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Sub-for-Santa needs volunteers for hotline

Sub-for-Santa, a program that provides Christmas gifts to children of homeless and low-income families, is seeking hotline volunteers for the holiday season.

The Sub-for-Santa hotline matches volunteer sponsors in the community with families in need of assistance. Volunteers will answer phones, sign up Sub-for-Santa applicants for a required self-sufficiency workshop, and work with those who want to provide gifts for the children of another family.Volunteers are asked to commit to a three-hour shift, once a week. Shifts are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Bilingual or Spanish-speaking volunteers are especially needed.

"Last year the Sub-for-Santa program assisted more than 1,000 families," said Mollianne Buhn, Utah County's Sub-for-Santa coordinator. "Many of the children we serve would not have any Christmas presents at all without this program."

In addition, volunteers are needed to teach Sub-for-Santa applicants how to make low-cost gifts or crafts at the Sub-for-Santa workshops. These classes will be held Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning Nov. 8.

Sub-for-Santa is also seeking individuals, groups, families or businesses who are interested in sponsoring the children of families in need this Christmas. Most needed are volunteer sponsors who can wait until the week before Christmas to receive the names of those they will be helping. Often those who need help the most wait until the last minute to apply because they had hoped to afford gifts on their own.

Other volunteer opportunities are available in Utah County include:

- Help Spanish-speaking women and children. The Women Infants and Children program in Payson needs volunteers to disseminate nutritional information to Spanish-speaking clients who come in for routine health checks and nutrition classes.

A bilingual volunteer is needed at the Payson center every alternate Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. Other volunteers are needed to spend an hour and a half a week entertaining children while their mothers are receiving checkups and nutritional information.

- Offer clothing advice to women seeking jobs. The Center for Personal and Career Development in Orem provides women with professional job-hunting apparel. Volunteers will help sort donated clothing, display clothes and offer clothing advice. Volunteers are needed Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Clothing contributions for this program are also needed.

- Provide a safe environment for survivors of domestic abuse. The Center for Women and Children in Crisis in Provo needs volunteers to answer hotline phone calls, handle office work and complete light maintenance work. Individuals are also needed to check women and children into the center and to help entertain children. Volunteers are needed four hours a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and should be committed to working at the center for six months.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities throughout Utah County, contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit the United Way of Utah County web site at (www.utahcounty.unitedway.org).