Volunteer Notes

December 29, 2006

Advocates needed for at-risk children

Voices for Children, a nonprofit organization, is seeking volunteers to be court-appointed advocates and mentors to abused, neglected and at-risk children in Howard County.

Voices for Children is part of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association that provides advocates for children involved with the juvenile court system.

Volunteers must be at least 21, complete a 30-hour training program and undergo a background check. They will work with children, their families, agency professionals and the courts to ensure that the children are safe and receive appropriate services.

The next nine-week training is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, starting Jan. 16.

Information or for an application: 410-740-0933, or Voices for Children, 5550 Sterrett Place, Suite 215, Columbia.

Coordinators sought by Americorps

Americorps, a domestic Peace Corps, is seeking volunteer Maryland coordinators to organize volunteers to meet a critical local need, such as providing services for people with disabilities, restoring the environment or mentoring youth.

The one-year commitment, which begins Sept. 6, includes training, a $13,000 living allowance, health care, and a post-service education award of $4,725.

Full- and part-time opportunities are available.

Candidates must demonstrate excellence in verbal and written communication, computer skills, problem-solving and conflict resolution, leadership and public speaking, and be committed to national and community service.

Applicants must also have access to reliable transportation. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Information: 410-767-6203, or www.volunteermaryland.org.

FIRN seeking English tutors

FIRN, a nonprofit organization serving the foreign-born in Howard County, is seeking volunteer tutors for its English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

In Club LEAP (Learning English After School Program), volunteer tutors plan and conduct English-enrichment activities for elementary and middle school children. Programs are held twice weekly after school at Howard County schools.

In the Adult English Tutoring Academy, volunteers are matched one-on-one with adult English learners. Classes meet weekly, on Tuesday evenings or Saturday afternoons.

Teaching experience is not required. Training is provided.

Information: Mary Barton, 410-992-1923, Ext. 14. Or e-mail, volunteer@firnonline.org.

Clearinghouse offers 2006 giving guide

The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, a clearinghouse for local volunteer opportunities, is offering its Holiday Guide to Giving 2006, a listing of more than 50 local nonprofit agencies seeking donations and volunteers for the holidays. Opportunities are listed for individuals, groups, families and businesses.

The guide features agencies that can identify families in need of holiday food donations, as well as volunteer projects that range from sing-alongs to assisting at holiday parties.

Information: www.volunteer howard.org/PDFs/GiftGuide06 complete.pdf. One-time volunteer opportunities are listed in the center's November/December OTV (One-Time Volunteer) Guide: www.volunteer howard.org/PDFs/NovDec colorotv06B.pdf. A guide for teen-agers is also available. Organizations registered with the volunteer center can submit listings.

Information: 410-715-3127, or www.volunteerhoward.org.

The volunteer center, in cooperation with CERN (Community Emergency Response Network) is recruiting and referring volunteers to local nonprofit and government agencies seeking help with disaster preparedness and recovery.

Information: 410-715-3172.

Day-program help sought by the Arc

The Arc of Howard County is seeking volunteers to help with its day program for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Those interested in helping with music, exercise, crafts, pet visits, storytelling and reading are invited to apply. Volunteers can propose other therapeutic activities. Scheduling is flexible.

Information: Linda Congedo, 410-730-0638, Ext. 226.

Mayer center has a knitting group

The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center is sponsoring a knitting and crocheting group that meets from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Members will donate knitted or crocheted items to the center, to Project Linus (which distributes blankets to children in hospitals or shelters), or to the neonatal intensive care unit at Howard County General Hospital.

Assistance and instruction in knitting and crocheting will be available to those who need it. Volunteers are asked to bring two No. 8 knitting needles or a "g" or "h" crochet hook.

The center is at 5900 Cedar Lane, Columbia.

Information: 410-740-5858.

Help clean up along riverbanks

The Friends of the Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway Inc., Howard County Tourism Office, Ellicott City Restoration Foundation and students from Howard Community College have formed the Tiber Hudson Stream Clean Up Team.

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