- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 11, 2004

Places to volunteer

The following list is a sample of places in the metropolitan area that need volunteers:

• Greater DC Cares, 1725 I St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. Phone: 202/777-4440. Web site: www.dc-cares.org. This nonprofit helps connect people with volunteer opportunities at area charities.

• The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Divisional Headquarters, 2626 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. Phone: 202/756-2600. Web site: www.salvationarmysouth.org/DC.htm. This national Christian organization provides many volunteer opportunities. Some local opportunities are listed on the group’s Web site.

• D.C. Habitat for Humanity, 843 Upshur St. NW, Washington, D.C. Phone: 202/882-4600. Web site: www.dchabitat.org. This national nonprofit organization builds homes for low-income families and provides volunteer opportunities year-round. For information about other local branches, call 703/521-9890 for opportunities in Northern Virginia, 301/962-3720 for Montgomery County and 301/779-1912 for Prince George’s County.

• American Red Cross of the National Capital Area, 8550 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax, Va. Phone: 202/728-6400. Web site: www.redcrossnca.org. This national humanitarian organization provides volunteering opportunities in many fields, including youth services, disaster relief and blood drives. The National Capital Area chapter provides volunteer opportunities in most local jurisdictions. The Web site lists these opportunities.

• Capital Area Food Bank, 645 Taylor St. NE, Washington, D.C. Phone: 202/526-5355. Web site: www.capitalareafoodbank.org. Information for the Northern Virginia branch: 6833 Hill Park Drive, Lorton, Va. Phone: 703/541-3063. The Capital Area Food Bank is a nonprofit food and nutrition education resource that helps distribute millions of pounds of food to the community each year. Volunteer projects, featured on the Web site, include sorting and repackaging food, leading education programs, staffing special events and preparing mailings.

• Points of Light Foundation, 1400 I St. NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. Phone: 202/729-8000. Web site: www.pointsof light.org. This national nonprofit organization aims to engage people nationwide in volunteer community service. Its Web site lists local volunteer opportunities in Virginia, Maryland and the District.

More info:

Books —

• “The Busy Family’s Guide to Volunteering: Doing Good Together,” by Jenny Friedman, Gryphon House Inc., 2003. This book makes the case that volunteering is an important way to cultivate compassion, gratitude and empathy in children and to bring families together in meaningful ways. It offers ideas on long-term and one-time volunteer opportunities. The book also discusses age-appropriate volunteering and provides resource lists.

• “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Volunteering for Teens,” by Preston Galla, Alpha, 2001. This book provides tips on finding the right volunteer position that suits a person’s interests, skills and experience. It also explores why helping others is rewarding.

• “Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference: Helping Your Family Live With Integrity, Value Simplicity, and Care for Others,” by Susan V. Vogt, Loyola Press, 2002. This book offers a guide to parents on how to help their children develop strong values and make positive contributions to the world.

• “The Giving Box: Create a Tradition of Giving With Your Children,” by Fred Rogers, Running Press Book Publishers, 2000. This book teaches the lessons of generosity and charity and describes how good it feels to give to those less fortunate. It also includes a gift box in which children can save coins for a charity.

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