Volunteers are needed for these ongoing programs:
AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM: Volunteers 18 and older are needed to prepare federal and state income tax returns for seniors, 50 and older in Modesto, Newman, Patterson and Turlock. Volunteers are especially needed on the west side. Volunteers should be comfortable working with numbers, have some familiarity with simple tax returns and computer experience. All volunteers receive a 40-hour comprehensive training in early January and are asked to volunteer at least four hours per week from Feb. 1 through April 15. The AARP Tax-Aide Program is the nation's largest free, volunteer-run tax counseling and preparation service; it helped more than 3 million people nationwide file tax returns last year.
CENTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES: Youth volunteers, ages 13 to 17, are needed to serve as defense and prosecution attorneys, jury members, bailiffs and court clerks. The Youth Court process offers first-time juvenile defendants, who have admitted responsibility for their offense, an opportunity to have their case heard by a jury of their peers with an adult volunteer judge experienced in juvenile law presiding. Adult volunteers 18 and older who are knowledgeable of the law are also needed to act as judges to preside over the court and serve as mentors to assist volunteer attorneys with trial preparation. The court sessions are usually held during the evening bimonthly on Wednesdays in Modesto and on the third Tuesday in Oakdale.
HAVEN WOMEN'S CENTER OF STANISLAUS: Volunteers 18 years and older to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Haven provides shelter and support services for women and their children affected by domestic violence, assists victims with temporary restraining orders, and provides support and advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. Volunteer opportunities can include trauma response advocacy (hospital response to domestic violence and sexual assault victims), shelter and crisis line advocacy, child/youth programs, legal program and staffing prevention information tables. Haven will conduct a required 80-hour training series for potential volunteers Monday-Wednesday evenings between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. from Jan. 7 to Feb. 27. Registration can close at 25 confirmed applicants. The training application is available on the agency's website, hwcstan.squarespace.com. Trainees must be over 18 years old and pass a fingerprint background check. Spouses, partners, friends and family members must attend separate training series.
READINGWORKS Adult Literacy Program: Volunteers 16 and older are asked to meet twice a week for 90 minutes with an adult needing help with their reading and writing skills. The location of the meeting must be a public building such as one of the county library branches. The ReadingWorks staff takes the availability of the tutor and student into consideration when putting them together for tutoring services. ReadingWorks is providing a tutor orientation Jan. 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the tutor training will follow on Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both at the ReadingWorks Learning Center, 1032 11th St., Modesto. There is a cost of $10 for training materials; however, this fee can be waived if requested.
UNITED WAY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY, VITA: Volunteers 18 years and older are needed to assist individuals with tax returns and help clients claim their Earned Income Tax and Child tax credits. VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is an expanding program that helps low-income residents get free tax preparation. Volunteer positions include preparer, greeter, screener and child care. Flexible schedules are available at sites throughout Stanislaus County with opportunities through April 2013. Some positions require training sanctioned by the IRS. The training program will be in December and January.
VOLUNTEER CENTER OF UNITED WAY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY: Volunteers 18 and older to translate current brochures and other materials from English to Spanish. Volunteers should have strong English and Spanish writing skills, good attention to detail, the ability to meet deadlines and computer skills.
WATERFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT: Female volunteers 18 and older to mentor middle school and high school girls in their school district. Mentors must commit eight to 12 hours per month and be available from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mentors must be responsible, be able to maintain appropriate boundaries, committed, friendly, understanding, supportive, encouraging and respectful of cultural differences. The mentors will be provided with a small stipend.