I recently spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to get information about the PLUS literacy project. We have all seen the ads on television, on every network, saying, "Volunteer for literacy." Sure, great, okay. But what's the telephone number? Or address? Nowhere. Just volunteer.

I called Social Services. I called Human Services. I called Adult Education Centers, Special Education and Adult and Community Education. I even called the Department of Health and Human Services. Nil. Nothing. Nada.

Responses I received: "What's that now, P-L-U-S? Where did you get that from?" "We don't have anything listed under that name." "We don't have anybody here who deals with that." "I'm sorry, I've seen it on TV too, but I don't know whom to refer you to." All in all, very frustrating.

I finally happened upon the number by chance, having in desperation called ABC-TV, which referred me to someone who promptly supplied me with an 800 number. Never mind that I had called the 800 information number earlier and it didn't have a PLUS program listed. By the way, if anyone would like the number, it's 1-800-228-8813.

If this is a national effort to combat illiteracy, why is it so hard to volunteer for it?

GINA FARRAR Annandale