In the aftermath of Sept. 11, America began to re-evaluate its thoughts about what makes a "hero."
Sports metaphors were among the first to evolve. Shocked by genuine images of loss and sacrifice, newspaper and magazine editors at publications such as Sports Illustrated rethought the use of terms like "battlefield" and "war zone" to describe everyday athletic events. Many replaced the slogan "hero of the game" with "star of the game."
After all, is a hero someone who merely sinks a 20-foot putt, flies over a defender to slam through a hoop or strides past an opponent to cross the goal line first -- accomplishments that many professionals are paid millions to achieve anyway?
No. Acts of heroism more often take place outside of the limelight, requiring a certain amount of devotion and the difficult task of putting someone else's needs above our own.
As you lounge in front of the traditional gridiron classics, conceding that you've broken another set of resolutions and cursing another year surrendered to the "daily grind," look over this list of organizations that serve those less fortunate. Without having to fret whether your money is actually reaching those in need, you can give of yourself this year -- and perhaps become someone else's hero in the process.
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: There is a particular need for people with 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 an operator for the 24-hour crisis hotline, 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) 645-2577. Needs: personal hygiene items, clothes and nonperishable food items.
Serenity House Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks volunteers to assist with programs in support of children affected by AIDS and their families. Needs help with food-pantry program (including packaging foods from donations) and fund-raising. Also needs participants in the Holiday Angel Committee. Contact David Bariether; 701 E. South St., Orlando 32801; (407) 894-2233, ext. 52; www.aidsresourcealliance.org. Needs: personal care items for adults and children, supplies for newborns 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 are "puppy raisers" providing foster homes to a puppy for up to 14 months. Volunteers are also needed to assist the staff with various tasks in one of five regional centers. Contact Liz Brock; 8150 Clarcona Ocoee Rd. Orlando, Fl. 3281; (407) 522-3300; www.caninecompanions.org. Needs: dog toys, grooming equipment, leashes, towels and any doggie accessory.
SPCA of Central Florida, formerly the Orlando Humane Society, seeks volunteers to care for animals. Opportunities include administrative assistance, exercise escorts, bathers, greeters, thrift-shop assistance and foster-care staff. The SPCA operates two shelters, one in south Orlando at 2727 Conroy Road, and one in Sanford at 2800 County Home Road. Contact the volunteer coordinator at (407) 351-7722, ext. 236; www.ohs-spca.org. Needs: cat litter, towels, throw rugs, cleaning supplies, clinical supplies, office supplies and dry pet food in unopened bags.
ARTS & EDUCATION
A Gift for Teaching agency provides free school supplies donated from business and individuals to area teachers for their classrooms. Volunteers are neded to sort contributed materials and help with donation drives. Contact Debbie Episcopo; 2814 Corrine Drive,. Orlando 32803; (407) 835-0900, ext. 364.
Adult Literacy League Inc. affects community-wide change by improving individual literacy skills and increasing literacy awareness. Volunteers help in the one-on-one tutoring program. Contact Ariana Rivera; 345 W. Michigan St., Suite 100, Orlando 32806; firstname.lastname@example.org; (407) 422-1540. Needs: all kinds of paper, compact folding machine, computer software for learning, any item for silent auctions.
Central Florida Theatre Alliance is a four-year-old collective that represents 78 producing groups in Central Florida. Various theater groups -- including the Orlando International Fringe Festival, Theatre Downtown, SAK Comedy Troupe and the Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival -- put volunteers to work as performers, ushers, ticket takers, concession salespeople, crew members and office assistants. Contact Catjie Weir; 55 W. Church St., Orlando 32801; www.orlandotheatre.com; (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, software.
Stone Soup Collective operates a radical free space that provides a place for community groups and individuals to convene, raise funds, hold events, and artistically express themselves. The collective also offers an alternative library. 1020 S. Orange Ave., Orlando 32806; (407) 999-7700; www.stonesoupcollective.org. 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; http://chapters.redcross.org/fl/centralflorida/. 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; www.centralfloridahelpline.org. Needs: portable TV/VCR, color printer, overhead projector.
Christian Service Center provides people who are 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 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; www.christianservicecenter.org. Needs: canned goods, clothing, craft supplies, office supplies, personal hygiene items.
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 ; P.O. Box 149083, Orlando 32814; (407) 425-5201; www.wecarecrisiscenter.org.
Center for Independent Lving helps those with disabilities by providing daily living-skills training, peer support, job-search assistance and social activities. Needs volunteers for office work, fund-raising events and to 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, behavioral-related health care to individuals suffering from mental-health problems and disorders through outpatient and inpatient services. Volunteers help with maintenance and office work. Contact:Viola Fernandez; 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 to help with mailings and clerical work . Contact Bob Decker; 608 Mariposa St., Orlando 32801; (407) 843-1563. Needs: 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. works to help people with disabilities in job placement. Volunteers are needed at its Camp Thunderbird to help with talent shows and art programs, as well as for June's Wine Quest to assist with ticket sales and acquiring auction items. Contact Michelle Zwieg or Patty McShane; 380 Semoran Commerce Place, Apopka 32703; (407) 889-4530; www.Questinc.org. 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 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 Linda Lovett; P.O. Box 538350, Orlando 32853; www.cfdfl.com; (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; www.wwspn.com/mall/livinghope; (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 it provides resources and information on alcohol and driving, which includes prevention presentations in schools in the community. Volunteers answer phones, write letters, help with annual events and serve as court monitors. Contact Casey Macintosh; 659 Maitland Ave. Suite B Altamonte Springs 32701; email@example.com; (407) 831-6233.
Miller Center for Older Adult Services provides assistance designed to keep seniors in their homes. Volunteers help with clerical needs, field trips and educational programs. Contact: Leslie Godleski; 2010 Mizell Ave., Winter Park 32792; firstname.lastname@example.org; (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; email@example.com; (407) 628-2884. Needs: personal hygiene items, nonperishable food items, sweatshirts, robes, slippers.
Guardian Care Convalescent Center This organization needs volunteers to visit residents, help with Bingo, drive seniors to worship services, assist with meals and do yard work. Contact Debbie Episcopo; 2500 W. Church St., Orlando 32805; (407)835-0900, ext. 364.
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.
Share the Care in both Orange and Seminole counties is seeking volunteers to serve as companions for residents. Contact Cheryl Favis 808 W. Central Blvd. 32805;(407) 423-5311.
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 Wayne Gardner; 5395 L.B. McLeod Road, Orlando 32811; (407) 292-0177, ext. 253. Needs: personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies.
Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge This is the largest wildlife refuge in Central Florida. Its goal is to rehabilitate injured and/or orphaned animals for release back into the wild. Volunteers feed the animals, observe them for any changes in behavior, conduct tours and assist rehabilitators. Contact Bry Ramachandra; 18515 E. Colonial Drive Orlando; (407) 568-5138; www.btn-wildlife.org.
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: Marsha Dunfee; 1890 Semoran Blvd., Suite 355, Winter Park 32792; www.cca-florida.com; (407) 672-2058. Needs: electric stapler, paper cutter, dot-matrix printer, desk top pc's.
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; www.cccturtle.org; (800) 678-7853. Needs: memberships and subscribers.
The Haven for Injured and Orphaned Wildlife provides rehabilitation for all types of birds, mammals and reptiles for release into the wild. It rehabilitates nearly 2,000 animals yearly. Volunteers are trained to feed and handle wildlife, clean cages and help with general maintaince of the facility. Contact Mary Jane Isner; 610 Birch Blvd. Altamonte Springs 32701; (407) 260-6137.
The Nature Conservancy Florida Chapter is dedicated to preserving plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of wildlife. Since 1961 the Conservancy has protected over one million acres. Volunteer opportunities include wildlife monitoring, removing invasive plants, leading nature hikes and buggy tours, visitor management, and reception. Contact Rob Dent; 2700 Scrub Jay Trail Kissimmee 34759; www.nature.org/florida; (407) 935-0002. Needs Bendix/King hand-held radios, shed for canoe storage, E-Z up tent for out reach events.
FAMILIES/ SOCIAL JUSTICE
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 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 Marie Hassewer or Tara Luby; 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, multiracial and economically viable organization of farmworkers in Florida, empowering them to gain control over social, political and environmental-justice issues that affect their lives. Volunteers are needed to help teach citizenship classes, tutor middle and high school children, write letters and make phone calls. Contact Sister Cathy or Sister Ann; 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 programs work with volunteers in their campaign 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; Tmcel43280@aol.com; (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.
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 food pantry. Contact; Amy Wright 1030 W. Kaley Ave., Orlando 32856; www.restoreorlando.org; (407) 246-0061. Needs: food, educational school supplies, toys, office supplies.
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 assistants and helpers with special events. Contact Sheryl Weaver; 2008 Brengle Ave., Orlando 32808; www.ourfrontporch.com/osi/secondharvest; (407) 295-1066. Needs: nonperishable food items.
Citizen Volunteer Program organizes volunteers for a variety of city-sponsored programs. 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: Brenda March; 129 E. Gore St., Orlando 32806; firstname.lastname@example.org; (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; www.CSNetwork.org; (407) 228-7771. Needs: office supplies and furniture.
Heart of Florida United Way is a health and human-services organization that develops resources, identifies and responds to local needs and promotes community involvement in Central Florida, providing support for more than 180 health and human-services programs. Contact Debbie Episcopo; 1940 Traylor Blvd., Orlando 32804; www.hfuw.org; (407) 835-0900.
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 and work at an annual conference and at health fairs. Contact Corrina Collier; 1400 N. Semoran Blvd., Suite A and B, Orlando 32807; (407) 843-1910. Needs: laminating supplies, paper folding machine.
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 Cheryl Favis or Mary Ann Procopio; 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 Courtney Huff; 1601 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804; www.cancer.org; (407) 843-8680, ext. 541. 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; www.cfbb.org; (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 Vanessa Littleton; 11 N. Parramore Ave, Orlando 32801; (407) 428-5751 ext. 238. 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; www.leukemia-lymphoma.org; (407) 898-0733, ext. 111.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society's mid-Florida chapter offers support to more than 30,000 people in 23 counties affected by MS. Its programs include education, counseling, literature, emergency respite funding and self-help groups. The society also offers medical equipment on loan. Volunteers assist in all categories. Contact Cari Py; 3659 Maguire Blvd., Suite 110, Orlando 32803; www.nmss.org; (407) 896-3873, ext. 23. Needs: office supplies, medical equipment.
Orlando Regional Healthcare System runs six hospitals in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. Volunteers work in admissions, ambulatory surgery, the information desk and surgical waiting rooms, as well as music, arts and crafts. Volunteers are especially needed at South Seminole Hospital: Contact Sue Maxwell; (407) 767-1200, ext. 5007. In Lucerne, contact Kristen Facella; (321) 841-4436; and in Sand Lake, contact Angela Phillips (407) 351-8500, ext. 8530.
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; www.preventblindness.org; (407) 896-9116.
HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS
Anthony House Inc. helps homeless and impoverished 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; Ahouse@iag.net or www.anthonyhouse.org; (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, adult clothing in extra-large sizes; only new clothing is accepted.
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 two to three hours per week. Contact Laurie Noel; 5931 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32807; www.covenanthousefl.org; (407) 426-7888.
Habitat for Humanity has built 80 homes for Orlando area families-in-need since 1987, with eleven more currently under construction. The group seeks construction volunteers for weekdays and Saturdays. Volunteers also assist with office help. Contact Lindsay Elliott; 808 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32805; www.habitat-orlando.org; (407) 648-4567.
Lisa Merlin House Inc. is committed to providing long-term residential treatment to homeless women as they step down the path to recovery after detoxification for alcoholism and substance abuse. Volunteers are needed to help with fund-raisers and special events. Contact Jackie Hughes; 3101 N. Pine Hills Road, 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, 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 and shelter; and 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 (as well as the United Way). It provides temporary shelter, counseling and support for persons vulnerable in an abusive environment. Its speaker's bureau offers presentations on domestic violence. Volunteers assist with programs including a 24-hour crisis line, referrals, community education, children's services, teen-dating violence-prevention and court advocacies. Contact Laura Morciano; P.O. Box 533199, Orlando 32853; (407) 246-7007. Needs: nonperishable food.
BETA Center is focused on giving our community, children and parents the knowledge and support needed to build strong and healthy families. The group offers parenting-education classes; pregnancy and teen-parenting programs; a residential program for homeless, pregnant women; and emergency support services. Volunteers are needed to help with cuddling babies, staffing the front desk, and distributing food items to clients. Contact Shirley Reeves; 4680 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando 32807; Bcenterinc@aol.com; (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 14 Central Florida locations. Contact Mary Elduff; 801 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 305, Orlando 32802; www.bgccf.org; (407) 841-6855.
Central Florida Children's Home cares for entire families when parents either cannot or will not provide for their kids (due to difficulties in the lives of either children or parents). Volun-teers help with special events, office work and mailouts. Contact Pat Robinson; 6000 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32807; (407) 277-7441. Needs: adult and child medications, food, utensils, napkins, personal hygiene items.
Children's Home Society seeks TeenPal Volunteers to provide emotional support, weekly contact, transportation to meetings and participation in monthly group outings. Volunteers help out four to six hours a 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 a wide range of settings, including psychiatric centers, day schools, foster-care programs, outpatient treatment centers, crisis centers and vocational- training programs. Volunteers help with tutoring and special events. Contact Danette Travis; 5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 400, Orlando 32822; www.devereux.org; (407) 812-4555, ext. 243. Needs: IBM computers, printers, therapy games, toys, new clothing, children's videos and books.
Dividends School Volunteer Program promotes community involvement in Seminole County Public Schools. 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; email@example.com; (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 Lynn Hotalen; 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.
Gardian ad Litem Volunteers become part of the court system to represent the best interests of a child who has been removed from home for alleged abuse, abandonment or neglect. Volunteers may be asked to represent a child before a court or anyof various social-service agencies. Thirty hours of pre-service training and a criminal background check must be completed. Contact Dawn-Marie Farmer; 2 Courthouse Square, Suite 3100, Kissimmie, 34741; www.galflorida.com; (407) 343-3457.
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; www.jaorlando.org; (407) 898-2121, ext. 21. Needs: student sponsors (for $65), in-kind donations.
Life for Kids and a Center for Women helps support individuals and families in making life-saving and life-enhancing choices for their children. Offering services in pregnancy testing, assessment of abortion risks, referrals for medical care and finding shelter, along with referrals for financial assistance. Volunteers are needed to council women as they seek pregnancy testing, assist with grant writing, and special events and fund raising. Contact Mary Gibson; 315 N. Wymore Rd. Winter Park 32789; (407) 629-5437; firstname.lastname@example.org. Needs: maternity and baby clothing.
Make-a-Wish Foundation fulfills the special dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers assist with wish fulfillment, special events, fund-raising, airport greetings and office assistance. Contact Scott Zarenchansky; 1053 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 1, Maitland 32751; (407) 622-4673. Needs: disposable cameras, gift certificates to restaurants and stores, office equipment.
New Hope Center offers services for grief and loss, including the Children's Wish -- which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses -- and Grieving Children Services -- which provides support for children hurting over the loss of a loved one. New Hope trains volunteers to support programs and to assist with fund-raising and special events. Contact Volunteer Coordinator (407-648-0160 for thrift shop); 900 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland 32751; www.newhopeorlando.org; (407) 599-0909. Needs: camcorder, arts-and-crafts supplies, nonperishable food items, gift certificates.
Orlando Day Nursery provides child care to kids 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; ODN@bellsouth.net; (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 mentors, office assistants, arts-and-crafts instructors, intern coordinators, transportation helpers, study buddies and general-topic speakers. Contact Billie McCaulley; 45 W. Washington St., Orlando 32801; (407) 843-1775.
+ Threshold has an eight-acre campus providing a residential, training, vocational and intervention program for children and adults who suffer from autism and developmental disabilities and who exhibit severe behavior problems. Volunteers help out in the thrift store, answer phones, assist with special events and do office work or outdoor maintenance. Contact Ellen Thomson; 3550 Goldenrod Road, Winter Park 32792; (407) 671-7060. Needs: washers, dryers, clothing, personal hygiene items, any houseware or household items.
WEEKENDS is dedicated to providing substance- and violence-free activities for teens, and to building positive peer groups within schools. Volunteers help with tutoring, special events, chaperoning and working with peer groups. Contact Katie Lehr; 626 N. Lake Formosa Drive, Orlando 32803; (407) 898-8277. Needs: cameras, office supplies, food, transportation, bookshelves, folding tables, printers.