“Volunteer” column for Nov. 25, 2012

Volunteer opportunities, provided by Volunteer! United (formerly Volunteer! Baton Rouge), are outlined in this column every Sunday. To learn more about these opportunities, contact the listed agency directly.

CELEBRATE WITH US, Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless — Mora Hedayati, (225) 388-5855 or mhedayati@homelessinbr.org: This month marks the one-year anniversary of the One Stop Homeless Services Center, run by the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless.

Activities are scheduled Monday through Friday to celebrate the anniversary, and volunteers are needed to help prepare for and staff the events.

Food (baked goods, sandwiches, chips and other snacks) and toiletry donations are also being accepted. Contact Hedayati for more information.

HELP DURING THE HOLIDAYS, Salvation Army — La Guardia Collins, (225) 355-4483: Holiday assistance is needed by the Salvation Army to help 5,000 individuals with toys, shoes, clothing and food boxes during the holiday season.

Volunteers are needed at the distribution center in Baker, beginning Dec. 3. Groups are also needed to help ring bells.

Gather your friends, team or company and sign up for a day.

For more information about these and other ways to support the Salvation Army, contact Collins.

COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge — Kayla Richard, (225) 336-8700 or krichard@ccdiobr.org: This program connects families in need of Christmas gifts with sponsors in the community. Volunteers can extend generosity by choosing a family to sponsor, purchasing gifts for them, and delivering the gifts to Catholic Charities or the sponsored family’s home.

Assistance is needed with data entry through Dec. 7, helping to organize the information necessary for families to receive gifts. Catholic Charities also needs volunteers from Dec. 12-17 to help sort and distribute gifts or deliver gifts to sponsored families.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Richard.

HOPE UNDER THE TREE, Volunteers of America — Greta Patterson, (225) 408-3796 or development@voagbr.org: Volunteers of America serves thousands of individuals and families every year by providing housing to homeless families, support to people with disabilities, affordable housing for the elderly and foster family placements for abused and neglected children and youth.

Those who sponsor a family, individual or child through the Hope Under the Tree program provide Christmas gifts to those who would otherwise have nothing under their tree.

Email or call to select from the VOA wish list.

HELP OTHERS WITH THEIR TAXES, Capital Area United Way — Jillian Sergio, (225) 382-3507 or jillians@cauw.org: Capital Area United Way is seeking Volunteer Income Tax Assistance volunteers for the 2013 tax season. VITA volunteers will receive training from the IRS to provide free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income families who need assistance with their tax returns, which in turn helps provide more financially stable futures for community members.

For more information, visit http://www.cauw.org/taxprep or contact Sergio.