A variety of volunteer opportunities exist throughout the county, but a few might be considered plain fun instead of work. One of them involves being an actor and another involves gardening. Check out the details below. More information about these opportunities and others can be found on the Volunteer Arlington website.
- Arlington’s Medical Reserve Corps seeks volunteers to be actors in an emergency response drill on Saturday, April 28. The drill will test the current point of dispensing plans for oral antibiotics given to the public in case of an aerosolized anthrax attack. No experience is necessary. Volunteers will receive an hour of training, then participate in the drill as actors for one hour. Contact Grelia Soliz at (703) 228-0711.
- Clarendon Presbyterian Church is looking for volunteers to be gardeners for its Plot Against Hunger program. Two plant beds are being built along the Jackson St side of the building to grow vegetables, which will be donated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Help is needed for a variety of responsibilities that include set up, gardening and delivery of the food to AFAC. Volunteers will complete a short training session. Contact Gillian Burgess at (646) 284-8894.
- The USO of Metropolitan Washington seeks helpers at Ft. Myer. Volunteers will assist military service members, military dependents, military reservists, National Guard and military retirees who use the USO Lounge at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Volunteers will provide courteous service to guests while answering questions, managing DVD and video game check out, keeping the lounge neat, brewing coffee and replenishing snacks. Occasionally, volunteers will help with USO events in the Lounge. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid U.S. identification. Access to a computer is preferred. Volunteers are required to attend an orientation. Contact Emily Urban at (703) 696-0958.
Volunteers are needed for a number of children’s activities taking place around Arlington this spring and summer. More information about these opportunities and others can be found on the Volunteer Arlington website.
- Arlington Little League is looking for assistant coaches to help with the spring 2012 season. Previous baseball coaching experience is not necessary. Assistant coaches help head coaches run practices and games, and participate in the overall management of the team. Volunteers should have the desire to work with children of all ages and skill levels to provide a fun and positive baseball experience. Contact Wayne Berry at 202-693-5585
- Jane Franklin Dance needs assistants for summer camps taking place July 9-13 and July 16-20. Volunteers will help with supervising participants during classes, participating in classes and clean up. No dance training is needed, just the ability to move, be creative and interact with children. Contact Jane Franklin at 703-933-1111.
- The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing needs help with an Easter egg hunt at Columbia Grove Apartments on March 28. The event runs from 6:00-7:00 p.m., and volunteers will help with set up, implementation and clean up. Being bilingual is helpful but not required. Contact Liz McElwee at 703-851-3635.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is seeking volunteers to help it handle a seasonal surge in orphaned kittens.
“Kitten season,” as it’s called, begins in the spring. The League is specifically looking for foster parents who can help care for orphaned kittens until they’re old enough to be adopted.
From the AWLA:
Each spring and summer our shelter receives orphaned kittens that are too young to survive on their own. They require round- the-clock feeding and nurturing for several weeks before they are old enough to be adopted. Once the kittens are ready for adoption, the foster parent returns them to the shelter for adoption into permanent homes. The League desperately needs foster parents with very flexible schedules who can care for these unweaned animals.
We are holding an Foster Volunteer Recruitment meeting on Monday, March 5th from 7:00-8:00 PM at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206. At our informational meeting, experienced foster volunteers will give personal accounts of the time and commitment required. They will also share pictures and heartwarming stories of their experiences and what motivates them to foster our most vulnerable shelter animals.
Volunteer foster parents must be able to take the foster animals into their homes and provide a clean safe environment for them, as well as a lot of love and patience. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington will provide foster parents with the training they need to properly care for their kittens. The League also provides food, supplies, and veterinary care for foster animals.
The first step to become a foster parent is to complete our online volunteer application here at www.awla.org/volunteer.shtml, attend a volunteer orientation/training, and complete a home visit with the foster coordinator.
Linden Resources (formerly SOC Enterprises) is looking for a few good gardeners.
The non-profit, located at 750 S. 23rd Street near Crystal City, is seeking volunteers who enjoy gardening to help jump start the Linden Gardening Program.
“Volunteers will help to plant and cultivate plants using our greenhouse, plan and plant our outdoor vegetable gardens, provide weekly maintenance and weeding throughout the Summer months, and provide staff and the people with disabilities that we serve with gardening instruction and guidance,” the group said in an email. “If you are interested, please contact Amanda Chenkin at 703-521-4441 or achenkin@Linden.org.”
Founded in 1959, Linden provides jobs, job placement and vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities.
On March 17, ACE is holding its third annual Green Living Expo from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School. The event focuses on helping residents find practical ways to “green up” their lifestyles. Visitors will find green living seminars, a variety of local and national exhibitors, children’s activities, a raffle, sustainable eating food sales and cooking demonstrations.
The expo is free and open to the pubic, but the event is still short on volunteers. Extra help is needed from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., organizers say. Anyone who wants to lend a hand can get more information by calling 703-228-6427.
Looking for a way to give back this holiday season?
The county’s Volunteer Arlington program lists several holiday-related volunteer and donation opportunities that are open to interested members of the public.
- Thanksgiving Meal Delivery — The Arlington Knights of Columbus chapter is feeding some 2,000 needy people on Thanksgiving, and they need volunteers to help deliver meals or serve food in their North Arlington facility.
- Angel Tree Program Setup, Sorting and Distribution — Help the Salvation Army provide gifts to needy children and elderly citizens who would otherwise be left out on Christmas.
- Gift Wrapping at Pentagon City Mall — A gift wrapping service provided to shoppers at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City by Arms Outstretched Ministry. Proceeds benefit wounded warriors, deployed military personnel and their families.
- Secret Santa/Adopt-A-Family — Help provide gifts to needy families via the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.
- Arlington DHS Secret Santa — Donate gift cards to the Arlington Department of Human Services to make the holidays “a little happier for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable residents.”
The effort is part of the county’s 100 Homes Campaign, which will try to cut “chronic homelessness” in Arlington in half by July 2013. The campaign will place some of Arlington’s most medically-vulnerable homeless individuals — described as “those most likely to die if not housed quickly” — in permanent supportive housing.
The county is looking for volunteer surveyors, data entry personnel and headquarters staff to work from Oct. 17-19. Surveyors will be asked to go out in teams and interview homeless individuals from 3:30 to 7:30 a.m., while data entry will be done between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. More information on volunteering can be found on the 100 Homes Arlington web site.
“We have made great strides in addressing homelessness in Arlington, but our work is far from complete,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. “The 100 Homes Campaign brings important focus to helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community – those living on the streets.”
Arlington’s campaign, co-chaired by County Board member and state Senate candidate Barbara Favola and Shooshan Company president John Shooshan, is based on the national 100,000 Homes campaign.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, dogs will compete for prizes in categories like best kisser, best tail wagger, cutest costume and fastest pooch. The day will also feature dog training, grooming, treats and rescues.
Arlington is seeking up to 25 volunteers to help with set up, registration, ribbons and prizes, dog games, judges’ paper work and end-of-program break down. Anyone interested should contact volunteer coordinator Rhonda Nibert online or at 703-228-4724.
Although information for this year’s event hasn’t been placed online yet, the info page from last year’s Dogtober Day is still available.
AHC Inc., an affordable housing developer, needs several dozen volunteers to tutor middle and high school teens. Tutors get paired with a student for the academic year and meet up once a week for 90 minutes at one of the program’s six locations. Several of the locations are Metro accessible.
More help is needed this year than in the past because the program has expanded the number of nights per week that tutoring is available to the teens.
The Teen Tutor orientation takes place on September 14 and 15. To get involved with the program, click here for the registration form. To request more information, contact Jennifer Cavaliere, firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-486-0626 x 154.
On Saturday, Sept. 10 Arlington County will host a special 9/11 tribute event to honor the 184 people who perished during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
“The event will be held at the Air Force Memorial and will be emceed by ACFD Lieutenant Dave Santini, with an invocation by ACFD Chaplin Reverend Leonard L. Hamlin, live instrumental music and a vocalist to lead attendees in singing ‘America the Beautiful,’” according to the county web site. “This event is free and open to the public.”
For anyone interested in giving back to the community to honor the memory of 9/11 victims, Arlington County is compiling volunteer opportunities for the 9/11 Day of Service. Among the options is a Sept. 10 and 11 grocery store food drive to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
More information on 9/11 events in Arlington can be found on the county’s “Arlington Remembers September 11, 2001″ web page.
The annual race will be held on Sept. 10 this year. Registration is $25 today, $30 from Aug. 5 to Sept. 9 and $35 on race day. Teams (including firefighter, law enforcement and military teams) need to be registered by Sept. 1.
The race will kick off at 6:00 p.m. from the DoubleTree Hotel in Pentagon City (300 Army Navy Drive). Runners will follow a course that will take them past parts of the Pentagon. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack on the World Trader Center and the Pentagon.
Proceeds from the race will benefit 9-11 related charities, including the Fisher House Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Purple, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Pentagon Memorial Fund.
Organizers are looking for volunteers to work on race day. Volunteers will be asked to pass out food and water and assist with other race duties. Anyone interested in volunteering can find more information here.
Help is wanted from August 10-14. Volunteers are asked to attend an orientation session to learn about the fair and what opportunities are available. The first orientation is tonight and the other is next Tuesday. Volunteers will have the chance to win a door prize of tickets to a concert at the 9:30 Club.
The Arlington Food Assistance Center is asking local gardeners and farmers to donate extra produce to bolster AFAC’s food pantry.
“Each week, over 1,300 client families visit AFAC to pick up supplemental groceries,” the organization said in a statement. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are in high demand among AFAC clients, especially as fuel prices drive up food prices.”
Produce donations can be made at the following locations:
- AFAC (2708 S. Nelson Street) — Monday though Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Master Gardeners Help Desk at the Courthouse Farmers Market (N. Courthouse Road & 14th Street N.) — Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon
- Rock Spring United Church of Christ (5010 Little Falls Road) — Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon
For more information on donating, and to learn about other ways to help, contact Puwen.Lee[at]afac.org or call 703-845-8486. The produce donation drive is part of AFAC’s Plot Against Hunger program.
It’s sort of like the “Adopt-a-Highway” program, but without the corresponding road signs.
Arlington has launched an “Adopt-a-Street” program that allows civic-minded residents and organizations to commit to picking up litter and debris along a road of their choosing. After signing up, volunteers receive safety and cleaning supplies, a five gallon collection bucket and scheduled pickups of collected debris.
Adopters are asked to perform their cleaning duties on a quarterly or as-needed basis, with a minimum one year commitment.
The program, which is run by the county’s Solid Waste Bureau, is intended to reduce storm water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed with minimal cost to taxpayers. Supplies for the program have been purchased through sponsorships, the county says.
Affordable housing developer AHC Inc. hosts “educational and fun” summer camps for low-income youngsters “to help ensure they don’t drop behind over the summer months.” The camps — held at six community centers throughout Arlington — start on July 11 and run from noon to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, until Aug. 18.
AHC is seeking chaperones for its off-site swimming trips on Mondays and its field trips on Thursdays. They’re also looking for volunteers who can help with the art activities, literary activities and outdoor games that are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“Enthusiastic volunteers are critical to the program and mean so much to the young people we serve,” said AHC spokeswoman Celia Slater.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Jennifer Cavaliere at email@example.com or 703-486-0626 x154.