Volunteer in the community and use your skills

CASA/Prince George's County — Volunteer information session, Thu., March 20, 6-7:30 p.m., Hyattsville Administration Building, 4310 Gallatin St., Hyattsville. Volunteers learn what it means to be Court Appointed Special Advocate. Volunteer spends about 12 hours per month with child in foster care and advocates for child's proper care and placement in safe, permanent home; 37 hours of training provided. Accepting applications for spring evening training, Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 6-June 5, 6-9 p.m. and one day of courtroom observation, 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. Light dinner served each night of training. Submit volunteer application by March 31 and complete phone and in-person interviews prior to training. Application, pgcasa.org. Simon Lee, 301-209-0491.

Laurel Regional Hospital — Volunteers assist departments throughout hospital, provide patient support and fundraising support through variety of planned projects throughout year, including the Glass Palace Gift Shop. Opportunities include welcoming and escorting visitors and patients; supporting staff, patients and their families; assisting with general clerical tasks and running errands; and participating in fundraising events. Volunteer areas include reception areas [emergency and surgical/waiting]; gift shop; fundraisers sponsored by Auxiliary; general clerical areas; imaging, patient registration, physical therapy and surgical services; and all nursing areas. Director of Volunteer Services, 240-486-4764.

HopeWorks — Advocacy services volunteers needed. Helpline volunteers provide crisis counseling and referrals to callers regarding sexual and domestic violence. Helpline shifts covered from volunteer's home. Helpline volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Additional conditions and supplemental interview processes with advocacy department apply. Hospital advocates also needed to provide comfort, support and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at Howard County General Hospital. Responsible for responding to hospital within 30 minutes of receiving call; receive small stipend for service. Must be at least 21 years of age. Resume, interview, extensive training and medical clearance required. All volunteer candidates must compete volunteer application form, pass background check [if over age 18] and attend appropriate HopeWorks training as required per position. Saman Akhtar, sakhtar@wearehopeworks.org or 410-997-0304.

Side by Side — This nonprofit engages, equips and encourages parents to partner with schools to promote their children's success in the classroom. It depends on the community for board members and volunteers and is looking for help with its second annual bike ride April 26. To actively join Side by Side's efforts to strengthen Laurel schools and families and/or help with the upcoming bike ride, call 202-710-5555 or sidebyside@sidebysidelaurel.org. Download a volunteer application at sidebysidelaurel.org.

Volunteer Laurel — City of Laurel provides opportunities to become involved with the community and local government; to provide students the opportunity to meet their community service hours requirement for graduation; to provide scouting organizations with the opportunity to meet Merit Badge requirements and to provide assistance to city departments and city sponsored organizations by matching volunteers whose skills and interests meet the requirements of the assignments. Volunteers are needed to do just about anything from repairing computers to filing, landscaping or special projects. Time commitments can range from a few hours for a single project, to as much time as you have available. To volunteer, call 301-725-5300, Ext. 2109, or City Administrator, CAdmin@laurel.md.us or go to cityoflaurel.org for list of city and other community volunteer opportunities involving such activities as acting, tutoring, animals and history.

FISH of Laurel, Inc. — Nonprofit all-volunteer organization that manages Elizabeth House. Volunteer staff buys groceries, prepares and serves a hot evening meal every day to the greater Laurel area needy. Volunteers also work in the food pantry, which provides the working poor with groceries. A 12-member volunteer Board of Trustees is responsible for the upkeep of Elizabeth House, financial operations, volunteer recruitment, public relations and web site. To volunteer, call 301-776-9296

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