Volunteer opportunities

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

A column listing volunteer opportunities in Charles County will be published periodically in the Maryland Independent.

Nonprofit organizations are welcome to submit information detailing their volunteer needs. Be sure to include the time commitment for each position, age or other restrictions, duties involved, a contact phone number and any other relevant details.

Send information to community@somdnews.com, fax items to 301-645-2175 or mail items to Stacy Sneed, Maryland Independent, 7 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf, MD 20602.

For more information, call 301-764-2849.

The United Way of Charles County is preparing for its 13th annual Day of Caring on Sept. 12.

Individuals and teams from area businesses and organizations are being sought to complete projects at United Way partner agency sites in Southern Maryland.

Volunteers will be given a complimentary breakfast and a T-shirt at the 2007 Campaign Kickoff breakfast sponsored by the Greater Waldorf Jaycees. The events will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Waldorf Jaycees Community Center at 3090 Crain Highway in Waldorf. Volunteers will proceed to the work sites to perform approximately four hours of volunteer labor.

The help requested by partner agencies includes assembling picnic tables with benches, establishing a wildflower garden, trail clearing and trimming, building bookshelves and creating a patio play area for children at a local shelter. Volunteers also will spend time painting, washing windows, inventorying and reorganizing storage space, delivering noon meals to elderly shut-ins, preparing educational packets, removing barbed wire fencing, power washing, painting and removing old skirting and installing new skirting around a trailer.

United Way of Charles County and its 36 local partner agencies are nonprofit health and human service organizations. Volunteers will have a chance to see how these agencies serve the community and will help to complete much-needed chores.

To volunteer, call 301-609-4844 or e-mail vburchuwcc@comcast.net by Aug. 31.

Ladies Auxiliary of the Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Department is seeking auxiliary members to assist the fire and EMS divisions. Call Jody Nyers at 301-609-4797.

Lions Camp Merrick, a nonprofit organization that provides camping and outdoor activities at its 320-acre facility along the Potomac River near Nanjemoy, is seeking volunteers. Services are provided to individuals with special needs, such as youth that are deaf or hard-of-hearing, blind or have diabetes. Camping opportunities are also offered to blind adults, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H groups, as well as retreats for businesses, students and family gatherings.

Short- and long-term volunteers are needed for administrative duties, such as data entry and mailings, as well as lawn care, gardening, carpentry, handyman services and assisting with periodic fundraising activities. Administrative duties may be performed at the central office in Waldorf or at the camp office in Nanjemoy. Call the Waldorf office at 301-645-5616, e-mail contact information to cmpmerrick@aol.com or visit 3050 Crain Highway, Suite 202, Waldorf or write to P.O. Box 375, Waldorf, MD 20604. Go to www.lionscampmerrick.org.

Maryland State Police seeks volunteers for fingerprinting and other related services. Training will be provided for qualified volunteers 17 and older interested in law enforcement. Retired law enforcement officers are also welcome. Call 1st Sgt. R.T. Best at the Maryland State Police Department at the La Plata barrack at 301-392-1200 or Mark Bryant at 301-843-6486.

Humane Society of Charles County needs volunteers from 8-11 a.m. daily to help clean cat cages and dog runs, along with feeding and other various duties. If you are 18 and older, call Jennifer McLellan, special events and volunteer coordinator, at 301-645-1063, Ext. 2 or fill out a volunteer enrollment form online at www.humanesocietycc.org.

Spring Dell Center, a nonprofit agency that provides support to adults with disabilities in Charles County, has opportunities available for individual applicants, as well as small or large groups, that want to work in the center’s day programs, help out at a thrift store, do lawn care and handyman work, attend recreational outings with individuals, participate in one of the group’s many events and fundraisers or assist with clerical and office work.

No experience is required for most of the opportunities, and any necessary training will be provided. To apply, pick up an application at Spring Dell at 6040 Radio Station Road in La Plata (across from La Plata High School) or download an application at www.springdellcenter.org. Call volunteer coordinator Candice Ogden at 301-934-4561 or 301-870-2439 or e-mail at her at cogden@springdellcenter.org.

Sotterley Plantation is looking for volunteers for a number of positions, including interpreters, gift shop workers, junior docents, garden guild members, quilt and needlework members, office workers and special event workers. Call 301-373-2280 or go to www.sotterley.org.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 36 is seeking qualified retirees to volunteer to transport veterans to and from scheduled appointments in VA vans. Call Marie Halter at 301-932-7653 or Lloyd Shires at 888-553-0242, Ext. 5044.

Dysautonomia Youth Network of America in Waldorf, a national nonprofit organization, was established to offer support to youth diagnosed with dysautonomia conditions and to increase awareness of these conditions. Sick children from across the world are members of the home-based organization. The network is seeking assistance with maintaining its growing office needs. Individuals with computer experience and basic office skills are needed. Time commitment is limited to availability. Go to www.dynakids.org to learn more about dysautonomia. Call 301-705-6995 to volunteer.

Habitat for Humanity in Charles County is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry whose objective is to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness from Charles County and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience. The nonprofit has its volunteer president and treasurer and committee chair positions in fundraising, church relations, building, public relations and nominating committees open. For a volunteer application, call 301-392-0770.

Health Partners, which funds a free medical clinic in Waldorf for uninsured and underinsured individuals, is in need of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and medical office personnel. The nonprofit organization is also in need of Charles County residents to fill vacancies on the Health Partners Board of Directors. Board members serve a three-year term in which they approve clinic policies and budgets, promote Health Partners to the community and participate on committees, including fundraising. Call 301-645-3556.

Pet Therapy Program is looking for volunteers and their pets to visit area nursing and rehabilitation centers. Pets are evaluated by the Humane Society of Charles County’s trained personnel. A minimum commitment of one hour per month is desired. Call Anita Marsh at 301-259-4139 or 301-645-8181.

Project Linus is a national nonprofit volunteer organization that provides homemade blankets to children suffering from serious illness or trauma. Volunteers are needed to make blankets in sizes and patterns for infants, children and teenagers. The Charles County chapter of Project Linus meets at 1 p.m. the second Friday of every month at the Quilt Shop in La Plata, located one block south of the intersection of U.S. 301 and Route 6. Call Mary Hancock at 301-743-2114.

Re-use Barn, a cooperative effort between the Southern Maryland chapter of the Izaak Walton League and the Charles County commissioners to keep reusable items out of the landfill, is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays at the Bargain Barn on Route 5 in Hughesville.

Funds raised from the barn, which sells donated items, including household goods, furniture, appliances, lawn furniture, wooden bi-bolding doors, mirrors, picture frames, jewelry, linens, storage tins, books and collectable cards, are reinvested into the community. Call 301-645-9451 or 301-932-9949.

Ladies Auxiliary of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department assists the fire and EMS divisions of the local all-volunteer organization and is on call during all local emergencies. The nonprofit is seeking auxiliary members. The group meets monthly. Call Pat Canfield at 301-932-2232 or e-mail pearlgert@aol.com.

External Diploma program provides tutors for adults earning their high school diploma at the Thomas Stone Annex. Volunteer tutors to assist clients in math and writing skill upgrades as well as assignments are being sought. The time requirement is one evening per week. Training will be provided. Call Nancy at 301-645-8765 or 301-870-7310.