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Votes

Volunteer Opportunities

Send announcements to The Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to

reston@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. Call Jean Card at 703-917-6437, with questions.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

Volunteers needed to prepare taxes for low income families at locations in Reston, Herndon, Chantilly and other sites. Free training and certification available online through the IRS or in traditional training. Hours are flexible, commitment can be a few hours/week from January-April 15. Weekends, weekdays and evening hours available. Contact Brenda Kuhlman at 703 359-6777 or Brenda.kuhlman@dss.virginia.gov.

Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is offering informational orientation sessions for those interested in learning more about how to be an advocate for abused and neglected children in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. On the evening of Monday, Feb. 7, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., prospective volunteers are invited learn about the program. All orientation sessions will take place at the Fairfax CASA office at 4103 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 200, Fairfax. Fairfax CASA is accepting applications and preparing to interview potential volunteers for the February/March training session, which begins Feb. 22. Volunteers of diverse backgrounds and those who are bilingual are encouraged to apply. Visit the Web site at www.casafairfax.org or call 703-273-3526 or lmorley@casafairfax.org.

"Explore the Challenge" Meeting, 7 p.m., Feb. 9, at Herndon Fortnightly Library, 768 Center St. Herndon. Find out more about the MS Challenge Walk presented by Security Moving.Storage.Logistics, a three-day, 50-mile life changing journey to the nation's capital. Contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at www.MSandYOU.org or call 202-296-5363.

In preparation for a Feb. 10 “Reality Store” exercise for students of Herndon High School, the education committee of the Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce requests volunteers from the community to participate as facilitators at the event. The purpose of the event is to inspire teenagers to budget and save their money by making them keenly aware of the high cost of running a household as an adult. They learn that children are expensive, for example.

Volunteer time commitment on Feb. 10 will run from 7 a.m. to noon. Lunch is offered. Volunteer facilitators need no special expertise, but they do need to experience a training session provided by Navy Federal Credit Union. The training session will be this Friday, Jan. 28, from 3:30-5 p.m., at Herndon High School, in the library. For directions to the high school, visit www.fcps.edu/maps/hernhs.htm. To register as a volunteer, please call Suzanne Fulton of the Chamber of Commerce 703-437-5556, Ext. 107 or e-mail communications@herndondulleschamber.org.

Volunteer Fairfax is looking for volunteers for the following:

* Reston Interfaith Inc.: Hunter Mill winter coat drive, volunteers are needed to assist clients in selecting coats, greeting donors and sorting coat donations through Feb. 12. Shifts are Mondays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays, 9-11 a.m. Contact Susan Stolpe, susan.stolpe@restoninterfaith.org, 571-323-9569.

Foster/Respite Care Training Classes begin Feb. 12. Teach a child with special needs about life and watch them teach you more about love than you ever imagined — the principle that drives Northern Virginia Family Service’s (NVFS) Special Foster and Therapeutic Respite Care Program. NVFS urgently needs local caring families to join its next series of foster/respite care training classes.

Classes begin Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Oakton NVFS office at 10455 White Granite Drive. The 9 a.m.-5 p.m. classes then run concurrent Saturdays ending Feb. 26. When completed, parents will be pre-certified to have a child with special needs placed in their homes. More than 6,000 special-needs children in the Northern Virginia area alone are in need of temporary homes, compared to 600,000 nationally.

Prospective foster and respite providers can call Ginny Snaider at 703-219-2184. For information on Therapeutic Respite, call Melissa Laird at 703-219-2132.

Established in 1924, Northern Virginia Family Service is a private, nonprofit community service resource dedicated to helping individuals and families find new paths to self-reliance and brighter futures. Each year, NVFS helps more than 27,000 people find affordable housing and health care for their children, avoid or recover from debt, earn a living wage and much more. Visit www.nvfs.org.

People who are looking for an opportunity to help folks directly and can stay by their home phones for just one day a month can become a Family Assistance volunteer, providing "Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help" to your neighbors in need. Last year FISH helped 931 families and individuals with financial assistance totaling more than $120,000. FISH also needs drivers to take elderly and disabled persons to local doctor appointments and to help pick up furniture donations, Call 703-437-0600.

Volunteers are needed weekday mornings, 10 a.m. -noon, to guide individuals and families through four rooms of the Kidwell Farmhouse at Frying Pan Park in Herndon. Training is provided. Preferred commitment is at least two shifts per month. Kidwell Farm, located at Frying Pan Park and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, recreates the era from 1920 to 1950 when family dairy farms blanketed the local landscape. Call Sherry Bizette at 703-437-5318 or apply on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.

Travelers Aid is seeking volunteers to serve as mobile guides and information desk staff at Washington Dulles International Airport. Volunteers provide access to agency social workers, airport information, directional services, transportation options, tourist information and more. Trained to be information experts, our volunteers welcome people to the Washington capital region and add a personal touch. We have a need for weekday evening, 6-9 p.m., information desk volunteers. Mobile guide scheduling is flexible. Contact Travelers Aid at 703-572-7350 or volunteer@mwaa.com.

The Reston-Herndon American Association of University Women's (AAUW) tutoring/mentoring program at Forest Edge Elementary School in Reston needs volunteers to spend an hour on Tuesdays, from 3:15-4:15 p.m., working with academically at-risk young girls, supporting them with friendship, homework help and some fun. The program also needs substitutes and donations of games or books. Call Elisabeth Pugh at 703-759-4494 or e-mail Metrigero@aol.com. Visit the Web site www.aauwofva.org/branches/reston.htm.

Reston Museum is offering a free training program for anyone interested in volunteering as a museum docent. Training classes will be held on the third Thursday evening of the month in October and November, from 7-9 p.m., at the Reston Museum, 1639 Washington Plaza at Lake Anne Village Center. Advance registration is required. Call the Reston Museum at 703-709-7700.

The Fairfax County Health Department is launching a major volunteer recruitment drive to staff the Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a program of the Fairfax County Citizen Corps. More than 13,000 medical and nonmedical volunteers are needed to respond to a full-scale public-health emergency in Fairfax County. In the event of a bioterrorism attack or a naturally occurring epidemic, MRC volunteers would be called upon to staff vaccination or medication dispensing sites. In a worst case scenario, this could mean providing for all residents in Fairfax County — more than 1 million people — in three to five days. To accomplish this, 96 teams, comprising 142 people per team, would staff dispensing sites at all county public-high schools and George Mason University. In addition, a large number of nonmedical volunteers are needed to provide general support, such as assisting patients with forms and performing data entry and other administrative tasks. Contact Foster at 703-246-2485, TTY 703-591-6435, or by e-mail at donna.foster@fairfaxcounty.gov or visit www.fairfaxcountycitizencorps.org.

The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking volunteers for nursing homes or assisted living facilities in their communities and weekly visits. Listening, observing and mediating, the ombudsman works with the residents, their families and the facility staff to ensure that resident's rights are protected and they are being adequately helped. Applicants must successfully complete training and must be available to volunteer four hours per week during regular business hours. Call 703-324-5435. Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ombudsman.

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) is calling for volunteers to assist in its nonprofit arts space in Reston Town Center. Volunteers are needed in many capacities, some of which require specific job skills while others do not. All volunteer help is invaluable to the operation of GRACE.

* Immediate help is needed with the final processing of artist applications and slides for the 2005 Northern Virginia Fine Arts.

* Reception area: Answer phones, sales and customer service. Friendly, outgoing personality and organizational skills helpful.

* General office duties: Filing, copying, mail sorting. No experience necessary.

* Mailings: Addressing, stuffing and stamping. No experience necessary.

* Data entry: Familiarity with Microsoft word and Excel helpful. Good typing skills and attention to detail a must.

* Special events: Champagne Art Auction, March; Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, May; and C-Note Sale, September/October. Each event needs volunteers to assist in the event preparations, artist relations, taking inventor and cleanup.

Contact Mary Saunders, volunteer coordinator at GRACE, 11911 Freedom Drive, Suite 110, Reston or at 703-471-9242.

Reston Festival 2005, which will take place the weekend of July 9-10, at the Reston Town Center, is seeking planning committee members. The festival consists of activities for the whole family, including arts and crafts, children’s games, food, a prize raffle and musical entertainment from many local entertainers. Call the festival hot line at 703-435-7989 or visit www.restonfestival.com.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training is recruiting volunteers to train for marathons and races to honor local cancer patients. Call 703-960-1100 or visit www.teamintraining.org.

Volunteer Emergency Families For Children (VEFC) needs volunteers willing to open their homes and provide short-term — one-21 days— emergency shelter to local children who are victims of abuse, neglect, etc. Volunteers can choose the age, gender and length of stay for each placement. Most requests in this area are for three- to five-day stays. Call 1-800-756-6167 or e-mail MMiller@VEFC.org for details.

Fairfax County Police are seeking volunteers who are interested in becoming auxiliary police officers.

APOs are trained to perform a variety of operational support and administrative duties, which include patrol, traffic control, security of prisoners, communications, desk assignments, fingerprinting, crime prevention and special events. Auxiliary officers undergo almost as much training as regular police officers, but because they offer their services on a volunteer basis, they provide a considerable savings to county taxpayers while relieving patrol officers to handle assignments that only they can perform. The police department provides uniforms, equipment and insurance. Auxiliary officers must perform an average of 24 hours of volunteer service a month to maintain their status in the unit.

To be considered applicants must live in Northern Virginia and be at least 21 years of age. Applicants must be in good health and without a criminal record or history of drug use, and not be an applicant for police officer in any jurisdiction. Contact the auxiliary coordinator at 703-280-0576.

The Advisory Board of the Northwest Center for Mental Health in Fairfax County is looking for volunteers. The nonprofit board meets monthly on first Wednesday evenings. Applications are accepted on a continuing basis. Call Cleveland Williams at 703-435-0868 or e-mail sue.boucher@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The Center for Multicultural Human Services is seeking CHAMPS mentors to provide children of prisoners in Northern Virginia with friendship, recreational activities and constructive example. Contact Ellen Klene at 703-533-3302, Ext. 107 or eklene@cmhs.org.

Fairfax County General Court Services is seeking volunteers and interns to assist in the Fairfax County General District Court performing administrative tasks. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and successfully pass a criminal background investigation. Call Lorraine Lottahall, volunteer/intern coordinator, for an application at 703-246-4760 or e-mail lorraine.lottahall@fairfaxcounty.

The Fairfax County Public Library seeks volunteers to assist staff in its Public Information Office a minimum of two hours per week. Candidates must read English well, be detail-oriented and able to work at the Fairfax County Government Center near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Familiarity with local newspapers a plus. Contact Linda Gifford at 703-324-8324 or Linda.Gifford@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Volunteer tutors are needed for day and evening hours to work one-to-one with adult learners in public libraries or adult learning centers. Additional opportunities are available working with adolescents in alternative school settings. The Volunteer Learning Program (VLP) trains tutors, assesses learners, and provides materials with follow-up support. VLP is a joint community project of the Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Community Education, Fairfax County's Juvenile Court, and the Fairfax County Public Library. Call 703-246-2139 or e-mail VLP@fcps.edu.

The Aspect Foundation is looking for host families in the west Fairfax County and Loudoun County areas for the coming school year. Host families offer room, board, and friendship and show the visiting students around. Students from South America and Asia are still available for placement. Call Kathleen or Robert Rawls at 703-433-0362.

Fairfax County's Meals on Wheels program is looking for volunteers. Meals on Wheels needs drivers to deliver meals to house-bound elderly in areas including Herndon and Reston. Both regular and substitute drivers are being sought. Drivers can volunteer on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Meals are picked up from a designated site in the community between 10:30-11 a.m. It takes about two hours to complete a delivery route.

To volunteer, call the Meals on Wheels Volunteer Intake Hotline at 703-324-5406, TTY 703-449-1186, or send an e-mail to beverly.mullis@fairfaxcounty.gov. For reasonable ADA accommodations, contact Pam Graff at 703-324-5410, TTY 703-449-1186. Additional information and volunteer job descriptions can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/service/aaa.

The Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry (NOVAM) is looking for adults interested in mentoring a child through the agency's PALS Mentoring Program. Volunteers make a one-year commitment to a child and visit with their "Pal" twice a month. PALS mentors are needed throughout Northern Virginia for minority children ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old. Training and ongoing support is provided by NOVAM, and an agency funded background check is required. Contact Briana Jordan at 703-746-0440, Ext. 15.

World Heritage is a nonprofit organization seeking families, couples or single parents who are interested in hosting a high-school-aged foreign-exchange student. Call Judith, a World Heritage Representative, at 1-800-888-9040 or visit their Web site at www.world-heritage.org.

Odyssey Healthcare, a hospice provider, is seeking volunteers in the Northern Virginia community to visit and/or assist terminally ill patients and their families for one to two hours per week. Training will be provided. Call Karen Baroody at 703-821-9200 or e-mail kabaroody@odsyhealth.com.