The Center for Women and Children in Crisis will hold training sessions for volunteers interested in working at the battered-women's shelter beginning Saturday, May 4, from 12:30 to 6 p.m.

Sessions will also be held Wednesday and Thursday, May 8 and 9 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Interested volunteers must attend all three sessions. The first session will be held in the Provo City Library Board room.Volunteers will learn about family violence and spouse abuse and about their own responsibilities at the shelter. Once trained, volunteers work a four-hour shift each week and must be willing to make a six-month commitment.

Shelter volunteers are responsible for answering the 24-hour hotline, updating records, keeping the facility clean and occasionally helping with in-take procedures. Depending on the shift, volunteers may also be asked to drive clients to legal appointments or job interviews.

"There are no strict prerequisites to volunteers here," said Diane Starks, volunteer coordinator. "But volunteers must be non-judgmental, willing to learn, committed and responsible. Shelter volunteers must also be 21 years old."

The center provides shelter, counseling and out-patient support for women who have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused. The center also provides counseling groups for the children of these women.

According to shelter director Betty Engemann, women call the shelter at all stages of the abusive relationship. Last year, the shelter received almost 6,000 calls on the hotline.

The center also needs volunteers for children's programs. Applicants 18 or older are needed to work one two-hour shift each week, helping children participate in an activity like arts and crafts.

Interested volunteers may call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108. Other community volunteer opportunities include:

- Provo City Library is looking for volunteers to help with their summer children's reading program. Volunteers must be able to work during daytime hours.

- American Red Cross needs people to help with their Telecare program. Volunteers work one hour in the morning - either once a week, or once a month - calling homebound senior citizens to make sure they are all right. Calls must be made from the Red Cross office in Provo.

- Provo's English-as-a-Second-Language program needs people to help with classes held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Volunteers do not need to speak a second language.

For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.