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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 Marguerite Rogers at 703-917-6407.

The Alexandria Office on Women is recruiting volunteers for its winter training programs.

* Volunteers are needed for the Domestic Violence (DV) program. The DV program requires 30 hours of training and it will host its next training in January. Contact Betsy Greene at 703-838-4911 or fill out a volunteer application.

* Volunteers are needed for the Sexual Assault Response and Awareness (SARA) program. The next SARA training program begins in late February and runs through the end of March, meeting on Tuesday and Thursday evenings

from 7-10 p.m. and on two Saturday mornings. For more information or to register for the SARA training, contact Erika Callaway-Kleiner at 703-838-5030 or fill out a volunteer application.

* Volunteers are also being recruited for the Speakers Bureau. The Speakers Bureau trains volunteers to present the "Expect Respect" program in the Alexandria schools on an ongoing basis. The program focuses on awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence issues. The 10-hour training will be held in February and requires registration. For more information or to register, contact Jen Harris at 703-838-5030 or fill out a volunteer application.

Volunteers are needed to help monitor the Christ House hypothermia shelter for the homeless. The schedule is flexible with shifts assigned for evening, all night, or early morning at the shelter at 131 S. West St. in Alexandria. Volunteer orientation and training will be provided. Call Laila Ali, volunteer coordinator, at 703-548-7500, Ext. 205, at Carpenter’s Shelter. Christ House is Catholic Charities' assistance center, which also includes a soup kitchen and food pantry.

Alexandria Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program is seeking volunteers to speak up for abused and neglected children in court. Volunteers conduct interviews with children, families, and professionals, monitor compliance with court orders, write detailed reports and represent the best interests of the child in court. Volunteers must complete training and background checks. Volunteers commit to one year with the program. Bilingual volunteers, Spanish/English, are greatly needed. Training begins soon. Call 703-836-1820 or visit www.scanva.org.

American Horticultural Society has year-round opportunities for volunteers. Help maintain the garden, staff the Garden Shop, work with the seed program, data entry for memberships, housekeeping duties and handy man jobs. Urgent need — help planting 20,000 bulbs. Call Gwynn Schneider at 703-768-5700, Ext. 124 or e-mail Gwynn at gschneider@ahs.org.

The Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a community food and outerwear drive to replenish the food bank of UCM Community Solutions and help provide cold weather gear for local children. Items that are needed include coats, hats, scarves and mittens for children. Food for holiday meals, which could be stuffing mix, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pie crust mix, desert mixes. The food bank is always in need of canned fruit and vegetables, evaporated milk, food mixes, paper products, infant formula, and diapers.

The drive will run through Dec. 15 and items may be dropped off at these locations: Village Hardware; Office Depot; Holly Woods & Vines; ParcelPlus at Belle View; Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust, Cooper Road Branch; Power Video; Turner, Trichel & Associates Travel; Virginia Commerce Bank; Wicks Sports Lettering; Regent Company, LLC; Safeway at Hollin Hall; Liberty Tax Service; Woodlawn Stables; Knights of Columbus; Rent-All Center; Step N Out: Z-Coil Shoes; Erica’s Beauty Salon; and Paul Spring Retirement Community

The Kingsbury Tutoring Office of Northern Virginia is starting a graduate-level tutor training course in January 2005. The course will train adults to wok with children and adults with learning disabilities. Tutors who complete the course may become paid tutors. For more information, call Bev Weaver at 703-915-6930 or e-mail bweaver@kingsbury.org.

United Community Ministry needs donations for the food pantry. Current urgent needs include baby food, canned vegetables, pasta and pasta sauce, cereal, canned tuna, rice, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodle packages, juice boxes, fruit and pudding cups, individual applesauces, individual cereal boxes, individual crackers and chips, Enfamil with iron for infants and diapers in larger sizes. 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. Contact Cecelia Vergaretti at 703-768-7106 or by email at volunteer@ucmagency.org for more information.

Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services needs volunteers to work at the front desk and present basic money-management classes. For front desk volunteers, there is a time requirement of three hours during the day every week or every other week. For more information, call Gloria Curry at 703-768-9404 or e-mail curry@goodhousing.org. The money management sessions are provided one-on-one to clients in Good Shepherd offices and require one two-hour training session. For more information, call Kay Haskins at 703-768-9404 or e-mail khaskins@goodhousing.org.

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia needs volunteers to help in its first ReStore on Route 1. Volunteers are needed Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers will pick up and receive donations, answer phones, stock shelves, greet customers, and cashier. For more information, call Steve Greene at 703-521-9890 ext. 101.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center at Mount Vernon Community School is looking for people to share their time and talents with students in an after-school enrichment program, starting in October. People are needed to play board games, card games, teach crafts, assist with homework or do one-on-one reading for students grades one through five. Volunteer hours will be from 4-5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Volunteers may sign on for as many hours or days as they choose. Contact Michele Brandon, program director at 703-549-0111.

Advocate for Children. Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates is recruiting community-minded citizens to volunteer as advocates for children whose families have been cited for abuse and neglect by the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. All volunteers undergo training. No experience in child welfare is required. Call 703-273-3526 or visit www.casafairfax.org.

Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles and Drivers. Inova VNA Home Health needs volunteer snow drivers to take nurses to visit homebound patients throughout Northern Virginia during snow emergencies. Call 703-916-2885.

Alexandria Red Cross relies on volunteers to sustain its humanitarian mission for disaster relief efforts, to teach first aid and CPR, for the Friendly Visitor Program and other community service work, special events, administrative support, to work with the Junior Red Cross and for blood donation services for the citizens of Alexandria. Training is provided. Call 703-549-8300 or see the Web site at http://www.alexandriaredcross.org.

Alexandria-based Coats for Kids is trying to provide a coat to every child in need in the city this winter — a goal that will require about $65,000 in funding. To contribute or for more information, call 703-567-2628 or e-mail Paul Darby at coats-for-kids@comcast.net.

Be Ready, Alexandria, a year-long disaster preparedness campaign, needs volunteers to distribute information citywide. For more information, call 703-836-2176 or e-mail Disaster@AlexandriaVolunteers.com.

Domestic Violence Program. Seeks volunteers for weekend/holiday shelter volunteers, daytime shelter, children's group, court watch volunteers, as well as many other opportunities. For more information, visit www.AlexandriaVolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

Donations Needed. New Hope Housing needs donations to continue their work in Alexandria. Requested donations include blankets, sheets, pillows, wash cloths, towels, diapers, baby wipes, new adult and children's underwear and socks, children's games, videos and laundry soap. New Hope Housing is located at 8407-E Richmond Highway, Alexandria.

Emergency Preparedness. The City of Alexandria seeks volunteers for its Emergency Preparedness program. Medically-trained volunteers are needed to provide medications and vaccines. Nonmedical volunteers are also needed for a variety of roles. For more information, visit www.AlexandriaVolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

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.

Gifts in Kind International. Seeks volunteers for telephone, sales, date entry, writing and marketing skills. Gifts in Kind promotes product philanthropy. For more information, visit www.AlexandriaVolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Puppy Raising program. asks volunteers to commit to raising a puppy from seven weeks of age until 14-16 months. During this time, they begin preparing the dogs for their future as a guide dog by following a well-defined program designed to support and realize their potential. Guiding Eyes provides all necessary training and support for the volunteers and covers the cost of vaccines and routine medical care for the puppy.

Volunteer applications and further information on these and other volunteer opportunities can be found on the Guiding Eyes Breeding Center Web site at www.guidingeyesbcweb.org or by calling 1-866-GEB-LABS.

Little Theatre of Alexandria. Seeks volunteers to help with mailings, box office and other clerical duties. For more information, visit www.AlexandriaVolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

Neighborhood Health Services. Volunteers are needed to baby-sit small children of Hispanic women while mothers attend exercise of nutrition classes. Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9-10:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.AlexandriaVolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

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.

Reading Buddies Needed. Tutors, mentors and Reach Out and Read volunteers are needed to work with children 6 months to 10 years of age. Day, evening and weekend opportunities are available. For more information and upcoming orientation dates, call 703-549-0777 ext. 142 or visit www.campagnacenter.org.

Sacramento Neighborhood Center is seeking volunteers to share their skills. The center's services include computer classes, support for Latino parents and a children's reading program. For more information, visit the center at 8792E Sacramento Drive, Alexandria, or call 703-619-2964.

Supply Our Students, a volunteer group that collects new school supplies and new and gently used backpacks for distribution to area kids in need, is seeking volunteers. Volunteers are needed to deliver supplies and set up collection boxes. For more information or to volunteer, call 703-993-8887 or e-mail Lori Petterson at supplyyourstudents@hotmail.com.

The Alex Award Program Committee is in search of volunteers to help the Alexandria Commission for the Arts re-implement the Alex Awards, honoring contributions made by Alexandrians to the city's cultural life. Individuals with experience in arts education or business, or who are civic leaders, arts patrons or artists, are encouraged to apply. Individuals who are interested in serving as a committee member should send a letter of interest and vita to the Alex Award Program Committee, Alexandria Commission for the Arts, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314. For more information, call 703-838-6348.

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 Alexandria Commission for the Arts is seeking volunteers with expertise in dance, literature, music, theater and visual arts to serve on resource panels to help the commission review grant applications. The commission also needs volunteers to serve on the arts education, marketing and business and the arts committees to develop work plans to help advance the commission's goals. For more information, call 703-838-6348.

The Alexandria Office on Women is recruiting volunteers for 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. 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.

The Alexandria Volunteer Bureau compiles lists agencies that are requesting volunteers with specific skills and work experience. To find out about these opportunities or to list a volunteer opportunity with the group, e-mail Volunteer@Alexandriavolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

The Fresh Air Fund is seeking host families in Northern Virginia to provide suburban, small-town or rural vacations for New York City children. For more information, call Cynthia Kronlage at 703-426-1616.

The Literary Council. Volunteers are needed to work one-on-one tutoring adults. Other opportunities are also available including becoming a computer lab aide, English as a Second Language teacher, tutor or class aide. For more information, visit www.AlexandriaVolunteers.com or call 703-836-2176.

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.

VEFC Volunteers. Volunteer Emergency Families For Children needs volunteers willing to open their homes and provide short term emergency shelter to local children who are victims of abuse or neglect. Volunteers can choose the age, gender, and length of stay for each placement. For additional information, call 1-800-756-6167 or visit www.vefc.org.

Volunteers 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. For more information about volunteer opportunities this fall, call 703-246-2139 or e-mail VLP@fcps.edu.

Volunteers Needed. The Carpenter's Shelter seeks weekend volunteers to take children on weekend fieldtrips, and babysitters for Saturday mornings. If you are interested, call Laila Ali at 703-548-7500 ext. 205 or email lailaali@carpentersshelter.org.