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Start your year off right by volunteering

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 15, 2007



Here's a New Year's resolution you can get started on today: Pinellas County's Guardian ad Litem program is recruiting volunteers.

Nearly 1,000 children in Pinellas need a guardian ad litem. Volunteers advocate for abused, abandoned or neglected children and teens in the family courts and the child welfare system. The average time needed is four to six hours a month. As a child's advocate, the guardian ad litem visits the child every month, becomes familiar with the child's case and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child has a safe, caring and stable environment. Thirty hours of training is required.

Seven classes have been scheduled for 2008, and the first class starts Jan. 8. To schedule a one-hour orientation, call 727 464-6528. Visit


Load up on food and more at green market

Dunedin's Green Market at the corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue features produce, cheeses, seafood, plants and herbs, honey, all-natural pet treats, organic products, nuts, natural seasonings and fresh fruit. Market hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday through the end of April. For information, call market manager Richard Kendler at (727) 733-4215 or e-mail him at


Hit the Pinellas Trail with Walking Club

Exercise your legs with walking and your mouth with laughter with the Walking Club at the Hale Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave. The group meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays to walk the Pinellas Trail. Call (727) 298-3299.


Musicians needed for Suncoast String Band

The Suncoast String Band is calling for musicians who play saxophone, banjo, violin, guitar and accordion. The band is starting rehearsals for the coming concert season. For information, call band director Tom Barry at (727) 738-4546.


Good at preparing taxes? You're needed

The IRS/AARP TaxGuide program, which last year prepared more than 4,000 income tax returns for residents of North Pinellas, needs volunteers. The program helps low-income and elderly residents prepare their taxes free of charge. Volunteers receive training that leads to IRS/AARP certification. To volunteer, call Frank Mann at (727) 726-7822 or register online at


School launches effort to expand campus

The Pinellas County Jewish Day School has launched a capital campaign to buy and renovate property and buildings immediately next to is campus on Cambridge Avenue in Largo.

The purchase will add 11 new classrooms and a new auditorium.

The school, which has 205 students, has grown at a steady 5 percent per year over the past six years and has outgrown its existing facilities.

To learn more or support the capital campaign, call Brian Siegel, head of the school, at (727) 588-0100, or Michael Seltzer, president of the board of directors, at (727) 532-1999.


Old cell phones can be a lifeline for seniors

Senior Citizens Services welcomes donations of old cell phones to be distributed to needy seniors as 911 emergency phones. The offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and phones are distributed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Senior Citizens Services is in Belcher Commons Office Park at 51 S Main Ave., Suite 308-M, Clearwater. For information, call (727) 442-8104.e_SClBCountywide

Jazz band needs young musicians

Sonny LaRosa's America's Youngest Jazz Band is seeking children ages 6 to 13 who play trumpet, trombone, saxophone, guitar or drums. Vocalists who will consider playing an instrument will also be considered. Call (727) 725-1788 or visit


Free equipment for folks with hearing loss

Florida residents with hearing loss can receive amplified telephones and specialized equipment for no cost at the Deaf and Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay.

Free hearing screenings, other assisting equipment and low cost hearing aids are also available at locations across Pinellas County.

Call (727) 399-9983 or visit for locations and information.


Brooker educational center needs help

Looking to help out? Friendly, outgoing volunteers are needed at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center as exhibit hall docents and summer camp assistants. Call 453-6800.


Volunteers needed in mentoring program

Gulf Coast Community Care needs volunteers age 30 and older for its mentoring program. Volunteers are matched with children who need a positive adult role model. There is a need for volunteers for children of all ages. No experience necessary, no costs. Volunteers spend a few hours a week in activities like reading, fishing, baking, teaching a craft or visiting a park. Call 479-1841 or 479-1825.


Friends of Libraryseeking donations

CLEARWATER - Before silverfish overrun your old paperback collection, why not donate it? The Friends of the Library Book & Gift Store in Clearwater's Main Library is seeking donations of paperback books in good condition for resale in the store.

Bring your donations to the Main Library or call Judy Bazata at 461-6272 if pickup is needed. Although the store is seeking donations of current and collectible books, it will accept other books as well. What it doesn't use will be part of the next semi-annual book sale Feb. 27 to March 1.

Proceeds from the Friends of the Clearwater Library bookstores are used to enhance the Clearwater Public Library system.

The store also needs volunteers to work certain days and hours. A short training session is required. The Friends Book & Gift Store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Work hours are variable, generally two to four hours a week. To volunteer call Rosalie Murray at 531-0667 or Rita Garvey at 446-3845.

[Last modified December 14, 2007, 21:12:23]

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