Garden Focus

Hillwood Museum and Gardens, adjacent to Rock Creek Park in Northwest, will reopen next year. The estate features French and Russian decorative arts, landscaped gardens and architectural specimens. Volunteers should have an interest in horticulture and garden design. While teaching or docent experience is preferred, volunteers attend orientation and continuing education classes. For more information, visit: Call Angie Dodson, 202-686-8505, ext. 8618

The Audubon Naturalist Society seeks donated books about nature, travel, plants and animals, field guides and children's books. The book sale will be held Dec. 3-5 during the 30th Annual Audubon Holiday Fair. Drop off donations at Woodend, 8940 Jones Mill Rd., Chevy Chase, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. Call 301-652-9188.

Hot Line Recruitment

Crisislink is the new name for Northern Virginia Hotline based in Arlington. Volunteers are invited to register for the 40-hour training course to be held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. starting Nov. 8. Trained volunteers work three-hour shifts at times suited to their personal schedules. Call 703-527-6603.

Help the Blind

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind assists local employers find skilled workers who have vision impairments. They invite companies and organizations in the Washington area to offer employment and internship opportunities to blind people through the Lighthouse. Job seekers with visual impairments are welcome to send their resumes for assistance with job placement. For information, call 202-462-2900, ext. 3009.

Twenty-five years ago, physician Margaret R. Pfanstiehl founded Metropolitan Washington Ear in Silver Spring to provide free audio services for visually impaired area residents. Volunteers read newspapers, magazines and books or describe stage productions and televisions programs. People with low vision then receive the recorded information without charge on closed circuit radios or by telephone. On Nov. 6 at the Bethesda Naval Officers Club in the National Naval Medical Center, Washington Ear will hold a dinner to honor its volunteers. For more information, call 301-593-0120.

Family Matters

Hospice of Northern Virginia and the Washington House offer a free seminar for people facing difficult medical choices. "Hard Choices for Loving People: Making Difficult End-of-Life Decisions" will be held at 5100 Fillmore Ave. in Alexandria, Wednesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Discussion will focus on the spiritual and emotional aspects of the decision-making process when family members are terminally ill. Call 703-538-0826 or 703-845-5100.

Dads Advising Dads, a program of the Mental Health Association in Rockville, matches young fathers, age 14 to 26, with adult men who are experienced at parenting. The older fathers act as volunteer role models, sharing their knowledge and skill. Volunteers receive training and ongoing support. A volunteer is also needed to assist with transportation for program participants. Call Phillip Cox, 301-424-0656, ext. 114.

"Getting Along With Your Adult Children" is the topic of a free program at Long Branch Senior Center Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon. Discussion features communication and coping skills. Call 301-431-5708.

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill's Family to Family Education Program provides assistance for families who have relatives with mental illness. The free 12-week courses are offered at various area locations from 7 to 9:30 p.m. weekdays. Call Dorie Arbach, 301-808-5779, or Clarenda Drake, 301-499-2196.

Requests for Donations

Artists and artisans are asked to donate crafts to the Washington Ethical Society's 10th Annual Helping Hands Craft Sale, which benefits the homeless. Mail or deliver by Nov. 20 to Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20012. Tax receipt provided. Call 202-882-6650, ext. 14.

Head Start needs new toys and grocery store gift certificates to give to preschool children and their families during the upcoming holiday season. Donations will be received at Head Start, 4910 Macon Rd., Rockville, on Nov. 16-18 and Dec. 14-16. Call Phyllis Parks Robinson, 301-230-0676.

Serve Lunch

Rachael's Women's Center, 1222 11th St. NW, a daytime shelter for homeless women, needs volunteers to serve lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Volunteers help serve and clean up. Call Jane, 202-682-1005, ext. 14.


The Seniors' Interfaith Resource Center in Wheaton urgently needs volunteers to provide escorted transportation for frail elderly neighbors in Bethesda, Kensington, Chevy Chase and other areas of Montgomery County. Training is provided and volunteers work as their schedule permits. Call 301-962-0820.