The Family Support and Treatment Center is recruiting volunteers to interact with children in their 24-hour crisis nurs-ery. Volunteers who help in the nursery are needed to come in for a three-hour shift once a week. A four-month commitment is preferred.
Volunteers are especially needed during the spring and summer since university students don't tend to volunteer as much during this time. Joy O'Banion, director of the Family Support and Treatment Center, said the number of individuals helping in the nursery determines the number of children the nursery can take at one time. Laws require the center's nursery to have a ratio of one adult to four children. "By using volunteers, we are able to help more children," O'Banion said.Individuals who help weekly at the nursery are asked to attend a training session. The training session is offered Tuesday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m.
Groups are also needed to help at the center with one-time projects. Large groups can help clean, vacuum and dust. Groups of 10 or less can play with children in the nursery.
"Working as a team, volunteers begin to see how they can help better their own communities," said Marie Rushforth, Family Support and Treatment Center's program specialist. "They also gain a sense that they can get help too if they need it."
Preferably, two to three weeks advance notice is required to accommodate large groups of vol-un-teers.
The Family Support and Treatment Center helps with the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It also provides family support services including counseling, support groups and a 24-hour crisis nursery for children in a stressful family situation.
Other volunteer opportunities available throughout Utah County include:
- Help set up, clean, and prepare meals for less fortunate families and individuals in Utah County. The Food and Shelter Coalition, located in Provo, is looking for volunteers to help weekdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. setting up for breakfast, preparing for lunch and helping with light cleaning projects. Two to three people are needed for these shifts every day.
- Provide a listening ear for community members in need. Crisis Line of Utah County is seeking individuals who are able to volunteer at least once a week for a three-hour shift. Training is provided. An eight-month commitment is preferred.
- Make personal hygiene kits for homeless individuals. Collect and combine hygiene items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, soap, combs, razors and perfume for homeless individuals. Charities that work with low-income and homeless individuals are always in need of these kits or any donation of personal hygiene items.
For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities in Utah County, call the United Way Volunteer Center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 374-8108.