meals to homebound elderly people weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. To volunteer, call 703-324-5406 or e-mail beverly.mullis@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The Alexandria Office on Women is recruiting volunteers who will be trained this fall for the Domestic Violence Program, the Sexual Assault Response and Awareness Program, and the Speakers Bureau.

The Domestic Violence Program needs volunteers to provide hot line coverage and crisis counseling to survivors of domestic violence. Volunteers will be given 40 hours of training and are asked to donate 10-15 hours per month over weekends and holidays. Interested individuals can contact Betsy Greene at 703-838-4911. Training begins in September.

The Sexual Assault Response and Awareness program is seeking volunteers to become hot line companions. The 40-hour companion training begins on Aug. 24 and runs through September, meeting on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-10 p.m. and two Saturday mornings. No prior crisis-line experience is necessary. The Office on Women needs compassionate listeners who would be comfortable talking to sexual assault survivors and their families and will commit to two hot line shifts per month after training. For more information, call Erika Callaway Kleiner at 703-838-5030 ext. 117 or send an e-mail to erika.callaway@alexandriava.gov.

The Office on Women’s Speakers Bureau is a group of volunteers who present an education program on domestic violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault, and teen pregnancy prevention to Alexandria youth. The Speakers Bureau makes presentations to fifth, seventh, and ninth graders throughout the school year. The 10-hour required training will be conducted on Sept. 13, 20, and 21 during the evening. For more information, call Jen Harris at 703-838-5030 or send an e-mail to jennifer.harris@alexandriava.gov.

For more information on all programs and services provided by the Alexandria Office on Women, call 703-838-5030 or visit the Web site, www.alexwomen.com.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, an Alexandria-based nonprofit, has launched an effort to educate parents about the dangers the summer months could pose to their children. The summer safety program, in the form of public service announcements and a Web site, encourages precautions such as sunscreen use, posted emergency phone numbers and supervision guidelines. SCAN urges parents never to leave children in unattended vehicles and also suggests that summer is a crucial time to teach younger children how to say "no" to potential exploiters. For more information, call 703-836-1820 or view SCAN’s Summer Safety Fact Sheet online at www.scanva.org.

Researchers Katherine Frank and John DeLamater, both from the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are looking for married people over the age of 18 to participate in a study about attitudes on sexual exclusivity in marriage. Surveys may be completed online or through the mail. For more information or to become a participant, contact Dr. Frank at kfrank@ssc.wisc.edu, request an access code at www.monogamysurvey.wisc.edu, or call 608-262-1930.

Community Partners for Children collects new backpacks for all age groups, black and white composition books, spiral notebooks, wide-rule and college-rule notebook paper, pens, pencils, crayons, highlighters, erasers, pocket folders, pencil pouches, scissors, rulers and other supplies. Community members can help by:

* Attending the kick off at the Del Ray Dreamery at 2310 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Saturday, Aug. 7, from 1-3 p.m.

* Making a tax-deductible donation by check to Community Partners for Children, 2212 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301.

* Volunteering to help sort supplies Thursday, Sept. 2, at T.C. Williams High School. For more information, call Kim Sheridan at 703-836-5883.

* Donating school supplies to a drop-off box. Boxes are placed throughout Alexandria, with locations including:

Great Harvest Bread Company, 1711 Centre Plaza, Fairlington Center; Long & Foster Realtors, 5845 Richmond Highway; CURVES, 4613-B Duke St.; Video Vault, 113 S. Columbus St.; Trinity United Methodist Church, 2911 Cameron Mills Road; Fairpark Baptist Church, 1801 N. Quaker Lane; Virginia Commerce Banks with locations at 506 King St., 1414 Prince St. and 5140 Duke St.; St. Elmo’s, 2300 Mount Vernon Ave.; Del Ray Dreamery, 2310 Mount Vernon Ave.; Chinquapin Rec Center, 3210 King St.; Grace Episcopal, 3601 Russell Road; Alexandria Public Library, 4600 Duke St. and all other branches; Legg Mason, 1725-A Duke St.; Burke & Herbert, 306 E. Monroe Ave.; Anne Welsh Salon, 2100 Mount Vernon Ave.; The Church of Saint Clement, 1701 N. Quaker Lane; Old Town Sport & Health Club, 209 Madison; Shell Station, 5200 Duke St.; The Hartford, 5285 Shawnee Road; and Alexandria Volunteer Bureau, 2210 Mount Vernon Ave.

The Alexandria Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program is looking for volunteers to serve as advocates for children in the Alexandria Juvenile Court. Volunteers conduct interviews with the children, families and professionals involved in the cases, monitor compliance with court orders, write detailed reports and attend court hearings at which they represent the best interest of the child. Volunteers must complete 40 hours of training as well as complete background checks. The time commitment is 10 to 20 hours a month for at least a year. The need for bilingual volunteers is especially great. The next training class begins in September. For more information call Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) at 703-836-1820 or visit www.scanva.org.

The Alexandria Black History Resource Center needs volunteers who have an interest in Alexandria African American history, as well as African American history and culture in general. Volunteers staff the reception desk, greet and orient visitors to the museum and reading room, assist with mailings, programs, documentation, data entry, writing and editing and collections and the Gift Shop. Volunteers are needed to work weekday mornings or afternoons. The Center is open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Contact Lillian S. Patterson, curator, 703-838-4356.

The ESL and Immigrant Ministries needs volunteers to teach English as a Second Language to adult immigrants in 20 locations in Northern Virginia. Free training for volunteers is provided in August and September. Classes begin in September. Both daytime and evening classes are offered. Consult www.eslim.org for full information about the program, including class schedules, locations, and a volunteer application form. Or call 703-841-0292, ext. 6.

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia will hold an English as a second language (ESL) tutor training session Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Aug. 11-21, at James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church. Nearly 75 students are now on a waiting list to be paired with tutors. There is a $35 training fee. Call 703-237-0866 for more information.

The Fairfax Victim Assistant Unit, a program of the Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board, is looking for volunteers for its sexual assault and domestic abuse crisis hot line. Training will run Oct. 2-Dec. 1, Wednesday evenings and two Saturdays. Bilingual and bicultural volunteers welcome. For more information, call 703-360-7273.

United Community Ministry needs donations for the food pantry. Food needs include soups, cereals, tuna and canned meats, jelly, macaroni and cheese, corn and rice. Single-serving containers encouraged. In addition, the Ministry is also collecting department store shopping bags, clear tubs for storage, typewriters, diapers (large) and wipes, bath-size towels, personal hygiene items, cribs, and two wheel grocery carts for elderly and disabled.. Donations can be dropped off at 7511 Fordson Road between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. UCM can also schedule pickups for donations of food by churches or other organizations. Please contact Cecelia Vergaretti at 703-768-7106 or by email at volunteer@ucmagency.org for more information.

Odyssey Healthcare. This hospice provider is seeking volunteers in the Northern Virginia community to visit and/or assist terminally ill patients and their families during their end of life journey. If you have compassion, a desire to help one-two hours a week, share with a patient or their family, assist with office support, or help with bereavement care, become an Odyssey Volunteer. Training will be provided. Call Karen Baroody at 703-821-9200 or email kabaroody@odsyhealth.com.

Tutor/Mentors, Book Buddies, and Reach Out and Read volunteers. Needed to make a difference with children six months to 10 years of age. Working with the Alexandria City Public Schools for the past 23 years, Wright to Read needs you. Days, evenings and week-end opportunities are available. Call 703-549-0111, ext. 142, for more information and upcoming orientation dates.

Before and After School Care. Parents seeking quality, licensed before and after school child care should contact the Campagna Kids program in Alexandria. The program is located in the Alexandria public elementary schools and is opened to all children, ages 5-12. Fees based on a sliding scale determined by the city. For more information or to register, call 703-549-0111.