Volunteer column for Feb. 7, 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly.

MYSTIC KREWE OF MUTTS & BARK IN THE PARK, CAAWS – Kathy (225) 752-5801 or klm_caaws@cox.net: Volunteers needed for the 15th annual Mardi Gras parade on Sunday, Feb. 16, in downtown Baton Rouge. Three shifts are available: 8 a.m. to noon; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m.

SAPPHIRES ‘N SPURS, Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge – Evelyn Gibson (225) 330-6327: Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge presents Sapphires ‘N Spurs, a western night benefit to raise money for children, individuals and families in the community.

The event is from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at LSU Parker Coliseum. Volunteers are needed to help that day.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED, SMP – Sunny Lawless (225) 248-7077: Write low literacy materials for seniors on Medicare. Previous experience in adult literacy is essential. For more information, visit stopmedicarefraudla.org or contact Lawless.

FAMILIES HELPING FAMILIES of GBR – Jamie Tindle (225) 216-7474: Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge has volunteer opportunities available for the GBR Active for Autism 5th Annual Run/Walk & Fun Fest on April 5. More volunteer opportunities can be found at fhfgbr.org.

SPEAK UP FOR A CHILD, Capital Area CASA – Jennifer Mayer, (225) 379-8598: Capital Area CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Association, a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children, will hold its next volunteer training class beginning March 25. CASA needs volunteers, especially men, to continue providing an advocate for every child who needs a voice.

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. Visit casabr.org for details.

ONE BLOCK AT A TIME, Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) ­— Hope Dawan at (225) 226-4702 or hdawan@ebrschools.org: Volunteers In Public Schools seeks volunteers for Building Blocks, a program dedicated to helping pre-kindergarten students build strong reading skills for a lifetime of reading enjoyment. Studies show that early literacy leads to academic success.

Pre-K Reading Friends introduce students to advanced language, allows students to hear and retell stories, and build a lifetime of reading pleasure. Reading Friends are recruited, trained, and screened by VIPS.

For more information or to register for training, visit http://vips.ebrschools.org/.