Local volunteer services are an essential part of the support network of any healthy community. The work that they do serves the needs of many kinds of people. Children have a variety of needs met by local volunteer services. Volunteers are helping children learn to read, by working with them during or after school, or during the summer. Local volunteer services may also provide mentoring programs for children. They often do this by teaming an adult with a child. The adult commits to spending time on a regular basis with the child, giving them their time, and providing fun activities. Guidance and life skills mentoring may also be a part of the relationship. Local volunteer services also provide after school activities and summer activities for children. This is crucial for those children that have working parents, and might otherwise be left alone, were it not for the work of local volunteer services in the community. Children in serious need may be served by local volunteer services providing foster parents or short-term shelter. Families are also served by local volunteer services. Parents may benefit from mentoring in areas of parenting, life skills, finances, or job skills preparation. If families require food or financial aid, local volunteer services are there for support. Some communities have free medical and counseling services for low-income families. Volunteer doctors and nurses staff the facilities, and enjoy the opportunity to serve. Adults are also helped by local volunteer services in the community. These adults may have drug or alcohol recovery needs. Volunteers are available to provide direction into programs, or serve as a sponsor or mentor as the adult seeks treatment.