The Mental Health Association of Westchester County, Inc. is seeking volunteers for its Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) to advocate for residents in licensed long-term care facilities, which include nursing and adult homes and assisted living residences in Westchester County. Volunteer Ombudsmen help to resolve complaints, monitor quality of life and preserve the dignity of residents in these facilities. Volunteers complete a 36-hour training to become NYS Certified Ombudsmen. In this free training, experts cover a range of topics including understanding the aging process, regulations, levels of care, and how-to work and negotiate with facility staff for the protection of residents’ rights as prescribed by law. The next LTCOP training starts September 14. Please contact Margaret Hadad at (914) 345-5900 ext. 298 or hadadm@mhawestchester.org.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL CLOTHES FOR KIDS & THE VOLUNTEER CENTER OF UNITED WAY.  Back to School Clothes for Kids, along with many caring businesses and individuals, has been getting needy children ready for school for 26 years.  JOIN US AT OUR ANNUAL “KICK-OFF” ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27TH BETWEEN 5:30 & 7:00 PM. Stop by on your way home from work…enjoy some wine and hors d’oeurvres…and learn how you, your friends, co-workers or family can be part of our effort! We also invite the wonderful folks already participating as volunteers, company coordinators and agency coordinators to enjoy the camaraderie of other caring people who want to make a difference in children’s lives.  JUST A FEW WAYS TO HELP:  * Request a profile of a child and your co-workers, friends or family can shop for school clothes for that child * Donate funds or a Corporate Contribution can be made so Teens can pick out their own clothes * Organize a Company Team to volunteer at our “Shop With A Teen” Nights in August and September * Hold a Backpack & School Supply Drive * Schools can share this community service project with their students. You can too with the children in your life.  Any questions, call Connie Kennedy at 914 697 2792.  Annual “KICKOFF”, TAL INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER CORPORATION, 100 Manhattanville Road, Purchase, NY 10577, (914) 697 2792, June 27th, 2012, 5:30pm, www.backtoschoolclothes.org.

Used clothing home pick up, 914 963 4453.  We take:  Men`s, Women`s, Children`s Clothing, Shoes (all seasons), toys, books, towels, blankets, curtains, and sheets.  Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester distributes items to needy families throughout Westchester or sells them to benefit the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.  In addition to home pick ups, you can drop off your clothing at any of these locations: Westchester Natural Cleaners, 405 Bedford Road, Armonk.  Manara Laundromat, 544 E. Main Street, Mount Kisco.  Mt. Kisco Mobil, 120 N. Bedford Rd., Mt. Kisco.  Collection Office, 9 Romaine Avenue, Yonkers.  Office hours 9am-6pm Monday through Friday, 914 963 4453.  Big Brothers, Big Sisters is the oldest mentoring program in the nation and the only one of its kind in Westchester.  Our unique service matches adult volunteers to children of single parent families.  Professional staff provide careful screening, training, and supervision to ensure that volunteers and children enjoy all of the rewards of the relationship.

The Blood Donor Center is open every weekday 8:45 am – 4:00 pm.  Saturday hours are available.  Donors must be 17 – 75 years of age, in good health and weight at least 110 lbs.  Appointments are recommended. Call 914-681-1056.  For more information on upcoming community blood drives, call 914-681-1056.  White Plains Hospital Center, 41 East Post Road, White Plains, NY.

Turn your celebration into funds for causes you care about!
Giving is always better than receiving. That’s the inspiration behind Charity Panda, a website you can use to raise funds for your favorite charities. Make giving part of your next celebration: a child’s birthday party, a holiday gathering, a dinner party, or any other memorable milestone event.  With Charity Panda, it’s easy:  You invite guests to your event and ask them to donate to your chosen charity in lieu of gifts. Their donations will be tax deductible, and Charity Panda takes care of everything electronically– from personalized invitations and reminders to thank you notes.  To learn more, visit www.charitypanda.com — and plan some FUNraising  today!

Open Door Family Medical Centers needs volunteer readers for our Reach Out and Read early literacy waiting room program. Our volunteers read aloud to young patients, discuss the importance of reading aloud with parents, and distribute age-appropriate books. Anyone over 14 years of age is eligible and will be provided with an orientation and training designed to familiarize our volunteers with our facility, the mission of the program, and how to approach and connect with our patients. This is an excellent opportunity to develop skills for communicating with children and families, promote a love of reading, make a difference in YOUR community! We have volunteer time-slots available Monday-Saturday in all four of our sites (Ossining, Mt. Kisco, Sleepy Hollow and Port Chester). For more information, please contact the Reach Out and Read Coordinators: Jenny Palacio & Charlotte Baughman @ jpalacio@odfmc.org or cbaughman@odfmc.org  (914) 502-1358 or (914) 502-1355.

English and bilingual speaking volunteers can help prevent child abuse and neglect as a Parent Aide if they are over 21 years old, can give two hours a week and make a one year time commitment. Other volunteer opportunities include grant writers, community speakers, fundraisers, group leaders and administrative/office helpers. A one-hour orientation is a prelude to our 12-hour training. Call Linda Paver (914) 997-2642 for information.

United Way of Westchester and Putnam Seeks Foster Parents: United Way of Westchester and Putnam Seeks Foster Parents: Have you ever considered being a foster parent but aren’t sure where to start? There are hundreds of foster care children in Westchester County who are in need of a safe, temporary home. Learn more about foster care, eligibility or sign up for an orientation by calling United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline. Visit uwwp.org/ for more information.

Make a difference in the life of a Fresh Air Child this summer!  Volunteer to Host a New York City Child.  Sign up NOW to make a difference in a Fresh Air child’s life! Volunteer with The Fresh Air Fund to make the summer of 2012 memorable for an inner-city child and host family. Each summer, over 4,000 children visit volunteer host families in rural, suburban, and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. Fresh Air Fund volunteers simply want to share their homes with city children and introduce them to the joys of suburban or country life. Families find hosting so rewarding that more than 65 percent of all Fresh Air children are reinvited to visit the same host families year after year. First-time Fresh Air visitors are six to 12 years old and Fresh Air hosts range from young families to grandparents. All it takes is the willingness to welcome a New York City child to your community.  Local Fresh Air Fund committee members recruit host families, reach out to the community and coordinate fun activities for families and children.  Fresh Air volunteers need your help to create another fun-filled summer for children from New York City’s low-income communities, such as eight-year-old Justin of Brooklyn. “We made hot dogs and s’mores over the fire. I’ve never cooked outside before!”   For more information on how you can join your local Fresh Air volunteer team or become a volunteer host this summer, call The Fresh Air Fund at (800) 367-0003 or LaShika Walker at ext. 8962. You can also learn more about the Volunteer Host Family Program by visiting The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org.

Friends of Karen needs gifts cards to A&P, ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Pathmark. Pantry items including paper towels, tissues, Purell, antiseptic hand wipes, baby wipes and diapers in sizes 4,5, and 6 are always needed. Gift cards to McDonald`s, Dunkin` Donuts and Starbucks are a treat for our children in the hospital and also a pick-me-up for their parents. If your children have “too many” toys, please consider hosting their next birthday party to benefit our toy pantry. We are always in need of brand new toys, including Lego sets and other building toys, baby dolls for 2-year-olds, board games for 12+, Klutz books, decorative items for bedrooms (pillows, lava lamps, digital clocks, novelty lamps) and scrapbooking sets. For more than 30 years, Friends of Karen has provided financial, emotional and advocacy support to families with children from birth to 21 years of age with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses living in the tri-state area. Call 914.277.4547.  Visit www.friendsofkaren.org.

Furniture Sharehouse collects your gently-used furniture and makes sure it gets directly to needy Westchester families who are moving out of homeless shelters, escaping domestic violence, reuniting after foster care or recovering from personal or natural disasters. Since 2007, they have distributed over 21,000 items free of charge to over 4,200 individuals, half of them children, helping them fill their empty apartments and stabilize their lives.  The need is great, and the waiting list for an appointment is six-weeks long, so please consider donating your furniture and/or making a monetary donation to help us “make a house a home” for Westchester families.  www.furnituresharehouse.org

¿Habla Español?  The Westchester Library System needs you!  WLS runs a volunteer tutoring program for people preparing to take the General Educational Development (GED) exam, an alternative to the traditional high school diploma.  Some GED seekers take the test in Spanish and we need tutors with moderate to strong Spanish language skills to assist these students.  Tutors receive training and commit 3 hours a week to a drop in session at one of several area libraries (Mt. Kisco, White Plains, Elmsford, Port Chester, Yonkers, New Rochelle, or Peekskill).  Choose a time and location that’s convenient for you!  Please contact Robin Osborne (914-231-3237, rosborne@wlsmail.org) or visit the “GED Connect” space in the WLS homepage (www.westchesterlibraries.org) for more information.  English-only tutors also needed!


Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam has volunteer opportunities available in Patient/Family Care, The Caring Circle: working with grieving children and their families in a support group, office support, Nursing Home visits and also Community Outreach and Fundraising. For more information please contact Allison LaRose at (914) 666-4228 ext 211.

Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers for the mid-day delivery of meals to elderly homebound residents. The greatest need is for drivers for Thursdays and Fridays. For more information, please call the Bedford Recreation Office at 914.666.7004.

Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic is the leading provider of reproductive health services for over 75 years. Our mission is to empower individuals to determine their own sexual health and reproductive futures. Volunteer opportunities are available in all departments and our 12 health centers in Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, and Suffolk counties. Make a difference and join our volunteers to further our mission. For information about opportunities please contact Ellen Blonstein, Volunteer Manager, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc., 175 Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY 10607, Phone: 914.220.1025, Email ellen.blonstein@pphp.org. Visit Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic at www.pphp.org.