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Help needed for doggie photos with Santa, holiday toy, gift drives

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Calling all dog lovers: Prince William County Dogs is searching for “Dog Park Elves,” ages 18 and up to support “Photos With Santa” on Saturday, Dec. 4.

The fun happens at K9 Gunner Memorial Park, 13000 Minnieville Road in Woodbridge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Duties include coordinating the flow of families, pets and Santa in and out of the photoshoot and helping to manage concessions.  

Feel festive as you help the pooches get their “close up” with Santa while helping to promote this dog-friendly park. Email to learn more.

Area holiday toy drives still need help: Volunteer Prince William’s “Untrim-a-Tree,” its holiday program that provides gifts to thousands of our neighbors in the greater Prince William, is ongoing.

Local residents can bring a brighter holiday season to local children and seniors. Simply sponsor a child or donate for a senior. Each child receives two gifts, valued at not more than $50 to $75. Donations of “senior baskets” will be given to homebound seniors throughout the community. Baskets could include card games, crossword puzzles, hand cream, warm socks, lap throws or wraps. Call Jan at 571-292-5307 or email to request a donor form.

The House of Mercy is asking for donations of new gifts valued at $25 for its Christmas with Mercy program by Wednesday, Dec. 1. Email for more information.  

ACTS is accepting new toy donations for Toys for Tots until Wednesday, Dec. 8. Email to learn more. 

SERVE is accepting donations of new toys and gift cards for their Gifting for Families program. Visit for details and email with any questions.

Teens, here’s a chance to get in some service hours and join in some holiday fun. Historic Manassas, Inc. is hosting Jolly Ol’ Confections Dessert Tasting on Sunday, Dec. 19.

Volunteers age 16+ are needed to help as “dessert attendants” from 12:45 to 4 p.m. Wear your festive holiday apparel and help spread holiday cheer! Sign up at Questions? Email Beverly at

Disaster response volunteers: Floods. Tornadoes. Snowmageddon 2010. Tropical Storm Lee 2011. No community is immune to the havoc and devastation caused by a disaster, whether natural or manmade. Volunteer Prince William is recruiting volunteers for disaster response positions.  

Trained volunteers can fill a critical role in disaster response and alleviate the challenge of spontaneous, untrained volunteers. Volunteers are needed to help as reception center staff, public outreach and education, which includes educational games such as Disaster Jeopardy and Ready Bingo. Training is provided, and volunteers will feel great as they help our local community rebuild following a disaster. Contact Claudia Calderon at to learn how you can get involved.

Animal lovers: The staff at Advocates for Abused and Abandoned Pets (A3P) needs volunteers in a variety of positions to help make life better for the furbabies. Volunteers under 16 can help but must volunteer with a parent.  

Just a few hours a day, a week, or a month can make a difference in the lives of these four-legged friends. Visit or email to learn how to get involved.  

Medical Reserve Corps: Support your local health department and your community during a public health emergency. Volunteers are needed to support several missions, including public health education and outreach, disease investigation, vaccine clinics, and more.

Medical experience is not required; they have roles for everyone. Bilingual volunteers are especially needed. Volunteers must be 18 or older, complete minimum training and pass a state background check to serve. fill out an application at Email Amy at for more information.

Help support veterans: RSVP’s VETS Program provides transportation for veterans and their spouses to medical appointments, and volunteer drivers age “55 or better” are needed!  Volunteers must successfully complete both a criminal and driving record check. It’s a wonderful way to give back and say “thank you” to our veterans for all they’ve done. Email or call 571-292-5307 for more information.

Those still looking for other opportunities can call our wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William at 703-369-5292 or visit our website at  

Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

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