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Digest

Make a difference and mentor a child

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 30, 2007


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COUNTYWIDE

Gulf Coast Community Care needs volunteers age 30 and older for its mentoring program. Volunteers are matched with children of all ages throughout Pinellas County who need a positive adult role model. Many of the children are in foster care or live with a single parent who is going to school and working. No experience is necessary. There are no costs. Volunteers spend a few hours a week doing simple activities such as reading, fishing, baking, teaching a craft or visiting a park with a child. For more information, call Beverly at 479-1841 or Bonnie at 479-1825.

Guardians ad litem needed for children

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.

Hearing-impaired program expanded

The Deaf and Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay has expanded its no-cost telephone loan services, which include amplified telephone and equipment usage, at the following locations: Largo Library, Clearwater Library, Palm Harbor Library, Dunedin Senior Center, Safety Harbor Library, the Upper Tampa Bay Library, St. Petersburg Sunshine Center, Gulfport Senior Center and the Gulf Beaches Library. Call (727) 399-9983 for dates and times.

Hellenic association offers scholarships

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association has applications available for more than $5, 000 in high school and college scholarships awarded by AHEPA's Pinellas Chapter No. 356 and the Daughters of Penelope, Pelias Chapter No. 186. Applicants must be 2007 high school graduates or current college students. Applicants do not have to be of Greek descent, but they must be a family member of a current member of the Order of AHEPA or the Daughters of Penelope. Call chairman John Tsagaris at (727) 791-1040 for an application or visit www.ahepad2.org or www.ahepa.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.

Small business program upgraded

Pinellas County has revised and renamed what used to be known as the Small Business Assistance Program.

Under its new name, the Small Business Enterprise Program allows qualified vendors to bid for county purchases from $2, 000 to $10, 000.

The program is designed to benefit all small businesses principally located in Pinellas County, regardless of the gender or race of their owners, with sales and staffing below established limits. Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees and annual gross revenue of less than $2-million are eligible.

To learn more, call 464-3148 or e-mail businesshelp@pced.org An online application is available at www.pinellascounty.org/ purchase/sbap1.htm.

Sign up to help Tampa Bay Harvest

Tampa Bay Harvest is an all-volunteer organization that collects food from restaurants, supermarkets and other sources to donate to food pantries and other local organizations that help feed the hungry. Volunteers are needed to transport food, help with coordinating and record-keeping, and assist with food-collecting events. Call 538-7777, ext. 1.

U.S. Navy offers youth programs

If you're a student between the ages of 11 and 17 and interested in learning about naval traditions through participation in activities on and off the water, the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, a nonprofit youth organization, and part of the U.S. Navy's youth program, offers valuable life and work skills like teamwork, leadership and citizenship. There are two types of programs, the Navy League Cadet for ages 11 to 13 and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets for ages 13 to 17. All cadets must be U.S. citizens, be in good moral standing, have a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average, be active in the community and be enrolled in school. Visit www.suncoastairsquadron.org or call (727) 796-7322.

[Last modified May 29, 2007, 22:32:35]


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