The annual Road to Independence gala raises awareness of the work Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) does and generates funds for programs that benefit individuals and families throughout Northern Virginia. The 2006 Gala will be held on Friday, May 5, at the Hilton McLean Tyson’s Corner and will include silent and live auctions, client testimonials and live entertainment for guests. Approximately 20 volunteers are needed that evening to assist with registration, live and silent auction logistics, set-up, help desk, distribution of auction items and check-out. We are looking for volunteers who are responsible, energetic, friendly and have good communication skills. Volunteers will be expected to attend an information meeting on Thursday, April 20, from 7-8 p.m. at the NVFS office in Oakton, as well as an orientation session immediately preceding the event. Interested volunteers may call Teresa Preville, Volunteer Coordinator, at 703-219-2193 or e-mail tpreville@nvfs.org.

Kidsave aims to increase the awareness of the plight of orphaned children and give children the chance to meet families who can change their lives. Over the past six years, more than 90 percent of the children have been adopted by families they met while in the U.S. for their summer camp experience. Visit www.kidsave.org, contact the Kidsave Volunteer Coordinator, Alla Kamins with questions at 571-243-1897 or e-mail her at alla@global.t-bird.edu.

Angels of Mercy Program is asking scout, school and church groups to collect new or used CDs and DVDs for its program supporting wounded military at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at hospitals in Iraq. Call Marian at 703-938-8930 or visit www.McLeanPost270.org/oifoef.

Share, Inc., an all-volunteer McLean-based non-profit that provides help to needy individuals and families, needs volunteers to prepare schedules for furniture pick-ups and deliveries. Schedulers work one week at a time in rotation; work is done at home using telephone and computer. A scheduler must be proficient with e-mail and MSWord, attentive to details, and willing to work several hours during the week in which he or she is on duty. E-mail iauerbach@cox.net.

The Junior League of Northern Virginia is accepting new members for the 2005-2006 League year. They are looking for women to make an impact in the community. E-mail mit@jlnv.org or call 703-442-4163 or visit www.jlnv.org. Membership applications and dues must be received by Dec. 15 in order to join the Winter class. The Junior League of Northern VA is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Odyssey HealthCare, 8381 Old Courthouse Road, Sider, 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. Call Ellen Klene at 703-533-3302 Ext. 107 or e-mail eklene@cmhs.org.

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 call the Fairfax CASA’s Recruitment & Training Manager at 703-273-3526 or staff@casafairfax.org.