It's a new year and time to make good on some of those New Year's resolutions.
If one of your goals is to be a better person and volunteer more within your community, then you're in luck. We've compiled a calendar featuring the dates of events that need volunteers. So this year, you can get involved - no matter what your passion.
Start the New Year by saving lives. Donate blood this month during one of the many blood drives in the area. The next one will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Panera Bread, 202 Basin St. For additional blood drives this month, visit http://bit.ly/V3JN8E.
Jan. 19 - 10 a.m., volunteers are needed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service coordinated through STEP and members of this year's Leadership Lycoming class. For more information, call 601-9501.
AIDS Resource is a nonprofit organization that provides free HIV-AIDS prevention, education and testing and provides assistance to those infected with or affected by HIV-AIDS. The organization is seeking volunteers to help with administrative work, such as copying, filing, data entry and greeting and assisting visitors to the office, along with help to coordinate fundraisers. For more information, visit aidsresource.com or call 322-8448. There is a brief volunteer application that will need to be completed.
Consider becoming a Cub Scout or Boy Scout leader. According to Deborah Dominick, director of development for the Susquehanna Council of Boy Scouts of America, the time commitment for leaders only is a couple hours a week. "It's great for the kids and the parents to get involved," she said. "With Cub Scouts, you do everything as a family." For more information, visit councils.scouting.org/Council533.aspx or call 326-5121.
In February and March, volunteers are needed by the American Cancer Society to help with sales and delivery of daffodils for the annual Daffodil Days fundraiser. Volunteers also are needed for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. For more information, visit the local ACS office at 1948 E. Third St., call 326-4149 or go to http://bit.ly/Umsh1d for a list of local events.
CAPPA - Community Alliance for Progressive Positive Action - is a nonprofit youth intervention and development program in Williamsport. The organization always is looking for volunteers to assist with programming. Volunteers serve a variety of functions, including tutoring, mentoring, performing arts coaching, basketball coaching, general supervision of activities and positive role modeling. For more information, visit www.cappaproject.org or call 326-7700.
According to Anna Thompson, communications and development manager at the YWCA Northcentral PA, 815 W. Fourth St., the YWCA has some great new volunteer opportunities coming up in 2013. "This year, the YWCA will be opening a second-hand clothing boutique specializing in women's professional clothing. We are looking for many willing hands to help. Volunteers will be the heart and soul of this new venture. Volunteers are needed to sort and select merchandise, steam and prepare items for sale, work the sales floor and run the cash register," she said.
From March to November, volunteers are needed to maintain trails, including loping brushes, trimming trees and shrubs, painting blazes on trees, cleaning up the trails and removing blown-down sticks. For more information, visit kta-hike.org.
This month, the Muscular Dystrophy Association will hold its annual MDA Lock-Up fundraiser. To become a "jailbird," call 800-572-1717 or visit www2.mda.org. The MDA team member will explain the details of the specific event and how you can be the most successful jailbird. Once you are a jailbird, you'll receive all the information you need, including a kit, success tips and an online fundraising Web page.
The YWCA Northcentral PA, 815 W. Fourth St., will offer Wise Options volunteer training in the spring (dates to be determined). The intensive hands-on, state-mandated training prepares people to advocate on behalf of domestic violence victims. Once trained, volunteers can work the crisis hotline, accompany victims to the emergency room and through the legal system, attend health fairs and sit on the Wise Options Committee to guide the program.
April 21 - Walk MS is a simple way to share in the hope for the future and raise funds to find a cure for multiple sclerosis, a devastating nervous system disease. The Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society holds several walks in the region on April 21, with the annual event locally at Indian Park, Montoursville. There is no deadline or fee to register. To register, call 800-227-2108 or visit pac.nationalMSsociety.org.
April 28 - The American Cancer Society's Bark For Life, South Williamsport Pool Complex.
The Williamsport Corps of the American Rescue Workers holds a bi-annual charity auction. Gold, silver, antique and costume jewelry, glassware, pictures, furniture, coins, sports cards and memorabilia, records, lamps, radios, trains, books, local artwork, Indian artifacts, vintage clothing, quilts and linens have been some of the items offered at the auctions. To donate, call 323-8401 or visit www.arwwmpt.org.
The YWCA Northcentral PA, 815 W. Fourth St., is beginning a foster grandparent program for the children in Liberty House. Because women who participate in Liberty House must attend classes, it often is disruptive to the instructors and the women when there are young children there who would rather be playing and having fun. According to Anna Thompson, communications and development manager at the YWCA, the organization is looking for men and women to read books, sing songs, color and spend some quality one-on-one time with the children during those class hours. "There are infants and children up to age 10 who are eagerly waiting for this program to begin. We are just waiting to have enough people to get the ball rolling." Thompson stressed that there always will be a Liberty House staff person nearby so there is additional support. These "grandparents" will not be responsible for feeding, diapering, bathing or disciplining children.
May 10 - American Cancer Society's annual Jersey Shore Relay For Life, 4 p.m., Jersey Shore Area High School track.
May 14 to 16 - Volunteers are needed for the United Way's Trash to Treasure yard sale during the day. The event will be held May 18 at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Contact the Lycoming County United Way at lcuw.org or call 323-9448.
May 17 - American Cancer Society's annual Williamsport Relay For Life, 4 p.m., Williamsport Area High School track.
May 18 - Girls on the Run needs runners and volunteers to help with set up. Each girl who runs receives a running buddy, whether a family member or someone who is assigned. Buddies can sign up online at http://bit.ly/WGHQQX. Buddies need to provide information about themselves and have background checks.
May 31 - American Cancer Society's annual Tri-Town Relay For Life, 4 p.m., Hughesville High School track.
The American Red Cross will hold its annual Heroes Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. June 7 at the Genetti Hotel. The event honors members of the community who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer lives, who have shown extraordinary leadership in that capacity or who may even have saved a life in the course of theirs. Nominations for heroes may be made through the American Red Cross by calling 326-9131 or visiting www.redcross.org. Heroes are present in every walk of life, they are teachers, firefighters, police officers and physicians. They are also the folks we see in churches, volunteer organizations and the workplace.
June 22 - "Fun" Mini Indy at Penn College for the American Red Cross. For more information about starting a team, visit 320 E. Third St., or call 326-9131.
The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers to help with its Road to Recovery program, which gives local cancer patients a ride to treatment. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars so patients can receive the life-saving treatments they need. Drivers must have a valid driver's license. They also must have a safe, reliable vehicle and proof of automobile insurance. Volunteer drivers must have a good driving history and be in good health. To learn about volunteer opportunities, call 800-227-2345 or 326-4149 or visit the local ACS office at 1948 E. Third St.
LAPS - Lycoming Animal Protection Society - a no-kill cat shelter at 195 Phillips Park Drive, South Williamsport, always is looking for people who would like to come in and visit with the cats, play with them and brush them during visitor hours, which can be found at www.lapsshelter.org/visiting-hours. LAPS also needs volunteer help with the organization's booth during the Lycoming County Fair this month in Hughesville.
First week of August, donors can participate in the Adopt a Student back to school program through Favors Forward Foundation to help a student living in a household with a hardship. Visit favorsforward.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Favors Forward Foundation is a social network of volunteers who share their time, talents and treasures to serve those within our community who are experiencing life changing hardships (illness, death, unemployment). All of the time, talents, and treasures donated go directly to those in need within Lycoming County.
Sept. 14 - 8 a.m. Volunteers are needed for the Lycoming County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' annual Paws for a Cause walk for the animals. Volunteers can call Missy Black, volunteer coordinator, at 322-4646 in the beginning of September to be assigned a duty.
Sept. 20 to 22 - Mini Indy for the American Red Cross. For more information about starting a team, visit 320 E. Third St., or call 326-9131.
The Williamsport Corps of the American Rescue Workers holds a bi-annual charity auction. Gold, silver, antique and costume jewelry, glassware, pictures, furniture, coins, sports cards and memorabilia, records, lamps, radios, trains, books, local artwork, Indian artifacts, vintage clothing, quilts and linens, toys, dolls, etc., have been some of the consistent items that are offered at the auctions. To donate items, call 323-8401 or visit www.arwwmpt.org.
Favors Forward Foundation - In early November, organizations and groups of people can Adopt a Family for the Holidays. Sponsors receive their families by the first or second week of November before Black Friday. Visit favorsforward.org or email favorsfor email@example.com for more information. Favors Forward Foundation is a social network of volunteers who share their time, talents and treasures to serve those within our community who are experiencing life changing hardships (illness, death, unemployment). All of the time, talents and treasures donated go DIRECTLY to those in need within Lycoming County.
Round up some friends and decorate a tree for the Salvation Army's annual Festival of Trees fundraiser. Entries are due in early November for the auction, which is held in early December at the Lycoming Mall, Pennsdale. For more information, call 321-9987 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Salvation Army holds several fundraisers this month and needs help with its annual Kettle Campaign. Volunteers are needed to ring the bells at kettle locations in the Williamsport area, along with companies willing to sponsor a "mini kettle" inside their business office. Individuals can host their own personal online kettle or participate in a team, church or company kettle campaign. For more information, contact Capt. Debbie Engel at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St., or call 326-9187. The Salvation Army also hosts with the Sun-Gazette the annual Santa Fund, which has raised more than $21,000 to help more than 4,000 local families since its inception in 2007.