The Alexandria Community Services Board is urgently seeking volunteers to serve as legally appointed guardians for geriatric adults with mental illness. Service would start in late January 2007 or after. Ideal guardians will be compassionate persons who are able to make difficult decisions. Guardians make decisions about personal care, health care and living arrangements. Guardians meet periodically with the client and his/her social worker or service provider. The provider will give guardians pertinent information relevant to decision making.

Some of the clients in need of guardians may eventually be placed in nursing homes outside of Alexandria in locations such as Manassas, Warrenton, Fredericksburg or possibly Richmond. The guardian would then need to maintain correspondence with service providers in the location and visit as needed, approximately one or two times per year.

Guardians are bonded and court-appointed in Alexandria and will receive a copy of the Virginia Handbook for Guardians: A Practical Handbook.  A tuberculosis test and training is required. The duties require approximately two hours per month. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, contact Jennifer Cohen Cordero at  jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov or 703-838-4455, x165.

Alexandria Department of Human Services 2006 Holiday Sharing Program seeks volunteers to sponsor families, seniors, disabled persons, teens or a foster child with holiday gifts. Also provide new luggage for a foster child. Contact Suzanne Kratzok early in December, 703-519-3318, ext. 206, or Suzanne.kratzok@alexandriava.gov.

Alexandria Domestic Violence Program Children’s Holiday Party seeks unwrapped donated gifts for children and $25 gift certificates for mothers for holiday party on Dec. 14. Donations accepted at the Office on Women, 421 King St., Suite 400, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Deadline is Monday Dec. 11 by 5 p.m. Contact Shirley or Betsy at 703-838-4911 or betsy.greene@alexandriava.gov or shirley.avery-page@alexandriava.gov.

The Alexandria Fire Department, Emergency Management Division, partnered with the Be Safe Coalition need a limited number of adult and youth volunteers to sell hot chocolate at a fundraising event on New Year’s Eve at the Embassy Suites and Jefferson Houston School to raise money for fire and life safety education. The volunteers will work a two hour shift 6-8 p.m.; 8-10 p.m.; or 10 p.m.-midnight at one of the locations. Volunteers receive free passes to the First Night Alexandria events. Contact Patsieann Misiti at 703-706-3940 ext. 222.

Volunteers are needed to help teach students ages 6-12 etiquette and manners. Students are taught all around Northern Virginia including Alexandria, at recreation centers and middle schools. All interested should contact Ms. Black at EB2204@verizon.net.

Volunteers needed for ALIVE!’s Food Sorting and Distribution Day for Saturday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 300 Wythe Street, Alexandria. Contact Suzanne Lamb, 703-683-4634. ALIVE sorts and distributes food monthly on the fourth Saturday of each month.

Community Partners for Children Toy Sorting/Distribution Day at T.C. Williams High School cafeteria, Saturday, Dec. 16, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 19, time to be determined. Contact Pat Miller at pmiller1806@comcast.net for more.

Northern Virginia Training Center seeks volunteers for holiday gift wrapping, holiday party sponsors (civic or corporate groups), Christmas caroling, sponsors to provide gifts for residential units and individuals to play Santa at holiday parties. Contact Maureen Gregg or Ashley Breymaier at 703-323-4078, 703-323-4079, e-mail Maureen.gregg@nvtc.dmhmrsas.virginia.gov or Ashley.breymaier@dmhmrsas.virigina.gov.

NOVAM is in search of gift wrappers who will remain cool under fire and not be intimidated by holiday shoppers at Ballston Mall in Arlington throughout the holiday season. This is a great opportunity for small groups, families, and individuals who are looking for a fun and festive way to support their community (and perfect their gift wrapping skills!) Begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and continues every weekend in December, along with the full week prior to Christmas. Each shift is for 3.5 hours. Contact Regan Davis, 703-533-5505 x13, rdavis@novam.org for specific dates/times and availability.

NOVAM is seeking individuals, families, or groups to "adopt" a family or child who is affected/infected by HIV/AIDS for the holidays. Volunteer donors are given the children's wish lists and asked to buy 4-5 gifts for each child. Gifts are to be wrapped and delivered to NOVAM's office in Falls Church by Saturday, Dec. 16. Contact Jane Beddoe, 703-533-5505 x15, or e-mail jbeddoe@novam.org.

Salvation Army, 107 East Bellefonte, Alexandria. Volunteers are needed to distribute packed food at the Toy Shop on Dec. 1. Contact Betty or Francis, 703-548-0579 Volunteers also needed to staff Kettle locations, ringing bells to collect donations. Contact Glinda Wallace, 703-836-2427.

The Holiday Project coordinates visits to local nursing homes and hospitals on major holidays bringing cards, small gifts and fresh faces. Team leaders are needed to lead these visits (30-minute training provided) and volunteer teams needed to conduct the visit. See www.holidayproject.org for more information.

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia needs volunteers to help with gift wrapping event through December at local Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores. Great family volunteer opportunity. Contact Frances Seay or Patricia Donnelly at 703-237-0866 or volunteers@lcnv.org.

United Community Ministries needs volunteers to help sort and distribute toys, at 7511 Fordsen Road, Alexandria on Dec. 11-16 from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Dec. 18-20, call for times. Contact in advance, Betsy Damitc, 703-768-7106 ext. 328.

Alexandria Department of Human Services 2006 Holiday Sharing Program seeks volunteers to sort and distribute gifts on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 13 and 14, in shifts from 8:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Alexandria DHS, 2 Herbert St., Alexandria, or as delivery drivers on Dec. 15. Contact Suzanne Kratzok early in December, 703-519-3318, ext. 206, or Suzanne.kratzok@alexandriava.gov to help.

Illuminaries Project in Del Ray needs volunteers to help fill and place luminaria on Dec. 2 at 4 p.m., Oxford and Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, to put sand in paper bags with a candle, set them out up and down Mt. Vernon Avenue (for about 14 blocks). The candles are lit at 5:30 p.m. and stay lit throughout the evening. We need 12-15 volunteers to help with this. It does require walking to distribute the bags of sand/candles and should take two hours. Contact Pat Miller, pmiller1806@comcast.net for more.

Alexandria Library seeks enthusiastic, mature volunteers with experience in Microsoft Word and WordPerfect to assist patrons using our word processors. Help needed all library hours--days, nights, weekends at the Beatley Central, 5005 Duke St. Call 703-519-5900x206 or e-mail lderoche@alexandria.lib.va.us.

Join Volunteers for Change, a unique volunteer program for adults, featuring a flexible calendar of fun weekend and weekday evening projects to fit a busy schedule. The only commitment needed is a one-time orientation at Volunteer Fairfax’s office in central Fairfax. Volunteers can choose from projects including planting trees, bagging food for homeless families, tutoring adult ESL students, playing bingo with the disabled, special community wide events throughout the year, and more. Contact Ann Doyle to register for the next orientation at 703-246-3460 ext. 2,2 or e-mail to adoyle@volunteerfairfax.org. Visit www.volunteerfairfax.org for more information.

Volunteer Fairfax’s annual program for children, A Celebration of Giving and Sharing, is now recruiting volunteers to help teach students the concepts of giving, receiving, sharing and kindness. Each December, volunteers fill backpacks with books and toys, deliver them to deserving elementary students in Fairfax County, and then visit classrooms to talk to the children about the importance of volunteer service. Every class is encouraged to undertake a group project to share their joy. Last year, classes made cards for sick kids in the hospital and placemats for a nearby senior center. Volunteers are needed for an assortment of days and activities. For more information and to get involved, contact Emily Gibbs at egibbs@volunteerfairfax.org  or 703-246-3460 ext. 8,3 or visit www.volunteerfairfax.org and click on ÒCGS RegistrationÓ in the dark blue column on the left side of the home page.

Doorways for Women and Families offers a free support group for survivors of domestic violence. The group meets every Tuesday in a confidential locationi n Arlington. Please call 703-237-0881 for more information. Free childcare is provided.

Doorways for Women and Families is seeking volunteers for its Safehouse domestic violence shelter program. Volunteers are needed for weekend and evening shifts and to answer our 24/7 hotline. Some weekday opportunities are also available. Training begins August-September. Call 703-522-8858 x13 or e-mail volunteer@doorwaysVA.org. For more information visit www.doorwaysva.org/volunteer.

The Alexandria office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage will once again collect coats and winter items for families in need through Dec. 15. The drive, which brought in 87 coats last year, will provide much needed winter items for the families of students attending Hybla Valley and Bucknell Elementary Schools. Items being collected for the drive also include hats, boots, mittens, rain coats and warm scarves. Coats or other winter apparel should be dry cleaned and ready for wear. All sizes and styles will be accepted and the coats can be dropped off at the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Alexandria Washington Street office at 607 S. Washington St., Alexandria. Donations are tax deductible and arrangements can be made to pick up winter items by calling 703-855-1383.

The Alexandria Office on Women is recruiting new volunteers for its winter training with the Speakers Bureau. The Office on Women's Speakers' Bureau is a group of volunteers who present an education program on domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and teen pregnancy prevention to Alexandria youth. The Speakers Bureau presents to 5th-, 7th- and 9th-graders throughout the school year. The expected volunteer commitment is four to six hours per month and volunteers must have the flexibility to present during the school day. The 10-hour required training will be held on Monday, Jan. 29 from 6:30-10 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Training in the classroom will be scheduled after volunteers attend the two training dates. Contact Jen Harris at 703-838-5030 or send an e-mail to jennifer.harris@alexandriava.gov.

Doorways for Women and Families invites you to attend a monthly volunteer orientation meeting the first Tuesday of every month to learn more about volunteer opportunities with our family shelter, domestic violence Safehouse and other community programs. Visit www.doorwaysva.org/volunteer or e-mail volunteer@doorwaysva.org for more information.