* Operation of the St. Andrews Convenience Center, off Route 4 in St. Mary's County, will not be affected by construction to extend a retaining wall for solid waste operations. The project is scheduled to continue through Jan. 31. The center is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 301-863-8400 or visit www.co.saint-marys.md.us.

* Volunteers are needed for Christmas Connection's "Adopt-a-Senior" program. Individuals or service organizations are asked to prepare and deliver holiday food baskets to senior citizens who are frail, disabled, homebound or needy. To volunteer, call 301-609-5712. Visit www.charles county.org for more information.

* Southern Maryland high school juniors and seniors are invited to participate in the Sons of the American Revolution essay contest. Essays must be submitted by Dec. 28 on a topic associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence or the framing of the Constitution. Essays are judged on historical accuracy, clarity of thought, organization and topic, grammar, spelling and creativity. Awards range from $7,500 at the national level to $50 at local levels. To receive a copy of rules and listings of approved sources, write to George C. Dyson, chairman, P.O. Box 217, Ironsides, Md. 20643 or call 301-743-7558.

* Charles County children ages 1 to 10 can receive calls from Santa Claus between 6 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Calls will be placed to the first 150 who register by Dec. 14 at a local community center or the Charles County Department of Community Services. Free. For more information, call 301-645-2186, 301-934-9305 or 301-870-3388.

* The Wellness Center at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata campus, will celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week tomorrow through Nov. 17. Candy, hot chocolate and lollipops will be distributed. Teddy bears will be collected on Thursday and donated to the Center for Children in Waldorf. Call 301-934-7554, 301-870-3008, Ext. 7554, 301-884-8131, Ext. 7554, or e-mail donnac@csmd.edu.

* The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 21. Representatives from nine university partners will provide academic advice and information on courses, application procedures and admission requirements. For more information, call 301-737-2500 or visit www.smhec.org.

* Calvert County is seeking applicants for the following: Agriculture Land Preservation Advisory Board, Agricultural Commission, Dunkirk Architectural Review Committee, Economic Development Commission, Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, Environmental Commission, Gambling Permit Review Committee, Library Board of Trustees, Prince Frederick Architectural Review Committee and the Regional Tourism Committee. Applications are available at the commissioners' office at the courthouse, public libraries or at www.co.cal.md.us. Deadline is Nov. 18. Call 410-535-1600, Ext. 214.

* The Charles County Commission for Women is seeking residents to fill three vacancies. Letters of interest and brief re{acute}sume{acute}s should be sent by Friday to: Shirley Gore, Clerk of the County Commissioners, P.O. Box 2150, La Plata, Md. 20646. Applications may also be sent via fax to 301-645-0560 or to gores@govt.co.charles.md.us. Call 301-645-0554.

-- Bonnie Smith