Volunteers are needed to provide assistance and child care for young mothers in prenatal classes at The Gathering Place.

The Gathering Place is a private, nonprofit substance abuse prevention and treatment center. Patient treatment programs include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, 24-hour crisis intervention, referral services, no cost child care and educational seminars."Having volunteers allows us to be more efficient in doing those things which are more pressing," said Leta Riding, admissions coordinator.

The Gathering Place professionals are trained to help individuals with drug and alcohol-related problems work toward recovery. The family is included whenever possible to make recovery a team effort. Group therapy is available for individuals to address common goals and concerns in an atmosphere of trust and support.

Volunteers are also needed to collect baby items, quilt batting and personal-hygiene articles to be used in prenatal classes.

Interested volunteers can assist Gathering Place staff with data entry, answering phones, doing clerical work and filing. Those interested in helping with these duties can volunteer on Monday mornings or anytime on Friday.

Other volunteer opportunities are available throughout Utah County. Some of these are listed below.

- Provide friendship and love to a person with disabilities. The Utah State Developmental Center in American Fork needs volunteers to provide one-on-one interaction with residents. A variety of opportunities are available for volunteers to meet residents and to make a difference in their lives. To provide stability in the residents' lives, a three-month or more commitment is appreciated.

Groups of volunteers are also needed on the third Saturday of each month to escort residents in wheelchairs to a concert on the Developmental Center campus. Volunteers attend the concert with their new friend and then take them back to their residence hall.

- Make presentations for the March of Dimes. March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, a foundation established to prevent birth defects and infant mortality through community service, research, advocacy and education, needs volunteers to help make presentations to interested groups. Registered nurses are needed to help make presentations to businesses for the "Baby and You" program.

Individuals and groups may also help by organizing future events, counting and bundling supplies for storage and performing various office tasks.

- Assist people receiving medical assistance. Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed to act as translators to assist Mountainlands Community Health Center with Spanish-speaking patients.

Mountainlands Community Health Center is a nonprofit organization in Provo that provides dependable, affordable health services for people of all ages. Medical, dental and mental health services are offered. Medical providers are also needed to volunteer their professional skills and services.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities throughout Utah County, contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit the United Way of Utah County Web site at (www.unitedwayuc.org).