Volunteer opportunities: Be an advocate for kids in court custody

Agency: Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates

Contact: 785-832-5172 or casaadmin@douglascountyks.org

Douglas County CASA is seeking volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in foster care. CASA volunteers provide comprehensive advocacy for abused and neglected children in need of care and under the protection of the court system. Trained volunteers investigate, facilitate, monitor and mentor.

Duties include regular monthly visits with the child(ren); maintaining contact with parents, foster parents, caseworkers and all other professionals or individuals involved in the child’s case; attending meetings and court hearings for the assigned case; submitting court reports; advocating for permanency for the child as soon as possible; assessing whether appropriate services are being provided to the child and family; and monitoring compliance with court orders. Volunteers must submit an application, participate in an interview, complete 30 hours of training and pass a comprehensive background check. Training classes are held three times a year. The next class begins Feb. 13. For more information and application materials, please go to dccasa.org and click Volunteer, call 785-832-5172, or email casaadmin@douglascountyks.org.

Serve on StopGap board

StopGap Inc. strives to empower youth aging out of foster care and at-risk youth in attaining ownership of their lives by providing them with a foundation of life skills to transition from dependence to independence and compete in society. StopGap Inc. is looking for a board treasurer with good organizational and management skills who is able to commit to a two-year term. The responsibility of the treasurer is to execute the mission, vision and direction of StopGap Inc. The treasurer is required to have knowledge of nonprofit accounting practices, nonprofit tax laws and fiscal record-keeping. The treasurer is one of two officers authorized to sign checks or access bank and credit accounts. The treasurer reviews monthly account records and monitors income and expenditures. The treasurer is chair of the finance committee. Please contact Justine Burton at stopgapinc.org@gmail.com or at 785-856-7833 for more information.

Help with LINK Thanksgiving

The annual Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen Thanksgiving dinner is scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. Thursday at the LINK meal site, in the basement of the First Christian Church, 221 W. 10th St. Meals will also be delivered to community members who cannot travel. LINK is looking for volunteers to help prepare and deliver the holiday feast:

• 2-6 p.m. Wednesday: Receive donated food and begin assembling meals for home delivery, at Maceli’s, 1031 New Hampshire St.

• 10 a.m.-noon Thursday: Package meals for home delivery and clean up prep area at Maceli’s.

• 11:15 a.m. Thursday: 40 to 50 drivers are needed to deliver meals from Maceli’s.

• 12:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday: Set up, serve and clean up the meal at the LINK meal site.

The meal is open to all in the community. Home deliveries are available to those who are preregistered. Deb Engstrom (785-218-9347) will accept calls and emails (deb5550@att.net) from those wanting to volunteer and/or donate food.

Distribute Thanksgiving boxes

The Salvation Army needs volunteers to help with the distribution of Thanksgiving food boxes from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Tuesday at 946 New Hampshire St. For more information, please contact Jim Evers at 785-764-0962 or at jim_evers@usc.salvationarmy.org.

Build gingerbread houses

Take part in the fun of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Gingerbread House Festival and Auction on Dec. 2, 3, and 8. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate as house builders. Gingerbread builder applications are available at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office. You can also complete an application online at gingerbreadauction.com. If design and construction are not your passion, volunteer at the Viewing Weekend and/or at the Live Auction of the biggest and best gingerbread houses that are all locally handcrafted. All proceeds raised from this event go to support the local BBBS organization. Volunteers are needed for various shifts and tasks. Volunteer sign-up can be completed at signup.com/go/UuOYZDe. Please contact Aubrey at ajacobs@kansasbigs.org for more information.

Be a Big

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County provides one-to-one relationships for children facing adversity. Are you looking to make a difference in the life of a young boy or girl in our community? For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a “Little” the invaluable gift of your friendship. Big Brothers Big Sisters is seeking a Big Brother for Don’Nay. Don’Nay is proud that he is very respectful of others. He comes across as mature for his age and he loves to ask questions. He also loves sports and being active. He plays a lot of football and basketball with his friends and his younger brothers. Don’Na is pretty much down for anything and will be very excited to get a Big Brother. If you have a few hours to be a volunteer, this is your opportunity to make a difference in the life of a youngster. For more information, please contact Mark Gordy at 785-843-7359.

For a comprehensive list of holiday-related volunteer opportunities, adopt programs and donations needed, please go to volunteerdouglascounty.org and click “How to Help for the Holidays.”

— For more volunteer opportunities, please contact Shelly Hornbaker at the United Way Roger Hill Volunteer Center at 785-865-5030, ext. 301, at volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org or visit volunteerdouglascounty.org.