About 1,800 children in Pinellas County need someone to be their voice in the courtroom, and the county's guardian ad litem program hopes that could be you. You can learn about becoming a guardian ad litem by attending a one-hour orientation held each week on Thursdays. The time of the orientation is varied to accommodate the schedule of prospective volunteers. Guardians ad litem speak on behalf of abused, abandoned or neglected children in Pinellas County courts. As a child's advocate, a guardian ad litem becomes familiar with the child and case and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child has a safe, caring and stable environment. Guardians ad litem receive training and ongoing supervision to help them make a positive difference in the lives of children. Call (727) 464-6528 to sign up for an orientation. For information, go to www.guardianadlitem6.org.
Want to adopt? SPCA has special cat or dog
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay has more than 80 dogs and 155 cats in need of adoptive homes. Adult dogs and cats are available for $25. The adoption fee includes vaccinations, including rabies; spaying or neutering; county license tag; microchip for identification; and free obedience classes for canines. The main shelter is at 9099 130th Ave. N. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Adoptable pets are also featured at www.SPCATampaBay.org or call the shelter at (727) 586-3591.
Red Cross seeking volunteer drivers
The Clearwater Red Cross is seeking volunteer drivers and dispatchers to operate its Transportation Program in North Pinellas, based at 2481 Sunset Point Road. Drivers and dispatchers are needed to fill assignments from 7:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Volunteer drivers will use Red Cross vehicles to drive those who have no other means of getting to critical medical and dental appointments. For information, call the Clearwater Red Cross branch at 446-2358, ext. 234.
Group needs volunteers to serve as mentors
Make a lasting difference in the life of a child by volunteering as a mentor. Gulf Coast Community Care needs volunteers 30 and older to be matched with children from single-parent homes who need adult companionship and positive role models. No experience is necessary and there are no costs to participants. To learn more, call Nancy at 479-1813 or Beverly at 479-1841.
Learn about phone options for deaf
A representative from Florida Telecommunications Relay will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of the month at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave., to offer special phones and ring-signaling devices to qualified deaf or hard-of-hearing residents.
Call (727) 399-9983 (voice) or (727) 399-9422 (TTY) for details.
Italian Americans hold dinner-dance Tuesdays
The Italian American Club of Greater Clearwater, 200 McMullen-Booth Road, has a pasta dinner and dance from 5 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday. Tickets are $7 for members, $9 for nonmembers. The club also holds dinner-dances from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. every other Saturday. Tickets are $13 for members, $16 for nonmembers. Call (727) 791-8698.