Seeking volunteers – Opportunities abound during holidays

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays present a variety of opportunities for people interested in volunteering and contributing to the county’s non-profit and outreach agencies.

In particular, the Shelby Baptist Association operates the Christmas gift shop each year in which clients are sponsored. The Association begins interviewing clients next week and the Christmas gift shop in Columbiana opens on Nov. 29.

Jo Bailey, director of the Christmas gift shop, said the center is in need of new clothes and sponsors for clients.

Other volunteer opportunities in the county include the Meals on Wheels program sponsored by the Middle Alabama Area Agency and the American Red Cross. Volunteers are needed to deliver hot meals to shut-ins throughout the county.

The Department of Human Resources in Shelby County always needs to replenish its food pantry. Non-perishable foods are distributed to families during a crisis. Chris Monseret, DHR director for Shelby County, said the

food pantry and other projects at DHR could be good projects for classes or other groups.

&uot;This time of year we especially see people in need,&uot; Monseret said. &uot;Everybody’s utility bills go up, and everybody’s trying to do something special for their kids.&uot;

Also, DHR has a special Christmas project for clients. Monseret said DHR is trying to find sponsors for foster children, senior citizens and familiy assistance recipients. Applications for sponsors for all three categories are available at DHR.

The Owens House is a child advocacy center in Columbiana that counsels about 50 children. The center could use in-house items such as toilet paper and paper towels if anyone is interested in donating.

SafeHouse is another counseling center for domestic violence victims. In particular, the center needs baby monitors, linens and toiletry items.

* Shelby Baptist Association

P.O. Box 888

Columbiana, AL 35051

* Department of Human Resources – 669-3006

* Middle Alabama Area Agency – (866) 570-2998

* American Red Cross of Shelby County – 663-4290

* Owens House – 669-3333

* SafeHouse – 664-593