The following organizations need volunteer help for a day, a week or on a regular basis:

The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County and the Community Emergency Response Network will host a disaster preparedness orientation for Howard residents interested in helping local nonprofit and government agencies with preparedness and recovery in the event of a natural emergency. The orientation will be held 7-8 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Volunteer Center, 10221 Wincopin Cir., Columbia. 410-715-3179 or e-mail pam@volunteerhoward.org.

The Howard County Office on Aging needs volunteers to assist with activities during Senior Day at the Howard County Fair 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday. For more information, call Regina Jenkins at 410-313-1417 or e-mail rjenkins@co.ho.md.us.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association needs volunteers Sept. 18 to help with Giant Food BikeDC. Assistance is sought for tour marshaling, the Kids Bike Safety Rodeo and rider registration, among other tasks. For more information, call 202-628-2500 or e-mail waba@waba.org.

Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore needs volunteers to work at its new cancer center. Duties include customer service at the information desk and running errands for patients and staff in the ambulatory oncology center. A commitment of four hours a week for six months is requested. For more information, call volunteer services at 443-777-7240.

Metropolitan Washington Ear, an organization that provides reading services for the blind and visually impaired, needs volunteers to read newspapers, magazines and other publications to be aired on its closed-circuit radio broadcast and dial-in telephone system. Recordings are made at the group's studios in Silver Spring. A brief audition is required. For more information, call 301-681-6636.

The Columbia Wildlife and Habitat Committee needs volunteers to monitor swans and waterfowl on Columbia lakes. For more information, call Sue Neri at 410-381-7140 or e-mail asn6672@aol.com.

The Family Tree, a child abuse prevention agency, needs volunteers to answer calls to its hotline, teach parenting classes, help with Parents Anonymous groups and assist in nurturing children. Programs and offices are in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Prince George's counties. For more information, call Stephanie Jacobs at 410-889-2300 or go to www.familytreemd.org.

The Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network needs volunteers to provide group and individual English tutoring and to help staff members with activities. For more information, call Don Downing at 410-992-1923, Ext. 14, or e-mail ddowning@firnonline.org.

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland needs volunteers to deliver meals to homebound people once or twice a month. For more information, call 410-730-9476 or e-mail volunteer@mowcm.org.

The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park seeks docents to give tours and assist with programs and activities at the park and Mount Ida Visitor Center at the former 19th-century school for girls. Training will be provided. For more information, call 410-465-8500 or e-mail fpfi@prodigy.net.

The Maryland Science Center at Baltimore's Inner Harbor needs volunteers to serve as greeters, exhibit area assistants, science demonstrators and Imax Theater ushers. Volunteers must be at least 14 and be able to commit to one four-hour shift a month. Training sessions and orientation will be provided. For more information, call Tony Washington at 410-545-5894 or e-mail twashington@mdsci.org.

The Howard County Library needs volunteers at each of its six branches to sort, shelve and check in materials. Applications are available at each branch. For more information, call Elaine Lawrence at 410-313-7881 or e-mail lawrence@hclibrary.org.

Cars for Careers needs two volunteers to help its executive director. The nonprofit organization accepts automobiles, repairs them and donates them to low-income Howard County residents. For more information, call Bill O'Connor at 301-497-6287.

The WeCare Team, a joint program of the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County and several Howard County elementary schools, needs workers to help elementary school students several hours a month. For more information, call 410-715-3172 or e-mail antoinette@volunteerhoward.org.

The Howard County Police Department's Victim Assistance Section, which provides crisis intervention, support and referral services to crime victims, needs two people for general office duties. Applicants must pass a background investigation. For more information, call Kathleen Coursey at 410-313-3712.

The department also needs volunteers for its chaplain program. Applicants must complete a county government job application and personal history questionnaire and undergo a background investigation. For more information, call Cpl. James Capone at 410-313-2203.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic needs wish granters for children fighting life-threatening illnesses. A background check is required, and volunteers will be trained. For more information, call 301-962-9474 or e-mail jbecker@wish.org.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Lisbon needs volunteers to help care for the more than 100 horses, donkeys and mules 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 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.

-- Compiled by ALICIA CYPRESS

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E-mail: cypressa@washpost.com

Fax: 410-772-2330

Mail: Volunteers, Attn: Alicia Cypress, Howard Extra, 10490 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 650, Columbia, Md. 21044

Details: Items, which are printed weekly on a space-available basis, are from nonprofit groups. The deadline is 14 days before publication.