Crisis Line of Utah County is looking for mature volunteers to answer hotline calls from people in crisis. Volunteers will provide a listening ear and will talk to people who call Crisis Line for help with serious problems.

"We act as a middle man between people in crisis and the appropriate agencies in the community," said Sean Lamb, director of Crisis Line. "Our goal is to help people get through their current crisis and then to refer them to the long-term care they may need."Crisis intervention includes information and referral services for homeless people, suicide prevention, rape intervention, help for those in abusive relationships and confidential listening.

"Volunteering at Crisis Line allows volunteers a chance to interact with people from all sorts of backgrounds," Lamb said. "It helps them to be more understanding toward people and the problems people face."

Crisis Line of Utah County is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Volunteers may set their own schedules but are asked to commit to a three or four-hour block each week. At the present time, Crisis Line is especially in need of volunteers between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Volunteers must be at least 18 and will need to complete 12 hours of training before answering phone lines. A four-month commitment is preferred, but arrangements will be made for students or others who may not be available for four months at a time.

Crisis Line also needs volunteers to provide activities for the "Phone Pal" program. Volunteer groups are needed to compile lists of fun games and crafts that can be given to children who call and are alone, bored or scared.

Other volunteer opportunities available throughout Utah County include:

- Speak up for victims of child abuse. Volunteers are needed to help abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes and need representation in court. Advocate volunteers known as Court Appointed Special Advocates assist the Office of the Guardian ad Litem for the Fourth District Juvenile Court, helping the court receive specific information about what action would be in the best interest of a particular child.

- Donate blood to Red Cross. The Greater Utah County Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for community members to donate blood at the blood bank in Orem. They take both appointments and walk-in volunteers every Monday and Wednesday. The Red Cross also needs youth or adults to serve cookies and juice to donors and monitor their progress after donating blood.

- Become a foster grandparent. Low income seniors, ages 60 and older, are needed to befriend youth in Utah County. Volunteers will serve 20 hours per week and will receive a small stipend, yearly physical examination and limited transportation. Hours are flexible and can be determined by the volunteer when they are assigned to work with youth. Volunteers are needed to assist with tutoring in schools, supporting children in hospitals and helping youth with problems they encounter at the detention center.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities in Utah County, contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., by e-mail ([email protected]), or visit the United Way of Utah County Web site (www.unitedwayuc.org).