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

AARP Tax-Aide, a free volunteer-run tax counseling and preparation service, needs volunteers to help taxpayers complete their 2004 federal and state income tax forms. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. Tax counselors receive free training and become IRS-certified by passing an examination. For more information, call Joyce Blanton at 703-921-0023 or visit

Hidden Oaks Nature Center needs adult volunteers to serve as program leaders, taking people on trail walks, guiding indoor and outdoor nature activities, and helping plan programs. No experience is necessary, but applicants must have a good rapport with children and an interest in nature. A consistent weekly commitment of two hours on a weekday morning is required. Training will be provided. For more information, call Janis Jeffers at 703-941-1065.

The SPCA of Northern Virginia needs foster homes for dogs and cats. The SPCA does not have a shelter and depends on foster care for animals that have been rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment. For more information, call 703-799-9390 or visit

The Ronald McDonald Houses in Northern Virginia and the District need volunteers to do office work, light housekeeping, groundskeeping, house maintenance, checking in families, fundraising, baking and much more. Training is provided. For more information, call Anne Marsh in Northern Virginia at 703-698-7080 or Bridget Brenton in the District at 202-529-8204.

-- Compiled by JEAN MACK