These area organizations need volunteers, clothing, food, money and other resources during the holiday season.
American Red Cross Blood Services
To volunteer, 800-272-0094, Ext. 1
To donate blood, 800-448-3543
Blood donors and blood collections staff volunteers are needed during the holiday season at 13 centers in Virginia, Maryland and the District. The centers are open every day except Christmas. Participants must be 14 or older.
Holiday Project of the National Capital Area
The Holiday Project seeks volunteers to visit nursing home residents and hospital patients in Virginia, Maryland, the District and Delaware during the holidays. Contact Robin Wiley or Eileen Rourke. Volunteers are also needed to wrap gifts at Barnes & Noble locations in Tysons Corner and Georgetown. To wrap gifts, e-mail Howard Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks may be mailed to the Holiday Project of the National Capital Area, 513 Bashford Lane No. 5, Alexandria, Va. 22314.
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
The council, which provides literacy training to adults in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church, requests donations of unused craft supplies such as markers, pencils, crayons, construction paper, scissors, colored pencils and glue for children in the Family Learning Program. Volunteers are needed to wrap purchases at some Borders and Barnes & Noble stores Dec. 10-24. More than 150 volunteer tutors are also needed to teach English literacy skills to adults. Tutors take a $35 training workshop and are matched with a student, based on availability, for weekly 90-minute sessions. Sixteen-hour ESL tutor training workshops will be held Jan. 14, 21 and 28, and 12-hour basic literacy workshops will meet Feb. 4, 11 and 18 at the James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church. Contact Ellen Bloom.
Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry (NOVAM)
703-533-5505, Ext. 15
During the holiday season, NOVAM seeks individuals or groups to "adopt" a child who is affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS. Volunteer donors are given the child's wish list and asked to buy four or five gifts for the child. Gifts are to be wrapped and delivered to NOVAM's office Dec. 12-14. Volunteers are also needed to pick up gifts from the office and deliver them to families in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County and Prince William County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 17. The office is at 803 W. Broad St., Suite 700, Falls Church. Contact Jane Beddoe, Children's Services program manager.
Alternative House Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge
Alternative House provides support to disadvantaged children, youth and families through counseling, shelter, crisis intervention and outreach. Holiday wish list items include portable CD players; gift cards to Target, Old Navy and Best Buy; DVDs (for audiences 13 and younger); non-violent computer games; sports equipment; hats; and gloves and jackets for ages 8 to 18. Donations should be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily by Dec. 12 at Alternative House, 2100 Gallows Rd., Vienna. Volunteers also are sought to decorate Alternative House shelters for the holidays. Contact Karen Horowitz.
Community Chapel for Wholistic Healing
Donations of new winter clothes, socks, robes, slippers, art supplies, craft supplies, holiday gifts, Wal-Mart gift cards and cash are being collected to send to 125 children and 20 elders on the Standing Rock Reservation in Cannonball, N.D. Gifts can be brought to the Friends Meeting House, 660 Spring St., Herndon, Fridays until Dec. 9. Financial donations may be sent to the Community Chapel main office, 481 Carlisle Dr., Herndon, Va. 20170. Contact the Rev. Sherry Sherry.
Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO)
ECHO, a nonprofit organization assisting the needy in Burke and Springfield, will not operate its annual Holiday Shop due to construction, but will give food baskets and gifts to adopted client families. Suggested donations include: winter jackets, socks, underwear, jeans, gloves, queen-size bedding, blenders, toasters, portable CD players and gift certificates to Wal-Mart or Target. Items can be dropped off at the ECHO building, 7205 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. ECHO is closed today, tomorrow and Dec. 21 to Jan. 2. Contact Pat Gauthier, executive director.
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Mental Health Services
The agency requests donations of toiletries, winter clothes and outerwear, backpacks, duffel bags, sleeping bags and gift certificates to retail stores, fast-food restaurants and grocery stores. Donations are given to adults with severe mental illness, children and adolescents with serious emotional problems, and families in crisis. Items must be new due to health code requirements. 14150 Parkeast Cir., Suite 200, Chantilly. Contact Sue Boucher.
The coalition of local churches will distribute Christmas baskets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 46833 Harry Byrd Hwy., Sterling, and at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 651 Dranesville Rd., Herndon. Donations of nonperishable food and grocery store gift certificates can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to noon or 7 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 12-16 at either church. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at both churches to help families select a five-day food allotment, restock shelves, load food into family vehicles and act as interpreters. Volunteers are also needed to distribute toys from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20 at Herndon United Methodist Church, 701 Bennett St., Herndon.
Lorton Community Action Center
Volunteers are needed to sort and distribute donated food and toys on Dec. 11, 12, 15, 16 and 18 at various sites. Call volunteer coordinator Kathy Noone at Ext. 12 for a volunteer application. Donations of Christmas food baskets and new, unwrapped gifts are also sought. Christmas baskets should contain four cans of green beans, peas and corn; a two-pound bag of rice; a large box of Jell-O; two cans of fruit; two six-ounce boxes of stuffing (no bags); a large can of sweet potatoes; a bag of marshmallows; a five-pound bag of white potatoes; cake mix and frosting; six 103/4-ounce cans of soup (no broth); peanut butter; jelly; two cans of tuna; a box of pasta; pasta sauce; a large box (18 ounces or more) of cereal; and a $15 to $20 gift certificate for meat. Gift suggestions include body lotions, gels, nail polish kits, hair accessories, perfume, picture frames, journals, photo albums, novels, cologne, sports equipment, watches, gift certificates, preschool learning toys, baby dolls and accessories, arts and crafts supplies, model and remote-controlled cars, action figures, board games, videos, DVDs, handheld electronic games and CD players. Batteries should be included with gifts that require them. Donations will be accepted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Moose Lodge, 9612 Fernedge Lane, Lorton. To adopt a family, call Linda Patterson at Ext. 11.
Main Street Child Development Center
Volunteers are needed to read to children. The organization also needs donations of children's clothes, winter jackets, hats, mittens, socks and underwear. All clothing should be for boys and girls sizes four to 10. The center is at 4401 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax. Contact Elizabeth Egan.
New Hope Housing
703-799-2293, Ext. 22
This organization, which provides shelter and opportunities for the homeless, seeks Christmas gifts for more than 200 residents, and especially needs gifts appropriate for teens and adults, by Dec. 12. Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the administration office, 8407-E Richmond Hwy., Alexandria. Contact Chris Bramante.
Our Daily Bread (ODB)
Holiday program, 703-273-6715
This volunteer interfaith organization needs cash donations to help thousands of people over the holidays and throughout the year. To help needy families, ODB this year is coordinating the Holiday Program, formerly managed by Fairfax Social Services. The organization also needs volunteers to adopt families for the holidays. ODB will provide volunteers with a family wish list; volunteers can deliver presents to families in person. Donations may be made online or sent to Our Daily Bread Inc., 10777 Main St., No. 320, Fairfax, Va. 22030.
Reston Community Center
Several programs at the center need volunteers. Volunteers and donations of canned meat and fish, peanut butter, rice, beans, canned fruits and canned vegetables are needed for a Thanksgiving Food Drive. Items will be sorted and packed from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today, to be delivered to Reston Interfaith and distributed to needy families. Volunteers are also needed to participate in a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration from 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 15 and the upcoming Reston Multicultural Festival. For the above opportunities, call Haywood Hopson Sr. at 703-390-6161. The Children's Clubhouse at Terraset Elementary School also seeks volunteers to help children with homework and lead creative activities. To volunteer at the clubhouse, call Debbie Heron, acting youth director, at 703-390-3163. The Reston Community Center is in Hunters Woods, at 2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston.
United Community Ministries (UCM)
Families need children's toys, winter clothes, books and games. The UCM Food Pantry also needs holiday foods such as stuffing mix, canned fruit, turkey gravy, pie crust mix and evaporated milk. Volunteers are needed to help set up the gift room and to sort and distribute gifts Dec. 1-22. UCM is at 7511 Fordson Rd., Alexandria, in Fairfax County. Call Cecelia Vergaretti, Ext. 326.
The annual program "A Celebration of Giving and Sharing" will provide backpacks filled with books and toys to 2,000 Fairfax students in pre-K through seventh grade. The community is invited to sponsor a child for $25 or a classroom for $1,500. Donations can be made in honor of a friend, colleague or loved one. Honorees will receive a card notifying them of the gift. Funds raised will also help support other programs and services of Volunteer Fairfax. Contact Tonya McCreary.
Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM)
The WFCM Holiday Food Basket Program provides food to needy local families. Baskets should be sturdy containers such as laundry baskets and should include nonperishable food items, fresh fruits and vegetables, rolls, butter and a grocery store gift card. Grocery gift cards can be donated in lieu of a basket, and WFCM will do the shopping. No donation is too small. Drop off or mail donations to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, 13981 Metrotech Dr., Chantilly, Va. 20151. For more information, contact co-chairs Rosanne Arnold or Joayn Bahr.
Baileys Crossroads Rotary Club
Rotarians and members of the Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter will be wrapping gifts at Borders Books & Music, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Falls Church, from 9 a.m. to midnight Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 20-22 for voluntary donations to the shelter, a 50-bed short-term emergency facility for the homeless. To learn about joining the Rotary Club, contact President J.B. Shelton. For information about the shelter, call Bud Pope, program director, at 703-820-7621.
Homestretch provides transitional housing for homeless Fairfax and Falls Church families with children 17 and younger. Volunteers are needed to help children select and wrap presents for their families during a Holiday Shopping Spree on Dec. 6. The organization also requests a donation of 400 cookies for the wrapping party. Cookies can be dropped off Dec. 2 at Homestretch, 370 S. Washington St., Suite 400. Contact Raul De Villegas.
Wexford Manor Community Resource Center
The center requests coupons for turkeys and grocery store items, baskets, food, children's winter clothes, gift certificates for teenagers, arts and crafts supplies, books, DVDs, games, toys for children 11 and younger and Windows 2000-compatible children's software. The center, open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, is at 2802-A Hollywood Rd. Contact Ingrid Bullock.
-- Compiled by CARRIE DONOVAN