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The holidays are traditionally the time of year that many people want to help those in need. Unfortunately, the help usually involves a one-time project, instead of an ongoing commitment.

Many community agencies are running low on volunteers who can commit to work every week, to make a lasting impact on those they work with.For instance, the Center of Women and Children in Crisis, the battered women's shelter, needs volunteers who work in the shelter answering the hotline and helping the women with shelter arrangements.

According to Diane Starks, volunteer coordinator at the shelter, many of the regular volunteers have quit because of the holidays, change of schedules, and because Brigham Young University will soon be out - many of the shelter's volunteers are students.

Volunteers are asked to work one four-hour shift each week and commit to stay with the program for eight months. Volunteers must also be able to attend the two upcoming training sessions scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

The Utility Assistance program at the Red Cross, which opens Dec. 15, is also in need of volunteers to work as case workers, interviewing clients who need help paying their utility bills.

Utility volunteers are asked to work four to five hours each week, December through March. Volunteers must be able to work during the day at the Red Cross office, but volunteers may schedule their own appointments.

Red Cross offers training to utility volunteers as well as on-the-job supervision for the first few shifts.

Community Nursing and Hospice needs volunteers to work three to four hours each week helping with various office responsibilities including filing and answering the phones.

The Provo City Library needs volunteers to serve as assistant story leaders on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. Story leaders must enjoy literature and children and will be responsible for helping with the story time and the accompanying craft projects.

For more information on these and other community volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.