“Volunteer” column for Jan. 20, 2013

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.

HELP PREVENT HOME FIRES, American Red Cross — Barbara Bourgeois, (225) 456-5555 or Barbara.Bourgeois@redcross.org: Join with other volunteers to commemorate the life of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service on Monday.

Be one of more than 100 volunteers who will go door to door in residential neighborhoods where fires are most likely to occur, canvassing the 70805 and 70807 ZIP code areas with educational fire-prevention door hangers that will help residents be better prepared. For additional information, contact Bourgeois.

MAKE IT A DAY ON, Baton Rouge Delta Development Corp. (BRDDC) — Kisha Thomas, (225) 335-1521: Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy by participating in a day of service on Monday.

BRDDC will be leading projects that will spruce up residential areas in north Baton Rouge as well as focusing cleanup efforts at various schools in the 70805 ZIP code.

If interested, contact Thomas for more information.

BE A READING FRIEND, Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) — Lauren Davenport, (225) 226-47023 or everybodyreads@ebrschools.org: Reading Friend volunteers are recruited, screened and trained by VIPS, and are asked to meet one-on-one for 30-45 minutes with his/her student on a consistent basis throughout the school year. Reading Friends provide a safe environment in which to build students’ confidence in and enjoyment of reading.

Participation in the program will ensure that a struggling reader improves his or her reading skills and gets exposed to a variety of worldviews. Visit vips.ebrschools.org to register for an upcoming training or contact Davenport for more information.

HELP WITH YOUR HAMMER AND MORE, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge — Kristen Lastrapes, (225) 927-6651 or Kristen@habitatbrla.org: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge is looking for volunteers to help build a home in Plaquemine in the coming weeks. Volunteers are needed Saturday and must be a minimum of 16 years of age. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Lastrapes.

TEEN VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, Youth Volunteer Corps of the Capital Area — Anna Stogner, (225) 382-3512 or annas@cauw.org: The Youth Volunteer Corps offers teens a chance to volunteer together on projects designed specifically with their likes and ages in mind.

For teenagers, volunteering brings a sense of confidence and a good model for interacting in the world. Volunteering also enables young people to develop new communication, career-building and social skills that will be useful in life.

Find out more about YVC at an orientation session on Jan. 29. Call Stogner to attend. For more information about YVC, visit http://www.cauw.org/yvc.