Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

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

Keep Loudoun Beautiful is looking for a few area leaders for the April roadside clean up of Loudoun County. Call 703-771-4231 or attend an informational meeting Sunday, March 12, from 2-4 p.m., at Leesburg Presbyterian Church, 207 W. Market St.

La Voz of Loudoun in collaboration with the Loudoun Community Services Board (LCCSB) After School Program and the Fields of Leesburg Management Company has developed an English-language program for its residents in need. This program provides an opportunity for volunteers from the Loudoun community to help Leesburg parents learn English by providing child care during classes, serve as substitute teachers or donating food and raffle items. Wednesdays, through March 22, 6:30-9 p.m., class starts at 7 p.m., at 75-M Plaza St., Apartment 104, Leesburg. Call 703-443-2502 or visit www.lavozloudoun.org.

The ChildrenÕs Friendship Project for Northern Ireland (CFPNI) is seeking local families to host a Protestant and Catholic youth, ages 15 to 18, in their home for four weeks this summer. To be eligible, families must provide a safe, neutral setting for the teens to get to know one another, a single bedroom for them to share and day-long supervision.

The teens participate in various activities designed to build trust, encourage cooperation and break down barriers. The majority of their time is spent getting to know each other and joining a family in its normal routine.

CFPNI is a nonpolitical, nondenominational and all-volunteer peace program aimed at building trust, understanding and friendship among the next generation of leaders in Northern Ireland.

Applications to host must be submitted by April 8. To obtain a host family application or to learn about the group's fund raising event March 11, contact Tamera Drozd at 703-255-1628 or Melinda Grochowski at 703-478-6291 or e-mail at nvacoordinator@cfpni.org. Or visit the Web site at www.cfpni.org.

The Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is seeking volunteers to assist them with the Virginia Volunteer Income Tax (VITA) program for the 2005 filing year. VITA is a national program that is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service to aid seniors in filing their taxes.

The AAA will provide the tax training for free. An exam that is given by the IRS via computer will have to be passed before the volunteer to become a certified preparer. The VITA program will begin in February 2006 and run through the first week of April. In addition to tax preparers, there are many other positions that need to be filled including tax preparers, appointment schedulers, technology assistants, site coordinators and administrative assistants.

Seniors who volunteer may receive volunteer hours through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and reimbursement for travel. AAA is also recruiting persons who can speak Spanish as tax preparers, appointment schedulers, administrative assistants and interpreters.

Call Lynette Jacob, VITA volunteer coordinator, Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging 703-777-0257.

The next tutor training for the Loudoun Literacy Council is April 22. Tutors help students in the council's adult basic literacy education program, which helps adults improve their writing and reading skills; English as a Second Language tutoring program; and citizenship and GED testing preparation program. Call 703-777-2205.

The Western Loudoun Tour Committee is seeking planning and event volunteers for this year's Artist Studio Tour June 24-25. Contact Jeff Stern, 540-338-7973, or visit www.franklinparkartscenter.org.

Loudoun Volunteer Financial Council is a free, confidential 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization seeking volunteers to assist with financial education. Free classes are offered to train anyone who may be interested. Contact Leslie Estrella at Loudoun Extension Office at 703-771-5419.

Local families are needed to host 4-H international exchange delegates. Delegates range in age from 12 to 18, and come to Virginia for one month in the summer or for extended stays of one school year starting in August. There are also adult Japanese chaperones who need host families for two week periods this summer. Other delegates come from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Greece. The exchange program is sponsored by 4-H.

The Japanese summer 4-H exchange program is open to families with children 12 to 14 years old. The High School Student exchange programs will accept families without children. Volunteers don't have to already be involved with 4-H to host; just need a willingness to share your home and your world. There is no need to know a foreign language. The delegates have all studied English and are anxious to use it.

Host family applications and brochures about the program are available by contacting the local 4-H Agent, 30 B Catocin Circle, S.E., Leesburg, or by phone 703-777-0373.

Northern Virginia Family Service needs caring people from Loudoun County to provide foster and respite homes to local neglected and abused children with special needs.

NVFSÕ Special Foster Care and Therapeutic Respite Care program currently serves 47 children with special needs.

While NVFS is proud of its work to provide temporary families for these children, the number of children who need homes is greater than the number of foster families available. The need for foster homes is especially growing in Loudoun County.

NVFS needs ethnically diverse people, young and older, married or single, blue or white collar who are willing to provide homes to children with special needs.

The typical stay for a foster child is 18 months. Children in respite care stay with their caregivers for shorter durations. The time commitment for respite parents is often only a weekend a month. Being a respite parent can be a way to see if becoming a full-time foster parent is for you.

For more information on foster care opportunities, call Ginny Snaider, at 703-219-2184 or go to www.nvfs.org.

Volunteers are needed for the home-delivered meals program at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling. Can be on a regular basis or on a substitute on-call basis. Call Erik at 703-430-2397, Ext. 123.

The Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, is looking for volunteers to care for the center's fish aquarium. Contact Margaret at 703-430-2397, Ext. 102.

The Loudoun Museum seeks a number of volunteers to assist guests as they visit the museum. Duties include greeting guests, providing basic tourist and heritage information, collecting admission fees and answering the telephone. Hours are flexible with both morning and afternoon shifts available. Training will be provided.

The Loudoun Museum is located at 16 Loudoun St., S.W. in Leesburg. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. E-mail bfriedmann@loudounmuseum.org or call 703-777-7427.

Operation Pinecone is a grassroots organization based in South Riding consisting of volunteers who compile gift and care packages for soldiers in Iraq, as well as wounded soldiers, families and loved ones at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The support group is growing but there is a need for support from the citizens. Some people in the group are also volunteering to do some sewing to alter garments to create "adaptive" clothing for wounded soldiers with this need. Anyone who would like to get involved either through volunteer work or through contributions, visit the Web site www.geocities.com/operation.pinecone, send an e-mail inquiry to operation.pinecone@yahoo.com or call Mary Hacker, 703-327-4919.

La Voz, conduit between the Hispanic/Latino and immigrant populations, government agencies and other groups in order to promote self-sufficiency, is in need of volunteers for a range of different activities such as grant writing, ESL instructors and child care for educational presentations. In addition, it is seeking a minimal amount of office space to initiate the Newcomer Welcome Center. La Voz is always in need of financial support. All donations are tax deductible. Contact La Voz of Loudoun at 703-777-1417.

Loudoun Volunteer Services (LVS) announces its volunteer-match Web site, a service of the Points of Light Foundation, corporately sponsored by Dominion Power. The Web site is aimed at both volunteers, who are seeking to find opportunities best suited for their particular interest or skill, and organizations seeking a way to publicly advertise their volunteer opportunities. To register for this free service, visit www.loudoun.gov/pio/volunteer.htm and click on "register your organization's volunteer opportunities," or to volunteer click on "looking for volunteer opportunities." Contact Lisa Rose at 703-777-0113.

The Loudoun County MADD Chapter is seeking additional court monitors for Loudoun Traffic court program in which trained volunteers observe and gather data on DUI court proceedings, including arraignments, pretrial hearing, trials and sentencing. The data collected focuses on three prongs: to evaluate the courts, to track the offenders and to plot trends in punishment and case outcomes. Training is provided. Volunteer one day a week or one morning or afternoon a week. Leave a voice mail message on 703-771-8127 or send an e-mail to maddloudoun@aol.com.

Loudoun Interfaith Relief Inc., is seeking volunteers that can pick up food from local grocery stores in the Leesburg and Ashburn areas. Drivers are needed every morning. Loudoun Interfaith Relief Inc. is a nonprofit food pantry that provides emergency food supplies to residents in need living in Loudoun County. Call 703-777-5911.

LINK, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, is seeking volunteers for its food-bank, assisting needy families in selecting five-day allotments of food items, to restock shelves and load food into family vehicles. Call Roberta at 703-450-4643.

Loudoun Families for Children, a nonprofit, volunteer organization providing temporary homes for children in crisis and a mentoring program for at-risk children, needs volunteers. Anyone interested in more information about the orientation program, call Kim Burk, 703-771-9505 or e-mail kburk@burkinc.com.

Prison FellowshipÕs National Office, located in Lansdowne, supports the work of thousands of churches in their hands-on ministry to prisoners and their families. Volunteer opportunities are primarily during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The fellowship is looking for people who have skills or interests in any of the following areas: office administration, marketing, hospitality, data entry, library administration, prayer support and Web research. There are also opportunities for high-school students during the summer months. Contact Dawn, volunteer services, 703-554-8440 or at volunteers@pfm.org.

TuesdayÕs Children, a national nonprofit organization that provides services to Sept. 11 families, is recruiting adults in the Loudoun to serve as positive role models for children ages 6 to 16 who lost a parent on Sept. 11, 2001. TuesdayÕs Children provides a wide range of services for Sept. 11 families including mentoring, advocacy for children, next-step life skills and leadership training for adults.

The Mentoring Program pairs these children with specially-trained adult role models who support each young personÕs emotional and developmental needs and help them build the confidence, skills and resources necessary to meet their potential. Mentoring candidates will be screened and trained by mentoring experts and then matched with a child in their area. Mentors must be 18 years of age and agree to a one-year commitment. Contact TuesdayÕs Children at 202-558-5120 or brooke@tuesdayschildren.org.

CrisisLink, the greater Washington region's only 24-hour, seven-days-a -week crisis, suicide and trauma prevention, intervention and response hotline, is seeking volunteers to take calls and respond directly to individuals in need. CrisisLinkÕs comprehensive training program provides volunteers with the necessary skills to give referrals and to help callers in crisis develop problem-solving strategies. Take the first step in preventing tragedies; training classes are forming. Hotline volunteers must attend 43 hours of intensive training in active listening and crisis intervention and are required to make an additional 150 hour Ñ one year Ñ commitment upon completion. Flexible hours are available upon close of training. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Visit www.crisislink.org or call 703-516-6770.

Inova Loudoun Hospital is looking for adults to volunteer within its Chaplaincy Services department. The mission is to visit patients and help them draw upon their own spiritual resources in order to cope with their experience of illness. Volunteers are expected to attend a 14-week training program and commit several hours per week for one year visiting patients. Classes begin in September and meet on Monday evenings. The training program, now in its third year, offers mature adults an opportunity to develop personal and professional skills necessary to offer effective pastoral care in the health care setting. The volunteers were recently recognized by Loudoun Volunteer Services and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors as the 2004 Outstanding Adult Volunteer Team. Contact Chaplain Tom Chirdo at 703-858-8034 or tchirdo@lh.org.

Good Shepherd Alliance Inc., an organization providing shelter to the homeless, is in need of lawyers with nonprofit experience and mentors for single men, women and families. The services of local electricians, painters, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, car mechanics and landscapers are needed to restore living spaces, vehicles and outdoor shelter areas. Software engineers and technicians are also needed to establish and maintain computer workstations at all shelter facilities. Physicians, dentists and counselors support residents living in crisis situations and many volunteers are needed to help at the Good Shepherd Alliance Thrift Store. To learn more about the Good Shepherd Alliance, contact executive director John Brothers at 703-433-2631 or visit www.loudounhomeless.org.

Loudoun County Community Corrections is looking for volunteers to serve as court assistants. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and pass a criminal background check. A commitment of one year at four hours a week requested. Duties include providing court coverage, performing financial interviews on indigent defendants, data entry, case compliance, case intakes and basic administrative duties. Training is provided but a knowledge of the court system is helpful. Contact Karen McQuaid, deputy director at 703-737-8519 or kmcquaid@loudoun.gov.

The Adult Foster Care Program enables people with mental disabilities to grow and become more independent through the interaction and routines of family life. To help meet the growing housing needs of people with mental disabilities, Loudoun County Mental Retardation Services is seeking to recruit new families to the program and increase the number of placements. Foster families receive a monthly stipend and are provided with ongoing training and in-home support. Contact the Loudoun County Community Services Board at 703-777-0377 or visit www.loudoun.gov/mhmr/afc/.

The Loudoun Arts Council is looking for volunteers for its annual ÒExcellence in the ArtsÓ program, an annual arts competition for high-school sophomores, juniors and seniors in public, private and home schools. Competition will be conducted in eight categories: visual, literary, dance, instrumental, piano, vocal, theater and film.

Volunteers are needed in the areas of sponsorship development, auditions, judging, event planning and administration. Call the Loudoun Arts Council at 703-777-7839.

The Loudoun Arts Council is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the visual, performing and literary arts in Loudoun County. For more information, contact the Council at 703-777-7838 or visit the Web site at http://www.loudounarts.org.

Loudoun County's Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is seeking volunteers to join its program. RSVP provides a wide range of opportunities for individuals, age 55 and over, to utilize their experience and skills in the community. To request an information packet and enrollment form, contact the RSVP office at 703-777-0505.

The ASPECT Foundation is looking for families to host a foreign exchange student for the upcoming school year. The students come from all over the world for the chance to experience life in the USA while attending high school. These students have their own health insurance and spending money. Host families provide the student with room and board. Call 703-433-0362.