It's not too late to volunteer to help less-fortunate individuals this holiday season. There are many ways to help others enjoy the holidays.

For example, the Family Support and Treatment Center has several ways that individuals and small groups can assist children who stay at the center's crisis nursery.Julie Bundrant, business manager for the Family Support and Treatment Center, said the center needs new, unwrapped toys. These toys are given to families in need whose children have recently stayed at the crisis nursery. Bundrant said the center has enough toys to last approximately one more week, but they will need presents to give to four or five more families.

The crisis nursery can also use 30 to 35 more stockings for children. Bundrant said, "We don't have many stockings this year."

Individuals can fill the stockings with small toys, school supplies, candy and other stocking stuffers.

On a smaller scale, individuals can make holiday treats for the children who stay at the crisis nursery. "The children are thrilled when they can take a holiday treat home with them," she said.

Individuals can also help make the holidays brighter for patients at the Utah State Hospital. Through the Forgotten Patient Program, individuals and groups can sponsor one or more patients. Sponsors provide gifts, cards and/or goodies for the patients.

Shawna Peterson, Utah State Hospital's volunteer director, said she has about 100 more patients who will get no gifts this year without sponsors. Peterson also said individuals and groups can make stockings for some patients. Include items such as new socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, small bottle of perfume or cologne, and other hygiene items.

Groups interested in singing carols or providing other holiday entertainment for the hospital's patients are needed, too.

In addition to helping the Family Support and Treatment Center and the Utah State Hospital, other last-minute holiday volunteer opportunities include:

- Prepare holiday food baskets. Help low-income families have a good holiday dinner. Include a canned ham, stuffing mix, canned vegetables and other nonperishable food items.

- Adopt a "grandparent" at a local nursing home. All nursing homes have residents who don't have family nearby for the holidays. Visit with the patients and provide small gifts for them. Some nursing homes still have a need for more musical groups to perform for their residents as well. New white socks are especially needed at the Heritage convalescent Center in American Fork.

- Honor crisis-line volunteers. Make small gifts for volunteers at the Crisis Line of Utah County. These volunteers serve weekly by answering crisis calls from local residents.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities in Utah County, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..