<lst>Odyssey HealthCare, 8381 Old Courthouse Road, Ste. 100, a national hospice provider, is seeking volunteers, men and women who are dedicated to creating a safe haven for all who are affected by the end of life's journey. Hospice volunteers need no special skills and will receive specialized training in the care of and communication with the terminally ill and their families.

Volunteers are needed for about an hour each week, to provide companionship, such as reading, talking, writing letters for the patient, holding hands or watching television. Other tasks might be to run errands, perform light housework or prepare a simple meal. Volunteers can also do clerical work in our office or service on our Bereavement Team. Volunteers are not required to do any lifting and the visits are flexible according to your schedule. Call 703-821-9200.

Make a difference in a child’s life and become a mentor with CHAMPS. Mentors in this program are volunteers who 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 for more information.

Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is recruiting community-minded citizens from diverse backgrounds to volunteer as advocates for children whose families have been cited for abuse and neglect by the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The role of a CASA is to investigate a child’s situation and to advocate for what is in the best interest of the child in court. All CASA volunteers undergo training to prepare them for this role, and no prior experience in child welfare is required. Visit www.casafairfax.org or contact the Fairfax CASA’s Recruitment & Training Manager at 703-273-3526 or staff@casafairfax.org.

The Great Falls Optimist Club is a child-centered non-profit organization that focuses its activities on supporting, encouraging and challenging children to reach greater heights. A voluntary organization, the club is always interested in welcoming new members and volunteers. Among the many annual projects sponsored by the club are the Fall Festival and Fourth of July event in Great Falls. In addition, the club has raised funds for: providing local learning centers with mentoring support, money and equipment to address the needs of learning and emotionally challenged students; supporting local youth and sport groups through donations; providing local families with needed meals and gifts during the holidays; contributing to Special Olympics, Operation Smile, a floating dental charity performing plastic surgery for children of third world countries, and Habitat for Humanity; supporting the Analemma Society in its efforts to establish an astronomical education facility at Turner Farm Park; contributing to Turner Farm Park; honoring local police and emergency personnel; and much more.

If interested in joining the Great Falls Optimist Club or volunteering at specific events, contact T.R. Cook, president, at 703-938-5885 or cooksphotoart@aol.com, or Angela Bongiorno, membership co-chair, at 703-759-2925 or angela.bongiorno@verizon.net.

Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League (MAGDRL) is looking for good homes for orphan Great Danes. MAGDRL is a nine-state, all-volunteer organization that is funded solely by grants, donations and fund-raisers. They use those funds to restore sick Great Dane orphans to health and find adoptive home for rescued Great Danes from New York to North Carolina. In addition, their volunteers host educational events and provide support for current Great Dane owners by suggesting counseling and training that may help them keep their dogs. MAGDRL has Great Danes available for adoption that are already spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccines. Our orphans range in age from puppies to seniors. The adoption fee is $300 for orphans under 1 year and $275 for those over 1 year. Fencing is required, and MAGDRL will work with applicants to find a good fit for their lifestyle and their family. To offer a home for a Great Dane or to volunteer, visit www.magdrl.org or call 703-644-8009.