The crisis nursery at the Family Support and Treatment Center needs volunteers, said Debbie Hess, volunteer coordinator.
The 24-hour crisis nursery serves potentially abused children from the ages of newborn to 11. Parents may bring their children to the center whenever they feel they may abuse them. Children may stay at the center for up to 72 hours. The facility cares for nearly 30 children every day.Although the crisis nursery is a preventive center, many children who come there have already been emotionally abused.
"Their parents are usually too busy with their own lives to give their children top priority. By the time many of the children come to the nursery, they won't talk to or have eye contact with anyone. They're introverted, shy and insecure," Hess said.
Volunteers give the children the extra love and one-on-one attention they need through play therapy and talk sessions. They also teach children arts and crafts.
Volunteers also answer the Phone Pal line, a "warm line" specifically for latchkey kids who are home alone.
Volunteers are asked to commit to one three-hour shift a week between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. House parents care for the children during the night.
Volunteers must be at least 12 years old and must go through a two-hour training session before they volunteer.
For more information on becoming a volunteer at the Family Support and Treatment Center, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108. Other community volunteer needs include:
- Two senior volunteers are needed to work at the Timpanogos Cave Information Center one day a week from 1-5 p.m. This is a good opportunity for couples to serve together. Volunteers will answer phones, hand out brochures and answer visitors' questions.
- Youth volunteers are needed to work at the SCERA outdoor theater and concession stand for one five-hour shift a week. Volunteers must be 13-17 years old.
- The county jail needs a senior volunteer to cut inmates' hair on a weekly or biweekly basis.
For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.