The Volunteer Center of Kern County is hosting an open house and Christmas boutique 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4. Stop by to pick up a list of holiday volunteer opportunities, have a cookie and hot chocolate, coffee or apple cider, and visit its Christmas boutique for great deals on unique gifts. It's a great way to find out how you can get involved this holiday season and support volunteer efforts. It's at 1400 Chester Ave., Suite J, (next to Bail Bond Leon's big red barn), or call 395-9787 for more details.

Bakersfield Homeless Center's Adopt-a- Family Program can use help adopting families this Christmas. Adopt-a-Family would otherwise "slip through the cracks" this year. Call Jeri Alvarado at 322-9199 for more details. It's a great "family" project to involve kids in (young and adult).

is looking for general volunteer support such as with secretarial/clerical duties, computer support, assembling training materials, fundraising support and much more. Call Janet Wurtman at 843-7760 for more details.

Kern County Superior Court is looking for docents to fill several positions in each of its Bakersfield court locations. A docent greets court visitors, answers questions such as where courtroom are located. If you have a free afternoon and would like to volunteer in a very interesting area, call Tracy Henson at 868-4918 for more information. You must pass a background check to be considered for these positions.

Optimal Hospice Care identifies families under its care in need of a little extra support and provides them with a holiday meal. It is looking for help for Christmas basket items. Please donate non-perishable food items as well as grocery store gift cards to help families in a difficult time in their lives. Contact its Volunteer Department at 761-4000 or drop off your donation at Bakersfield Optimal Hospice, 1675 Chester Ave., Suite 401.

Kern County Homeless Collaborative is looking for volunteers for the next point-in-time count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people. From the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 23, to the evening of Thursday, Jan. 24, it will be using approximately 150 volunteers, 18 years old or older, to assist. Go to and click on the green "Volunteer" button and fill out the form or call Louis Medina at 834-2734 for more information. The count is critical to Kern County and provides data to support the request for funding for housing and supportive service projects for the homeless.

There are many seniors that spend the holidays alone and would love to receive a card, a visit and some one-on-one time -- just knowing that someone cares. Check with local senior convalescent or assisted living facilities to see how you can get involved.

A more complete list of holiday volunteer opportunities will be published in next week's Californian. Please check the list to get not wait until the last minute. If you are an organization in need of holiday volunteers or volunteers anytime during the year, email us at or call 395-9787.