During the holiday season, many people volunteer their time and donate goods to the less fortunate. But often, after the holidays charities suffer because volunteer assistance and donations drop off.

For example, Community Action receives donations during the holidays that help the low-income families the agency assists. The donations are needed and appreciated. However, the needs of Community Action's low-income families still exist after the holiday season is over.Myla Dutton, Community Action's director, said two things Community Action always needs are school supply kits for low-income individuals and personal hygiene kits for homeless people. Anyone who wishes to donate goods after the holidays, or all year long, can make these kits for Community Action.

Children from low-income families need pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, scissors, crayons, markers, paper and any other school supplies in their kits. Personal hygiene kits may include items such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, a razor, shaving cream, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb and other health and beauty items.

In addition to donating items to Community Action, volunteers are needed by other agencies:

- Visit the elderly. Individuals or small groups can "adopt-a-grandparent" who is living in a nursing home. People frequently visit nursing home residents during the holiday season. After the season is over, many nursing home residents feel lonely and enjoy personal visits by volunteers. In addition to visiting the nursing home residents, individuals can also donate new, white socks to a nursing home. Volunteer hours are extremely flexible.

- Bake homemade treats for children staying in a crisis nursery. Abused and potentially abused children can be left at a crisis nursery for up to 72 hours. These children enjoy getting treats to eat or take home. Various volunteer hours are available.

- Help with office work. Many nonprofit organizations can't hire additional staff to take care of all their office needs. Volunteers are needed to help with secretarial and receptionist duties at a variety of charities. Volunteers are asked to help once a week for one to three hours, usually on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

- Befriend a patient at the Utah State Hospital. Patients at the Utah State Hospital are visited a lot during the holiday season. However, once the holidays are past, patients can become very lonely. A variety of volunteer hours are available.

For more information about how to volunteer or donate items after the holidays, contact the United Way Volunteer Center, 374-8108, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.