Looking for volunteer opportunities? The following groups in your area need volunteer help for a day, a week or on a regular basis. Nonprofit groups in need of volunteers should send notices to Volunteers, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. The list is published the first Thursday of the month.
Drivers for the Elderly
The American Red Cross, Montgomery County Chapter needs volunteers to drive Red Cross vehicles to transport elderly residents to and from medical appointments from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in Montgomery County. For more information, call 301-588-2515, Ext. 206. The Red Cross also needs volunteers to shop at a grocery store once a week or once every other week for a homebound resident, or to escort an elderly resident to the store. Volunteer schedules are flexible. For more information, call 301-588-2515, Ext. 202 or 205.
Christmas in April of Montgomery County, an organization that repairs the houses of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners, seeks volunteers year-round to help with house repairs, site visits, fund-raising, public relations and administrative tasks. For more information, call Melissa Flynn at 301-765-0943.
Advocates for Howard Children
Voices for Children, a nonprofit organization in Howard County, is seeking volunteers to be trained as court-appointed advocates and mentors for abused and neglected children in Howard County. Volunteers work with the children, their families, agency professionals and the courts to ensure that children are safe, have homes and are receiving appropriate services. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, are expected to work for at least a year and must complete a 30-hour training program. For more information, call 410-740-0933.
Mobile Pet-Adoption Unit
The Humane Society of Montgomery County seeks volunteers to accompany its Mobile Adoption Unit on trips to showcase animals for adoption in Montgomery County. Duties include loading and unloading shelter animals, showing animals and merchandise to the public, and assisting the program coordinator. Trips take place on weekends and weekdays, and hours vary. For more information, contact the Montgomery County Volunteer and Community Service Center at 240-777-2600.
Tax Advisers for Seniors
The RSVP/AARP Tax Aide Program needs tax counselors to help low- and middle-income senior citizens complete their income-tax returns in a program sponsored by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Montgomery County Volunteer Center, the AARP and the IRS. Volunteers work with seniors at libraries, senior centers, retirement communities and senior-housing sites in Montgomery County. Volunteer hours are flexible, and mandatory IRS-training is provided. There is a particular need for tax counselors in the Silver Spring and Takoma Park areas. For more information, call the Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600.
Helping Garden Volunteers
Brookside Gardens, a 50-acre garden at 1500 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, needs one or two volunteers to help track hours of other volunteers, to review and manage the volunteer application process and to publish a newsletter for the more than 200 volunteers at the garden. Volunteers will work about four hours a week, on weekdays, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The garden's 4,000-volume horticultural reference library also needs volunteers to answer visitors' questions, to direct them to appropriate library materials and to perform computer online searches for them. Training will be provided. For more information, call Paula Waldron at 301-962-1421.
Friends for At-Risk Children
Bridges to Pals, a program of the Mental Health Association, is looking for men, ages 18 or older, to be a Big Pal to at-risk boys, many of whom are in foster care. Pals provide friendship and guidance to children and youths ages 5 to 17 through one-on-one relationships. Volunteers are required to call their "little pal" at least once a week and plan and participate in two outings each month. Bridges to Pals also sponsors quarterly parties for big pals and little pals to get together for fun and recreation. Training is provided. For more information, call Shannon Shifflett at 301-424-0656, Ext. 123.
National Aquarium Workers
The National Aquarium in Baltimore, needs volunteers to serve as docents and information-desk receptionists. Volunteers receive free parking, discounts in the gift shops and concessions, and membership in the aquarium. Volunteers must work a 3 1/2-hour shift once a week for at least a year. Mandatory training is provided. The deadline for volunteer applications is Jan. 22. For more information, call 410-576-3886 or visit the Web site at www.aqua.org.
Community Tax Aid Inc. needs volunteers to help low-income individuals and families with income-tax preparation from early February through April 15 at 12 libraries and other facilities in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. Volunteers work at least two hours per week on Saturdays, Sundays or weeknights at the location of his choice. Community Tax Aid managers are on-site to answer questions and review each completed tax return. Tax-preparation experience is preferred to volunteer, but not required. Those who do not have enough experience can sign up for training in January. Volunteers also are needed to help with public relations, photo-copying tax returns and other tasks. For more information, call 703-318-2122 or visit the Web site at www.gwscpa.org/cta.
Helping to Resettle Refugees
The International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit refugee resettlement organization, needs volunteers with trucks or vans to assist with picking up and delivering donations of furniture for refugees in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The refugees are from places such as East Africa, West Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East. Volunteers are also needed to help refugees with acculturation and learning English, and to help with office work at the rescue committee's headquarters at 1612 K St. NW, Washington. For more information, contact Elizabeth Goldston at 202-822-0043, Ext. 19.
The American Red Cross needs volunteer "ambassadors" to help greet blood donors at donor centers and blood drives in the metropolitan area. Volunteers also give refreshments to the donors after they give blood, and observe the donors for potential adverse reactions to giving blood. Hours are flexible and there are several locations to choose from in Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Training is provided. For more information, call 800-272-0094.
Family Fest in Silver Spring
The Folklore Society of Greater Washington needs children's performers and people to demonstrate craft-making for its Jan. 29 Mini-Fest at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring. Volunteers are also needed to help with setup, cleanup and other duties during the fest. For more information, contact Gail Snider at 202-667-3484.
The Smithsonian Institution needs volunteers who are at least 16 years old to work primarily weekdays in its 14 museums, performing activities such as curatorial research, creating and updating Web sites, answering letters and e-mail from the public, and more. Volunteers are asked to commit at least six hours a week until a minimum total commitment of 80 hours of service has been completed. For more information, call 202-357-2700 or 202-357-1729 (TTY).
U.S. Capitol Tour Guides
The U.S. Capitol Guide Service needs volunteers to assist tourists at the U.S. Capitol. Duties include providing general information, giving directions, and interpreting museum rooms, including the Old Senate and Old Supreme Court chambers weekdays or weekends. A March-through-August commitment is requested. Volunteers are required to attend a 12-hour training program. For more information, call Kevin Barry at 202-224-7349.