Volunteer Opportunities During the Holiday Season

Olga Ramaz and Eyonna Andreatte

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but most importantly, ’tis the season of giving and lending a helping hand. For those that have a little extra time on their hands, here are some great volunteer opportunities for this holiday season.

10,000 Toy Giveaway
The Dream Center, located at 2301 Bellevue Ave., Los Angeles, needs volunteers through Friday for their 10,000 Toy Giveaway. The gifts will be given away to low income and at-risk youth. The Dream Center offers programs that provide basic necessities and emergency assistance, as well as those that are designed to help individuals and families move from dependency on public assistance to self-sufficiency. In addition to food, clothing and health care, the Dream Center provides residential rehabilitation programs, counseling and educational programs. For more information, contact Elizabeth Bryant at (213) 273-7002 or visit www.dreamcenter.org

Eco Gift Expo
The Eco Gift Expo is seeking volunteers for the first, large scale holiday gift show for “eco-conscious” people, Friday and Saturday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The tradeshow industry is second only to the construction industry in the amount of waste it generates. So, a “zero waste” tradeshow poses a special challenge. Seven-Star Events will be spearheading the greening, or waste diversion and resource recovery for the expo. Volunteers are needed all day Friday and Saturday for various positions. In exchange for completing one six hour shift, volunteers will receive free admission into the expo, an organic cotton staff t-shirt and a green goody Eco Gift Expo bag. For more information, visit www.ecogift.com/volunteer or send an email to [email protected]

Holiday Food Sort-a-Thon
The Los Angeles Regional Food bank is seeking volunteers to help out on December 19. Volunteers are needed to help with sorting food donations from local food drives and assembling food packages that go to needy families, individuals and seniors. This event will take place at 1734 E. 41st St., Los Angeles, between 9 a.m. and noon. For more information on volunteering, contact Ana Martinez at (323) 234-3030 or visit www.lafightshunger.org

Wrapping for Inclusion
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation is hosting the 2007 Wrapping for Inclusion, taking place at 101 N. Brand Blvd., through December 24 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help wrap gifts for young people with special needs. For more information, contact Aron Hall at (919) 882-2152 or visit www.bubelaiken.org

Food on Foot
Volunteer registrations are being accepted for the Food on Foot event happening through December 25, at 1625 N. Schrader Blvd., Hollywood, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers will be serving food and handing out sleeping bags to 600 plus homeless people in Hollywood. Advanced registration is required. For more information on volunteering for the Food on Foot event, contact Jay Goldinger at (310) 442-0088 or visit www.foodonfoot.org

Glendale Adventist Medical Center
The Glendale Adventist Medical Center, 1509 Wilson Terrace, is looking for responsible adults who are interested in helping patients and visitors at the medical center. Volunteers will assist in greeting visitors, work at the information desks, escort patients to various out-patient services, assist at patient care units including the ER and SICU, help customers at the gift shop, and more. Volunteers receive monthly training, parking, and meals. Flexible scheduling and free uniforms are available. No experience is required. For more information call (818) 409-8057 or email [email protected]

Glendale Memorial Hospital
The Glendale Memorial Hospital, 1420 S Central Ave., needs volunteers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteer opportunities include the gift shop, emergency department, 50 Plus, Messenger office, and patient care areas. Volunteers receive free meals and parking. Training, orientation and TB screening is provided free of charge. For more information call Wanda Hoagland at (818) 502-2373.

Salvation Army Glendale
The Salvation Army Glendale, 320 W. Windsor Rd., is looking for volunteers who can deliver meals for the “Meals on Wheels” service during a weekday lunch hour to homebound seniors. Volunteers are also needed to tutor children during after school hours between 3 and 6 p.m. Tutors also provide computer instruction to seniors and also visit with seniors. Volunteers are needed to get the work out about Safe Place, a program for youth in crisis. For more information, call Maren Schneider at (818) 246-5586, ext.121.

YWCA Of Glendale
The YWCA of Glendale, 735 E. Lexington Dr., is looking for volunteers to help staff with its “New to You” thrift shop at the YWCA. Adults and teenagers 16 years of age or older are needed between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The most urgent need is between 9 a.m. to noon daily. High school students may earn community service hours for their work. Duties include opening and closing the store, assisting customers, receiving and sorting donations, and light housekeeping. Training sessions for prospective volunteers will be held at the YWCA from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month. For more information cal Eliza Karegezian at (818) 242-4155, ext. 227.

Ahead With Horses Inc.
Ahead With Horses Inc., 9311 Del Arroyo Dr., Sun Valley, is looking for volunteers to help disabled and disadvantaged children who receive developmental therapy lessons on horseback. High school students, this is an opportunity for you to earn your community service hours while helping others. A love for children and animals is appreciated. For more information call Jennifer at (818) 767-6373.

American Red Cross Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter
The American Red Cross Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter, 1501 S Brand Blvd., needs volunteers to teach first aid, CPR and defibrillation classes. Prospective volunteers start by attending a New Volunteer Orientation class. For more information call (818) 243-3121, ext. 117. To enroll in the orientation class or obtain information about all other Red Cross volunteer work such as reception at blood drives visit www.arcglendale.org or call (818) 243-3121, ext. 110.

Glen-Park Retirement Communites
Four of the Glen-Park Retirement communities, 1250 Boynton St., are looking for volunteers to work in an atmosphere of love and understanding. Volunteers an can spend their time writing a letter, or just sitting and talking to a resident. You can play games, dance, have a sing-a-long, and be a friend. For more information call Andie Stoll at (818) 246-9000.

Glendale Public Library
Friends of the Glendale Public Library, 222 E. Harvard St., are seeking volunteers for the new Book Store at. Training is provided. For more information and to leave your name and number call (818) 546-2538.

Doctors’ House Museum
The Glendale Historical Society is seeking volunteer docents at the Doctors’ House Museum, 1601 W. Mountain Ave. Volunteer docents sign up to give tours through the Victorian House for two hours once a month. For more information call (818) 242-4290.

Glendale YMCA
The Glendale YMCA, 140 N. Louise St. 91206, needs volunteers to assemble mailings for upcoming fund-raisers and special events. For more information call (818) 240-4130.

Glendale Healthy Kids
Glendale Healthy Kids, 223 N. Jackson St., need volunteers who will work directly with children and families teaching dental education to first grade students, assist with the USC Mobile Dental Clinic (annually in July), and work within the GHK office and organizational structure by provide clerical support in the Glendale Healthy Kids office, provide support to newsletter and other publications and support fundraising activities. For more information call (818) 548-7931.

Glendale Humane Society
The Glendale Human Society, 717 W. Ivy St., is providing volunteers with the opportunity to walk dogs and socialize cats for those who would like to work directly with animals. Volunteers may also work with the public by answering phones and assisting in the adoption process. For more information call (818) 242-1128.

*For more information on these or other holiday volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteermatch.org