Voices for Children, part of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates program, needs volunteers in Howard County to be advocates and mentors for abused, neglected and at-risk children. Volunteers also work with the juvenile court system to ensure that children have safe and permanent homes. Volunteers must be at least 21, complete a 30-hour training program and pass a background check. The next training will begin in February. For more information, call 410-740-0933.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore needs volunteers older than 18 to act as exhibit guides and information specialists. Behind-the-scenes positions are also available. Volunteers receive free parking and continuing education. Applications are due Jan. 31. For more information, call 410-576-3886 or visit the aquarium's Web site at www.aqua.org.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic Inc. needs volunteers to act as wish-granters for children who are fighting life-threatening illnesses. A background check is required; volunteers will be trained. For more information, call 301-962-9474 or e-mail idan@wish.org.

To celebrate National Mentoring Month, the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County has prepared a list of volunteer opportunities. To receive a copy of the Mentoring and Tutoring Guide for 2003, call the center at 410-715-3172.

Howard County General Hospital needs volunteers in the hospital's Breast Care Center, in its Nurse Volunteer Program and to do clerical work. Volunteers are generally needed Mondays through Fridays, with flexible hours. For more information, call Howard County General Hospital's Volunteer Office at 410-740-7980.

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland Inc., which provides meals to home-bound people of all ages, needs volunteers to deliver meals weekdays between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. A commitment of once or twice a month is required. Volunteers pick up the meals along with a route book at the Florence Bain Senior Center in Columbia. For more information, call 410-730-9476.

Care Wear Volunteers needs people to knit, crochet and sew hats, booties, blankets, fabric toys, pillows and more. The items are donated to nurseries and neonatal intensive care units at hospitals throughout the country, including Howard County General Hospital. Volunteers are responsible for supplying the fabric and yarn. For more information, visit www.hood.edu/carewear or call Bonnie Hagerman at 301-696-3550.

The Domestic Violence Center of Howard County needs volunteers for its advocacy program that provides victims of domestic violence with legal and non-legal services. Training and on-going support for volunteers will be provided. Call Cindy Wooten at 410-997-0304, Ext. 224, or e-mail cwooten@dvcenter.org.

The center also needs volunteers 21 and older to assist with its 24-hour help line. Training will be held tomorrow and Saturday and Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. For more information or to apply, call Leslie Palmer at 410-997-0304, Ext. 207, or e-mail volunteer@dvcenter.org.

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a cancer survivors organization based in Ellicott City, needs volunteers for its Ambassadors Program, which fosters partnerships between the fund and other organizations and businesses that have clients who are cancer survivors. The fund also needs volunteers to be community educators, facilitators of networking groups and patient advocates. For more information, call 410-964-0202 or e-mail hjohn@ulmanfund.org.

Howard County Library needs volunteers to do administrative work, visit patrons confined to their homes, read to young children and help with Project Literacy. Volunteers can work at one of the six library branches. For an application or for more information, call Elaine Lawrence at 410-313-7881 or e-mail her at lawrence@hclibrary.org. Applications are available online at www.hclibrary.org.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Lisbon needs volunteers to help care for more than 100 horses, donkeys and mules that it takes in each year. Students 12 and older can receive credit toward school community-service requirements. For more information, call Kathy Schwartz at 410-442-1564.

The Howard County Police Department needs volunteers for its chaplain program to aid and support the department and community. Applicants must successfully complete a county government job application, a personal history questionnaire and a background investigation. For more information, call Cpl. James Capone at 410-313-2203.

The American Red Cross needs help with blood donation drives in Howard County. Volunteers greet and register donors, label containers, serve refreshments and observe donors after they have given blood. Training is provided, and hours are flexible. For more information, call 410-764-4602.

The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, built around a 19th-century school for girls in Ellicott City, is looking for docents to assist with programs and activities. Training will be provided. For more information, call 410-465-8500.

The Therapeutic Riding Center in Glenwood needs people to help physical therapists by walking next to horses with riders, leading horses and grooming and tacking them. For more information, call 410-489-5100 or e-mail cjv10@home.com.

The Caregiver Resource Center of Howard County needs people to do computer work and help caregivers find resources to support them in caring for the elderly. No experience is necessary; training will be provided. For more information, call 410-715-5057.

The African Art Museum of Maryland in Columbia needs people to help with typing, filing, staffing festival booths, evening office work, day and evening gallery staffing, coordination of special events, data entry, youth activities and other tasks. For more information, call 410-730-7105.

-- Compiled by Alicia Cypress

To volunteer, contact the agencies directly. If you would like to submit an item for Volunteers, e-mail it to hocoextra@washpost.com; fax it to 410-772-2330; or write to Volunteers, Howard Extra, The Washington Post, 10490 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 650, Columbia, Md. 21044.