tampabay.com

Guardians ad litem needed for children

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 7, 2007


COUNTYWIDE

More than 1, 000 children in Pinellas County need someone to be their voice in the courtroom, and the county's guardian ad litem program hopes that could be you.

You can learn about becoming a guardian ad litem by attending a one-hour orientation held each week on Thursdays. The time of the orientation is varied to accommodate the schedule of prospective volunteers.

Guardians ad litem speak on behalf of abused, abandoned or neglected children in Pinellas County courts. As a child's advocate, a guardian ad litem becomes familiar with the child and case and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child has a safe, caring and stable environment. Guardians ad litem receive training and ongoing supervision to help them make a positive difference in the lives of children.

Call (727) 464-6528 to sign up for an orientation. For information, go to www.guardianadlitem6.org.

Bothered by litter? Call this number

Keep Pinellas Beautiful has a new 24-hour litter reporting hotline residents can use to report litter problems: (727) 210-4663.

The litter hotline is designed for large-scale litter problems or those that pose a public safety hazard, such as cases where items could create traffic problems. Examples include:

- Road or environmental hazards.

- Illegal dumping.

- Areas with major litter problems, such as storm drains with shopping carts or bulky items in them, or places like businesses with widespread litter problems.

The hotline is not for reporting code enforcement problems such as overgrown lawns or minor instances of littering.

Action to remove the trash/litter is taken by Keep Pinellas Beautiful Staff or coordination with the appropriate city or county department.

Callers will need to provide a street address or intersection, description of the litter problem and a contact phone number. Keep Pinellas Beautiful will coordinate with the appropriate city or county departments to address litter reports.

For more information, call (727) 210-4663 during regular business hours or visit the Web site at www.keep pinellasbeautiful.org.

Teen volunteer guide is now available

In an effort to promote youth volunteerism and help students complete service projects, the Volunteer Action Center and 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares has published the Pinellas County Teen Guide to Service Learning.

The guide lists 26 agencies in Pinellas that have volunteer opportunities for teens who need to complete 75 hours for the Bright Futures scholarship or for other programs.

For a free copy of the guide, call 211 or visit www.211tampabay.org. The 211 information line has information on health and human services in Pinellas, Hernando and Citrus counties. To reach the information line from a phone that's blocked from making three-digit calls, call 210-4211.

OZONA

Nature preserve is looking for volunteers

Volunteers are welcome to help restore the biodiversity of the Ozona Nature Preserve. Adults interested in working in the preserve can call volunteer site coordinator Reggie Hall at (727) 784-2131 or e-mail Hall at vision