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Laurel area offers a variety of volunteer jobs

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) — CASA/Prince George's County offers the opportunity to help abused or abandoned children in the community. An information session for volunteers will be held Wednesday, March 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Local 400 Union Hall, 4301 Garden City Drive, in Landover. CASA recruits and trains volunteers ages 21 and over to advocate for the needs of children living in foster care. Volunteers spend about 12 hours per month visiting with a child and collaborate with other adults who are protecting the child to ensure his or her needs are met and a safe permanent home is found. CASA is currently accepting applications for spring evening training. For information, call 301-209-0491 or go to http://www.pgcasa.org.

A-OK (Assist OUR Kids) Mentoring-Tutoring Inc — An all-volunteer, nonprofit organization and a formal partner of the Howard County Public School System. Its mission is to enhance the successful academic and social development of individual Howard County public school students through the encouraging, ongoing support of an adult mentor-tutor. Volunteers are especially needed in North Laurel at Forest Ridge Elementary School and neighboring areas. A-OK recruits, screens, trains and supports adult volunteers who meet with students one-on-one or in small groups. Screening includes application, orientation, two references, individual interview and criminal record background check. Volunteers commit for at least one school year; meet with student once a week, for approximately one hour; meet on the same day and time, as much as possible; meet only at the school during the school day or at after-school program sites, 3-6 p.m.; and notify counselor if they learn the student may be in danger. Contact Chaya Kaplan, 410-730-6030 or aokmentor@gmail.com. Go to http://www.aokmentor.org.

Anne Arundel County Food and Resource Bank — Its mission is to fight hunger by assuring that county citizens in need have access to food and other necessities. Especially needed are volunteers with pick-up trucks to pick up food donations during the day and help with phones, copying, other office duties (8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), data base, computer, webmaster. Call Bruce, 410-923-4255 or Bruce@aafoodbank.org. Go to http://www.aafoodbank.org.

Neighbor Ride — Volunteer-based transportation service dedicated to decreasing isolation and improving quality of life for Howard County's older residents. Volunteer orientations are offered every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and every third Wednesday (next March 20) in Neighbor Ride's office, 5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 102, in Columbia. Contact volunteer coordinators Rosemary Noble and Patrice Cerwonka, 410-884-RIDE (7433) or volunteer@neighborride.org or go to http://www.neighborride.org.

AFS-USA — For more than 60 years, AFS (formerly American Field Service) volunteers have been building bridges of intercultural understanding and changing the way the world works through a variety of volunteer opportunities. The organization is looking for volunteers on an ongoing basis to engage in local activities for exchange students from all over the world, by helping at student orientation events, planning weekend activities, promoting AFS study abroad programs to local schools; and even becoming host families for students. For more information, contact Jennie Schmalzle at jschmalzle@afs.org or 800-876-2376. Go to http://www.afsusa.org.

Success In Style — Its mission is to assist women and men in crisis, in the Baltimore–Washington Corridor, become employed and self-sufficient, by promoting dignity and professionalism through appropriate business attire, practical fashion advice and interview counseling. Volunteers work one–on-one with each client, providing a full fashion consultation and wardrobe selections. No prior fashion experience is necessary. Volunteers also sort and process donated clothing. Volunteering about three times per month is optimal. SIS is open Tuesdays through Thursdays at Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., in Savage.. Volunteer opportunities are also available in the Laurel office on Wednesdays at North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Boulevard. Call 301-498-5035 or successinstyle@verizon.net.

ASD Climber Foundation — ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorders. A nonprofit that assists families with children on the autism spectrum, the foundation is working with a family in the Laurel area with a child with autism. The family wants to train volunteers to help them run a home-based social skills program called the Son-Rise Program, a parent-led program, which focuses on building a connection with the child by using his/her motivations to encourage growth. No experience is necessary. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Free training is provided. Time commitment is two to four hours a week for six months or more. Contact Joseph Quianzon at asdclimberfoundation@me.com. http://www.asdclimber.org/ASD_CLIMBER/VOLUNTEER.html and http://www.asdclimber.org/ASD_CLIMBER/VOLUNTEER_INFO.html.

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