Volunteer column for Dec. 16, 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.

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo — Erin O’Neil, (225) 272-9200, ext. 143, or volunteer@brec.org: Holiday animal lights around the zoo light up the nights for families to enjoy during BREC’s ZooLights now through Dec. 30. Volunteers are needed to help light the lights and pass out giveaway items while assisting with crafts and activities. For more information and to sign up, email or call.

GET HANDSON FOR THE HOLIDAYS, Capital Area United Way — http://www.cauwvolunteer.org: Take a little time out of holiday preparations this month to help make the holidays special for someone else. The HandsOn program has five holiday projects that need volunteers beginning Tuesday. Daytime, evening and weekend options are available. For more information and to sign up, visit the website.

HELP DURING THE HOLIDAYS, Salvation Army — La Guardia Collins, (225) 355-4483: The Salvation Army needs assistance for 5,000 individuals with toys, shoes, clothing and food boxes during the holiday season. Volunteers are needed at the distribution center in Baker. Groups are also needed to help ring bells. Gather friends, a team or company and sign up for a day. For more information about these and other ways to support the SA, contact Collins.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED, Capital Area CASA — Emily Hebert, (225) 379-8598: Capital Area CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association, a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children, will hold its next volunteer training course beginning Jan 8. CASA needs the help of community volunteers in order to continue to provide an advocate for every abused child who needs one. No special experience is required other than a willingness to get involved and to learn. Volunteers must be 21 years old. The first step to getting involved is to attend a brief orientation at the CASA office. Call (225) 379-8598 or visit online at http://www.casabr.org.

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 (VITA) 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://cauw.org/taxprep or contact Sergio.