Homebound residents living in Utah County speak to a friendly voice everyday thanks to the Telecare program, run by the American Red Cross.

The Telecare program is designed so that someone checks up on homebound individuals - mostly senior citizens - on a daily basis, 365 days a year. That "someone" is a Red Cross volunteer.Volunteers are needed to help with the Telecare program, said Kay Downs, executive director. Volunteers are needed from 9 to 10 a.m. everyday of the week.

"Volunteers can work as often as they like," Downs said. "It is best if they help out at least one morning each week."

Volunteers work out of the Red Cross office, answering the calls from homebound individuals who have signed up for the program. If the volunteer does not hear from an individual, their home is called. If there is no answer, a family member or neighbor is contacted to check on the situation.

Downs said the Telecare program reassures participants that someone will come to help if they fall or suffer a heart attack. It is also comforting for many homebound individuals to hear a friendly voice on the line every day.

Volunteers interested in becoming a Telecare volunteer with the Red Cross may call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.

Other community volunteer opportunities include:

-Work on your own time in you own home lettering and stenciling signs for the Gathering Place's classes on parenting skills.

-Help residents at the Eastlake Care Center with arts and crafts, ceramics, leather working and exercise classes. Volunteers are also needed to help coordinate the weekly entertainment.

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