Besides the confetti and the corks, this time of year involves another kind of ritual; a three-word phrase, " New Year's resolution." As the stroke of midnight approaches, so does the need to decide how to become a better person. While the idea is to whole-heartedly embrace a shortcoming that needs to be amended, for some people this ritual just turns into picking something insignificant and scrawling it down on their calendars. They've made the gestures, even though actually following through happens right around never. If nothing else, such a resolution serves as fodder for banter between gym buddies after the sweat and before the yoga.
But this year, instead of some uninspiring -- and, let's face it, unfulfilling -- resolution, like helping your heart by replacing beer with wine, why don't you do your karma a favor? Because most likely, our attention to karma has been shoved into the back of the closet right along with those expensive running shoes that were part of some other year's resolution.
It goes without saying: Many non-profit organizations can always benefit from your generosity, whether it be in the form of cash donations or time volunteered. Why don't you do your karma, your community and yourself a favor, and donate to an unquestionably worthy cause? The appreciation you will receive from these agencies will feel like a much bigger gift than the one you gave. And you don't even have to give up drinking. Imagine that.
AIDS Resource Alliance provides case management for clients with AIDS, supplying multiple services including dental, medical, counseling and clothing. Volunteers act as one-on-one buddies and phone friends, provide transportation and assist with office help, health fairs, special events and cleaning clients' homes. Contact David Bariether; 701 E. South St., Orlando 32801; (407) 894-2233, ext. 52. Needs: talent if you possess knowledgeable computer skills.
CENTAUR, or Central Florida AIDS Unified Resources Inc., provides support to those infected with HIV/AIDS and to their family members and friends. Volunteer services include providing information and referrals, working as a 24-hour crisis hotline operator, helping with distribution of food and clothing, lending a hand with outreach education events, and being a "Buddy Support" care team member. Contact Ron Ford; 741 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804; (407) 849-1452. Needs: clothing and personal hygiene items.
Hope and Help Center of Central Florida provides resources for persons with HIV/AIDS, including case assessment/management, educational programs, and assistance with clothing and food. Volunteers provide transportation and friendship for clients and help with office work. Contact Laurie Torres; 1935 Woodcrest Drive, Winter Park 32792; (407) 228-2277. Needs: personal hygiene items, clothes and non-perishable food items.
Serenity House Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks volunteers to assist with programs aiding children and their families affected by AIDS. Needs are for office receptionists and delivery drivers, fund-raising personnel and participants in the Holiday Angel Committee. Contact Dee Navarro; 2500 Curry Ford Road, Orlando 32806; (407) 894-2233, ext. 13. Needs: personal care items for adults and children, newborn supplies and used computers.
Canine Companions for Independence strives to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing trained assistance dogs and ongoing support. Volunteers provide foster homes to raise a puppy for up to 14 months or assist the staff with various tasks in one of five regional centers. Contact Liz Brock; 1073-B Orienta Ave., Altamonte Springs; (407) 522-3300. Needs: dog toys, grooming equipment, leashes, bath towels and any doggie accessory.
Orlando Humane Society seeks volunteers to care for animals. Opportunities include administrative assistance, animal exercise escorts, bathers, greeters, thrift-shop assistance and foster-care staff. Contact Stacie Depew; 2727 Americana Blvd., Orlando 32839; (407) 351-7722. Needs: cat litter, towels, throw rugs, cleaning supplies, clinical supplies, office supplies and art supplies.
ARTS & EDUCATION
Adult Literacy League Inc. affects community-wide change by improving individual literacy skills and increasing literacy awareness. Volunteers help with tutoring. Contact Joyce Whidden; 345 W. Michigan St., Suite 100, Orlando 32806; (407) 422-1540. Needs: all kinds of paper, paper shredder, compact folding machine, computer software for learning, any item for silent auctions.
Central Florida Theatre Alliance is a three-year-old collective that represents 78 producing groups in Central Florida. Various theater groups -- including the Orlando International Fringe Festival, Theatre Downtown, SAK Theatre and the Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival -- put volunteers to work as performers, ushers, ticket takers, concession salespeople, crew members and office assistants. Contact Terry Olson; 398 W. Amelia St., Orlando 32801; (407) 872-2382. Needs: warehouse space, office supplies and costumes.
Friends of the Orange County Library System operate the Third Floor Book Store in the Orange County Library and support special projects. Volunteers run the cash register, assist customers, stock shelves and sort books. Contact Laura Murru or Marilyn Hoffman; Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd., Orlando 32801; (407) 835-7323. Needs: books, literary material, CDs, tapes and records.
GROWS Literacy Council Inc. empowers adults to learn, think more critically and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families through classes and tutoring. Volunteers are needed for data entry, tutoring, and help with fund-raising. Contact Marilina Viera; 52 E. Main St., Apopka 32703; (407) 889-0100. Needs: office supplies, computer equipment and software.
Stone Soup Collective operates a radical free space that provides a place for community groups and individuals to convene, fund raise, hold events and artistically express themselves. They also offer an alternative library. Contact Paul Jones; 1020 S. Orange Ave., Orlando 32806; (407) 719-6639. Needs: computer equipment, copiers, books, documentaries, magazine subscriptions.
American Red Cross of Central Florida uses volunteers to make daily calls to elderly shut-ins, serve as daytime delivery drivers, act as disaster-relief volunteers in emergencies, and teach CPR, first aid, water safety and HIV/AIDS classes.Training provided. Contact Judy Ensign; 5 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando 32803; (407) 894-4141. Needs: blood donors, office supplies.
Central Florida Helpline is a free, confidential call-in service for anyone who has a problem, needs to talk or would like someone to pray with. Volunteers must complete a 13-week training program. Contact Phyllis Oas; P.O. Box 941524, Maitland 32794; (407) 740-7408. Helpline: (407) 740-7477. Needs: portable TV/VCR, color printer, overhead projector.
Christian Service Center provides the hurting in our community with programs designed to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs regardless of race, religion or the nature of their need. Volunteers help with a variety of different tasks, including clerical work, organizing food and clothing, or working with Alzheimer's patients. Contact Jennifer Shaddock; 808 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32805; (407) 425-2523. Needs: canned goods, clothing, craft supplies, office supplies, personal hygiene items, tutoring supplies.
We Care Crisis Center's 24-hour crisis line and teen hotline offer confidential support and referrals. Volunteer counselors undergo a 60-hour training period before answering the phones and must commit to one year's service of four hours a week. Contact Davus Jenkins or Sara Hintzmann; 112 Pasadena Place, Orlando 32803; (407) 425-5201.
Center for Independent Living helps those with disabilities by providing daily living-skills training, peer support, job-search assistance and social activities. Volunteers assist with office work and fund-raising events, and provide training on telephone equipment for the hearing impaired. Contact Ginger Malcom; 720 N. Denning Drive, Winter Park 32789; (407) 623-1070. Needs: wheelchairs and walkers.
Lakeside Alternatives provides quality, cost effective behavior health care to individuals suffering from mental-health problems and disorders through outpatient and inpatient services. Volunteers help with maintenance and office work. Contact Michelle Saunders; 434 W. Kennedy Blvd., Orlando 32810; (407) 875-3700. Needs: clothing, hygiene items, books, magazines, games.
Mental Health Association of Central Florida provides information and referrals. The association needs volunteers for Guardian Advocates to work with clients who have been involuntarily committed to treatment facilities, to answer phones, and help with mailings and clerical work . Contact Bob Decker; 608 Mariposa St., Orlando 32801; (407) 843-1563. Needs: computers, toys.
Primrose Center provides job placement, training and residential services to adults with developmental disabilities. Volunteers help with fund-raisers, the thrift store and different special events. Contact Sherry Cain; 2733 S. Ferncreek Ave., Orlando 32806; (407) 898-7201. Needs: used clothing, furniture, household items, craft supplies.
QUEST Inc. has a staff of 500 working to help people with disabilities in job placement, everyday activities, physical therapy, and giving clients a greater sense of independence. Contact Michael Ertel; 380 Semoran Commerce Place, Apopka 32703; (407) 889-4530. Needs: clothes, children's learning and play toys.
DRUG/ALCOHOL TREATMENT & EDUCATION
Center For Drug-Free Living is a comprehensive substance-abuse treatment and prevention agency that has developed a diverse regimen of treatment, intervention and prevention services to help its clients develop healthy and responsible lifestyles. Volunteers assist with rocking babies, answering phones, and clerical and office help. Contact Joan Ballard; P.O. Box 538350, Orlando 32853; (407) 245-0010. Needs: clothing.
Living Hope International Ministry's New Beginnings Home Treatment Program assists women 18 years and older by providing a homelike, secure environment to help them recover from chemical dependency, abuse and a dysfunctional lifestyle. Volunteers assist with clerical work, cold calling, telephones, fund-raising and transporting residents. Contact Myra Richardson; P.O. Box 560403, Orlando 32856; (407) 422-6797. Needs: financial aid, clothing, paper supplies, personal hygiene items, office furniture.
M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a victim-service agency and provides resources and information on alcohol and drunk driving, which includes prevention presentations in schools in the community. Volunteers answer phones, write letters, help with annual events and court monitoring. Contact Casey Morris; 22 W. Lake Beauty Drive, Suite 101, Orlando 32806; (407)-246-1331. Needs: laptops, office supplies.
Center for Older Adult Services provides assistance designed to keep seniors in their homes. Volunteers help with clerical needs, field trips and educational programs, and are required to attend a three-hour orientation session. Contact Leslie Godleski; 2010 Mizell Ave., Winter Park 32792; (407) 629-5771.
Community Care for the Elderly provides in-home services for seniors to help keep them in their homes. Volunteers act as companions, write letters, help with housekeeping and entertain senior citizens. Contact Elaine Combs; 2100 Aloma Ave., Suite 100, Winter Park 32792; (407) 628-2884. Needs: personal hygiene items, nonperishable food items, sweatshirts, robes, slippers.
RSVP, or Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, places those age 55 and older into volunteer positions throughout Orange County, mostly with agencies involved in education, public safety and the environment. Volunteers also perform in vocal and dance groups that entertain at health-care facilities, schools and events. Contact Gina Sabetto; 99 E. Marks St., Suite 102, Orlando 32803; (407) 422-1535. Needs: yarn, crayons, arts-and-crafts materials.
Seniors First provides Meals on Wheels, helps senior citizens maintain their independence through nutrition, home improvement and support services. Current needs are for drivers for Meals on Wheels and receptionists. Contact Katherine Zimmerman; 5395 L.B. McLeod Road, Orlando 32811; (407) 292-0177, ext. 240. Needs: personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies.
Coastal Conservation Association Florida is dedicated to conserving and protecting Florida's marine resources through education and advocacy. Volunteers assist with administration, including mailings, data entry and filing. Contact volunteer coordinator; 1890 Semoran Blvd., Suite 355, Winter Park 32792; (407) 672-2058. Needs: auction material.
Caribbean Conservation Corp./Sea Turtle Survival League is dedicated to ensuring the survival of endangered and threatened sea turtles through research, education, advocacy and the protection of their natural habitats. Volunteers are needed to help work with sea turtles at different field stations. Contact Daniel Evans; 4424 NW 13th St., Suite A-1, Gainesville 32609; (800) 678-7853. Needs: memberships and subscribers.
Community Service Center offers social services to families in south Orange County including financial assistance, food, clothing and eye care. Volunteers aid with answering phones, filing and food shopping. Contact Doug Dylan or Rae Reddin; 621 Wilkes Ave., Orlando 32809; (407) 851-5920. Needs: canned or boxed food, personal hygiene items.
Esteem provides family programs that focus on academics, sports, the arts, employment skills and volunteerism. The organization works with community groups to help them hire and train neighborhood residents to implement, administer and fund their own social programs. Volunteers engage in public relations, fund-raising, human resources, computer operation, special-event planning and academic tutoring. Contact Pamela Mann; 718 Margaret Square, Winter Park 32789; (407) 645-1193. Needs: computers, sports equipment, office supplies, arts and crafts supplies, children's books.
Farmworker's Association of Florida's goal is to build a strong and multiracial and economically viable organization of farmworkers in Florida, which empowers them to gain control over social, political and environmental justice issues that affect their lives. Volunteers are needed to help teach citizenship classes, write letters and make phone calls. Contact Jeannie Economos; 815 S. Park Ave, Apopka 32703; (407) 886-5151. Needs: new toys.
Justice and Peace Office sponsors various programs including Single Mothers in a Learning Environment, Partners in Ground Level Justice, GROWS Literary Council, and the Central Florida Religion & Labor Coalition. A Family Learning Center, which will provide a safe environment for 100 kids, is in the works and needs funding. All of these programs work with volunteers in their attempt to foster self-help and education for low-income families in an effort to teach them skills to improve their standard of living. Contact Sister Teresa McElwee; 52 E. Main St., Apopka 32703; (407) 889-0100. Needs: computers, hand-held microphone, art/math/English supplies, soccer balls.
FOOD & NECESSITIES
Good Samaritan Home provides food, shelter and loving care to the poor, the homeless and the aged. Volunteers assist with health care, personal hygiene and transportation to health-care facilities. Contact Ruby Blake; 1704 W. Ninth St., Sanford 32771. (407) 322-3321. Needs: linens, cleaning products, paper supplies, clothing, personal hygiene items.
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida retail stores sell donated clothing and other household items to fund employment and training programs. Contact Dorea Mays; 6400 S. Orange Ave., Orlando 32809; (407) 857-0659. Needs: clothing, books, records, CDs, games, toys, housewares.
Restore Orlando provides a mentor and tutoring program for middle- and high-school students, and an adult learning center, a food program for elderly shut-ins, evening meals for children, a thrift store and a client choice food pantry. Contact volunteer coordinator; 1030 W. Kaley Ave., Orlando 32856; (407) 246-0061. Needs: food, educational school supplies, toys, office supplies.
The Salvation Army seeks help with their efforts to provide food, clothing and household items to the community. Volunteers can serve as data-entry clerks, sorting assistants, clerical assistants and mailing assistants. Contact Lisette Dolby; 416 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804. (407) 423-8581, ext. 215. Needs: nonperishable food items, new clothing only.
Second Harvest Food Bank collects and stores donated food for nonprofit agencies that feed the ill, needy and children. Volunteer options include food-drive pick-ups, food-drive sponsors, food sorters, office assistance and help with special events. Contact Sheryl Weaver; 2008 Brengle Ave., Orlando 32808; (407) 295-1066. Needs: nonperishable food items.
Citizen Volunteer Program organizes volunteers for a variety of programs sponsored by the city. Needs include storytelling assistants to tutor youths; park rangers at Lake Eola; Leu Gardens volunteers; help with the police department's fingerprinting ID program, reception desk and Citizens Observer program; computer-lab tutors; and a Neon Dance Club host to coordinate events for physically and mentally challenged adults. Contact Donna Wyatt; 400 S. Orange Ave., Orlando 32801; (407) 246-2082.
Community Services Network empowers people with problems and needs through information and routing calls to specific agencies for help. Volunteers help update listings. Contact Nancy Muni; 988 Woodcock Road, Suite 200, Orlando 32803; (407) 228-7771. Needs: office supplies.
Heart of Florida United Way is a health and human-services leader that develops resources, identifies and responds to local needs and promotes community involvement in Central Florida, supporting more than 180 health and human-services programs. Contact Michelle Herbold; 1940 Traylor Blvd., Orlando 32804; (407) 835-0900, ext. 364.
Metropolitan Orlando Urban League assists African-American and disadvantaged individuals to achieve social and economic equality through youth education, employment and housing assistance, and prevention programs. Volunteers assist with mentoring, special programs and events. Contact Rodney Henderson; 2804 Belco Drive, Orlando 32808; (407) 841-7654. Needs: business clothes, computers and technological tools.
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Alzheimer's Association provides a helpline service to bring information and support services to all those affected by the disease. The group also provides a Speaker's Bureau, quarterly newsletter, lending library, and educational and professional training programs. Volunteers help with clerical duties, data entry and special events. Contact Bruce Wlosinski; 2010 Mizell Ave., Winter Park 32792; www.alzorlando.org; (407) 629-1997. Needs: OCR scanner, carousel slide projector, portable overhead projector, paper and envelopes.
Alzheimer's Resource Center strives to lighten the burden and improve the quality of life for families affected by Alzheimer's. Volunteers help with mailings, an annual conference and health fairs. Contact Glenda McGraw or Anne Hamilton; 69 W. Underwood St., Orlando 32856; (407) 843-1910. Needs: TV, laptop computer, laminating supplies, paper folding machine, large office space.
Alzheimer's Respite Care Program provides assistance to people afflicted with memory loss and their caregivers. Volunteers work under staff supervision as activity assistants and companions at six day-care locations as well as in-home. Contact Susan Shaheen; 808 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32805; (407) 423-5311. Needs: recliner chairs, printers, arts-and-crafts supplies, large-print reading material, radio/CD player, plants.
American Cancer Society aims to save lives and diminish suffering caused by cancer through research, education, advocacy and a comprehensive patient-services program. Volunteers help with office work, events and mailings. Contact Skye Bowlin; 1601 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804; (407) 843-8680, ext. 532. Needs: wigs, transportation for cancer patients.
Central Florida Blood Bank provides blood products to more than 40 health-care facilities, five different cancer facilities and operates other services such as a tissue bank, donor programs and educational programs. Volunteer needs include drivers, donor services and lab assistance. Contact Shirley Burke; 32 W. Gore St., Orlando 32806; (407) 849-6100, ext. 8507. Needs: office supplies, videos, food.
Health Care Center for the Homeless provides free medical, eye and dental care, a tuberculosis shelter, and a Respite Center Program to help re-establish the individual in mainstream society. The center seeks volunteer support from primary-care physicians, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, nurses and mental-health counselors as well as administrative assistance. Contact Paul McGlone; 11 N. Parramore Ave., Orlando 32801; (407) 428-5751. Needs: computers, computer equipment, fax machines, copiers.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America's local chapter provides family support groups, aid for treatment-related expenses, advocacy, information and education for patients, their families and the public. Volunteers provide in-office clerical help and data entry. Contact Elizabeth Shingleton, 3319 Maguire Blvd. Orlando, 32803; (407) 898-0733, ext. 11.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society's mid-Florida chapter offers support to more than 30,000 people in 23 counties affected by MS with programs that include education, counseling, literature, emergency respite funding and self-help groups. The society offers medical equipment on loan. Volunteers assist with all. Contact Cari Py; 3659 Maguire Blvd., Suite 110, Orlando 32803; (407) 896-3873, ext. 22. Needs: office supplies, copy machine, medical equipment.
Prevent Blindness Florida screens for eye problems and prevention of blindness. The organization trains and certifies volunteers to screen both adults and children. Contact Eric Welch; 2111 E. Michigan St. suite 101 Orlando, 32806; (407) 896-9116.
HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS
Anthony House Inc. helps more than 300 families in the community become self-sufficient, as well as housing 65 people. Volunteers assist with the pre-school nursery, after-care program, data entry, maintenance needs, mentoring programs and workshops. Contact Herb Aguirresaenz; P.O. Box 880 Zellwood 32798; (352) 383-5577. Needs: school supplies, any houseware or household item.
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida offers shelter, food, housing options, education, a medical center, advocacy and support services focused on returning homeless individuals and families to self-sufficiency. Volunteers provide general and tutorial assistance to all programs. Contact Roberta Bloom; 639 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32801; (407) 426-1250. Needs: gift certificates, children's clothing, undergarments, clothing in extra-large sizes.
Covenant House Florida provides a community service center and 54-bed shelter for homeless and runaway youths under 21 years old offering meals, clothing, and the use of telephones and laundry facilities. Counseling, family reunification, life skills and self-esteem sessions, GED classes and employment assistance also are provided. Current volunteer need is for teacher-certified tutors to help for 2-3 hours per week. Contact Pat Grant; 5931 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32807; (407) 426-7888.
Habitat for Humanity has built 80 homes for families in need since 1987, with five more currently under construction in Orlando, and seeks construction volunteers for weekdays and Saturdays. Volunteers also assist with office help. Contact Diane Yost; 808 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32805; (407) 648-4567.
Lisa Merlin House Inc. is committed to providing long-term residential treatment to homeless females as they start down the path to long-term recovery after detoxification for alcoholism and substance abuse, providing a safe environment and twelve-step programs. Volunteers are needed to give workshops for residents, and help with fund-raisers and special events. Contact Charlene Daly-Jones; 3101 N. Pine Hills Rd., Orlando 32808; (407) 292-0109. Needs: paper products, office supplies, nonperishable food items, personal hygiene items.
Orlando Union Rescue Mission provides shelter for homeless families and meals for the hungry. Volunteers assist in the daycare center, tutor both adults and children in the Career Learning Center, cook and serve three meals a day in the cafeteria, and cut hair in the beauty shop. Contact Ladonne Carpenter; P.O. Box 2791, Orlando 32802-2791; (407) 422-4855. Needs: hygiene items, baby diapers, medicines.
A Center for Women offers free pregnancy tests, confidential care, education about pregnancy, fetal development and abortion, adoption assistance, referrals for medical care, shelter, clothing and baby supplies. Volunteers provide one-on-one education and counseling support, organize baby-closet donations, and help with fund-raising, clerical work and special events. Contact Bill Ortt; 315 N. Wymore Road, Winter Park 32789; (407) 628-5433. Needs: maternity clothes, baby diapers, strollers, cribs, toys.
Harbor House is a center against domestic violence funded in part by the city of Orlando and Orange County, and which provides temporary shelter, counseling and support for persons vulnerable in an abusive environment. Speaker's Bureau offers presentations on domestic violence. Volunteers assist with a variety of programs including a 24-hour crisis line, referrals, community education, children's services and teen-dating violence-prevention programs. Contact Linnette Padron; P.O. Box 533199, Orlando 32853; (407) 895-6099. Needs: nonperishable food items, diapers.
BETA Center is focused on giving our community, children and parents the knowledge and support needed for a strong and healthy family through different programs. They offer community parenting education classes, pregnant and parenting teen programs, residential program for homeless pregnant women and emergency support services. Volunteers are needed to help with cuddling babies, staff the front desk, and distribute food items to clients. Contact Melinda Clark; 4680 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando 32807; (407) 277-1942. Needs: diapers, baby food, blankets, bottles, canned goods.
Boys & Girls Club develops character and leadership in youth while providing education and career development, life skills, sports, recreation and exposure to the arts. Volunteers help with programs at any one of 13 Central Florida locations. Contact Pam Brandstadt; 801 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 305, Orlando 32802; (407) 841-6855.
Central Florida Children's Home cares for entire families of children whose parents either cannot or will not provide for them due to difficulties in the child or the parent's life. Volunteers help with special events, office work and mailouts. Contact Terra Wichowski; 6000 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32807; (407) 277-7441. Needs: adult and child medications, food, utensils, napkins, personal hygiene items.
Charlee Family Care Services of Central Florida provides foster care and shelter for abused or neglected children. Volunteer clerical help is needed Mondays through Fridays. Contact Martha Barnhill; 11875 High Tech Ave., Suite 200, Orlando; (407) 273-8444. Needs: children's clothes, toys, games.
Children's Home Society seeks TeenPal Volunteers to provide emotional support, weekly contact, transportation to meetings, and attendance of monthly group outings for four to six hours per week. Contact Renee Bleecker; 2647 Michigan Ave., Kissimmee 34744; (407) 846-5220. Needs: office supplies, household appliances, TVs, refrigerators, electronics, computers, furniture, carpeting.
Devereux Florida provides mental-health and developmental disability treatment to children in settings ranging from psychiatric centers, day schools, foster-care programs, outpatient treatment centers, crisis shelter center, and group home and vocational training programs. Volunteers help with tutoring and special events. Contact Danette Travis; 5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 400, Orlando 32822; (407) 812-4555, ext. 243. Needs: IBM computers and printers, therapy games, toys, new clothing, stuffed animals, children's videos and books.
Dividends School Volunteer Program is a school-based program in Seminole County Public Schools that promotes community involvement. Volunteers are needed to teach conversational Spanish, speak about careers and hobbies, act as mentors, and assist with the Take Stock in Children scholarship program or the second-chance program for high-school students. Contact Jane Lane; 400 E. Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford 32773; (407) 320-0178. Needs: school supplies.
Edgewood Children's Ranch works with dysfunctional children in a full-time living arrangement that includes counseling and schooling. Volunteers help with tutoring, maintenance work and the thrift store. Contact Gabby Acks; 1451 Edgewood Ranch Road, Orlando 32835; (407) 295-2464. Needs: cleaning supplies, sporting equipment, canned goods, toilet paper, personal hygiene items.
Foster Grandparent Program recruits and trains limited-income people 60-plus years old to provide individual attention to children with special or exceptional needs. Volunteers interact with children in a variety of different programs, help with fund-raisers and take photographs. Contact Ann Smith; 7400 Laurel Hill Oaks Circle, Orlando 32818; (407) 298-4180. Needs: diapers, polaroid film, personal hygiene items, office supplies.
Junior Achievement volunteers work with teachers in grades K-12 to serve as role models and help students grasp economic fundamentals and career opportunities, encouraging them to develop skills through games and activities. Classroom training and materials are provided. Contact Kim Gwin; 2121 Camden Road, Orlando 32803; (407) 898-2121, ext. 21. Needs: student sponsors (for $65), in-kind donations.
Make-a-Wish Foundation fulfills the special wish of children with life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers assist with wish fulfillment, special events, fund-raising, airport greeting and office assistance. Contact Sheryl Mays; 663 S. Harold Ave., Winter Park 32789; (407) 246-1974. Needs: office supplies, digital camera, computers, projector screen.
New Hope Center offers comprehensive services for grief and loss including the Children's Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, and Grieving Children Services, which provides support for children grieving the loss of a loved one. New Hope trains volunteers to support programs, operate its Thrift & Gift shops and assist with fund-raising. Contact Rosie Wilder or Yolande Fiola (407-648-0160 for thrift shop); 100 E. Sybelia Ave., Suite 300, Maitland 32751; (407) 599-0909. Needs: camcorder, arts-and-crafts supplies, nonperishable food items, gift certificates.
Orlando Day Nursery provides child care to children whose families are of low income, homeless, or the victims of domestic abuse, while focusing on developing children's emotional, social, cognitive and physical skills. Volunteers are needed to enhance educational programs, play with the children and help with repairs. Contact The Orlando Day Nursery; 100 W. Anderson St., Orlando 32801; (407) 422-5291. Needs: children's clothing, arts-and-crafts supplies, scholarships.
Osceola County Children's Home is a residential facility for youths who are part of Florida's foster-care system due to neglect, abandonment or abuse. Volunteers assist with emotional and educational needs. Contact Stacy Harris; 2534 E. Neptune Road, Kissimmee 34744; (407) 847-6048. Needs: school supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, houseware and household items.
Pace Center for Girls works to improve the quality of life for at-risk girls by helping them further their education, build self-esteem, and develop personal, social and family relationship skills. Volunteer opportunities include career coach mentors, office assistance, arts-and-crafts instruction, intern coordinators, transportation, study buddies and general topic speakers. Contact volunteer coordinator; 33 W. Washington St., Orlando 32801; (407) 843-1775.
Threshold provides a residential, training, vocational and intervention program for children and adults who suffer from autism and developmental disabilities who exhibit severe behavior problems. Volunteers help out in the thrift store, answer phones, assist with special events and do office work. Contact Ellen Thomson; 3550 Goldenrod Road, Winter Park 32792; (407) 671-7060. Needs: washers, dryers, clothing, personal hygiene items, any houseware or household item.
WEEKENDS is dedicated to providing substance- and violence-free activities for teens, and to build positive peer groups within schools. Volunteers help with tutoring, special events, chaperoning and working with peer groups. Contact Katie Dempsey; 626 N. Lake Fermosa Drive, Orlando 32803; (407) 898-8277. Needs: cameras, office supplies, food, transportation, bookshelves, folding tables, printers.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.