CRESTVIEW — Need help or want to volunteer for a worthy cause? Here are some local services and organizations for consideration. 

MEDICARE HELP FOR SENIORS: Florida Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, provides free, unbiased, confidential counseling to help elderly residents with their yearly Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance plan reviews. Medicare open enrollment takes place Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Call 1-866-531-8011 or visit to make an appointment with a counselor, or to volunteer. It is a Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Area Agency on Aging program.

EMERALD COAST HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS WANTED: ECH provides compassionate care through a team of professional staff members and volunteers. Volunteers are thoroughly trained and provided ongoing education. They can serve in a variety of areas from administrative help to offering support to a hospice patient through visits or weekly phone calls. Just a few hours a month makes an impact. Details: Ann O'Connor, 689- 0300.

SENIORS VS. CRIME VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Seniors vs. Crime's Crestview office, which assists senior citizens whom someone scammed or took advantage of, needs help. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays at 296 S. Ferdon Blvd., Suite 8. To volunteer, contact Office Manager Joe Loria, 306-3176, or Region 5 Deputy Director JB Whitten, 813-489-5657. Contact 306-3176 or 800-203-3099, or see for more information. 

REPORT ELDERS ABUSE: Call the Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873) if you suspect elderly friends and neighbors are being abused. Many elders may suffer from financial exploitation, neglect or physical or emotional abuse, often caused by family members. The NFAAA is a private, non-profit agency supported by the federal Older Americans Act and the State of Florida General Revenue Fund through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Gwen Rhodes, 494-7100 or

UWF ACADEMIC ADVISING: The University of West Florida offers assistance with admissions, academic and degree advising and registration in Crestview. Contact Deborah Cluff, 863-6550, to schedule an appointment for first Thursdays at the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, 1446 Commerce Drive.

HOMELESS ASSISTANCE: Need help? Contact the Okaloosa Walton Homeless Continuum of Care, 409-3070,; Opportunity Inc., 659-3190; or Helping Hands of Crestview, 428 McLaughlin St., behind First United Methodist Church. Helping Hands is open 1-4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

ENERGY ASSISTANCE AND SERVICES FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, Tri-County Community Council, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Crestview. 306-1134.

CRESTVIEW SOUP KITCHEN NEEDS VOLUNTEERS: Serves Mondays through Saturdays. To volunteer at Central Baptist Church, call 682-5525; Our Savior Lutheran Church, 682-3154; LifePoint Church, 682-3518; Community of Christ, 682-7474; First Presbyterian Church, 682-2835; or First United Methodist Church, 682-2018.

FREE CLOTHING GIVEAWAY: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays; 1-3:30 p.m. Thursdays; and 9 a.m. to noon second and fourth Saturdays of the month at 247 S. Booker St., Crestview. Free items include shoes and other accessories. Presented by Concerned Citizens of Crestview. Details: 689-1582 or 428-6997.

FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR NEEDY RESIDENTS: 9 a.m. second Saturdays, 383 Texas Parkway, Crestview. Dry goods and fresh produce available while supplies last. Hosted by House of Restoration, a partner agency of Feeding the Gulf Coast. Details: Ruby Chatman, 398-0577.

WOMEN AND FAMILY INTERVENTION SERVICES AND EDUCATION: a Crestview-based Community Drug and Alcohol Council program that helps pregnant women with substance abuse. 689-4024.

CHILDCARE ASSISTANCE: Eligible low-income families can receive financial assistance through the Early Learning Coalition of Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Apply at Hover over “Services” and click “School Readiness” to register.

FREE MEDICARE COUNSELING: By appointment, Crestview Public Library and Elder Services of Okaloosa County, in Crestview, 494-7101 or 1-866-531-8011.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY seeks Crestview area lots for families needing housing. 758-0779 or 315-0025.

VA VETERANS CRISIS LINE: Veterans in crisis, their families and friends can call 800-273-TALK (8255), and press 1 to talk with qualified, caring VA responders. Confidential.

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA NEEDS MENTORS: Adult volunteers spend two hours weekly mentoring children. Pairs go to the library, museum, park or beach, hike, roller-skate or play sports. 664-5437.

VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVE IN DISASTERS: Group needs people to work in the Emergency Operations Center assisting county personnel. Contact: Yvonne Earle, 863-1530, extension 230.

FREE HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD WASTE DROPOFF: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Okaloosa County Recycling Office, 80 Ready Ave., Fort Walton Beach. Okaloosa residents may drop off paints, pesticides, pool chemicals, used oil, gas, antifreeze, computers, televisions, fluorescent lamps, car batteries, rechargeable batteries, cleaners, solvents, aerosols and printers.

MUSEUM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS: Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida seeks friendly, reliable volunteers to greet guests and answer phones in its gift shop 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Details: 678-2615, stop by 115 Westview Ave., Valparaiso, or email

CARS NEEDED: Opportunity Inc. accepts donations of cars, boats and other vehicles to support Opportunity Place, an emergency shelter for families. Shelley Poirrier, 409-3070 or

SHELTER HOUSE FINANCIAL SUPPORT: It costs just more than $100 a day to shelter a domestic violence victim. Every little bit helps. 683-0845.

DRIVE VETERANS to appointments at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Pensacola two days a month. Veterans Service Office, 689-5922.

VEHICLES NEEDED: Covenant Hospice accepts cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats and RVs. Qualified professionals pick up vehicles from Pensacola to Tallahassee at convenience. Rachel Mayew, 428-0605.

LAKEVIEW CENTER'S FAMILIES FIRST NETWORK NEEDS BEDS for local children in protective services. Cribs and beds for children must be in good condition. 833-3840.