Volunteer Fair offers chance to help others


    A terminally-ill patient at the Hospice of the West said he wants to have college students come hang out and watch a Cowboys game with him, said a volunteer coordinator for the Hospice of the West.Students had the chance to volunteer for activities like this and other community service events through organizations represented at the Volunteer Fair held Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sadler Lawn.

    Befriending an adult with a disability, tutoring a child abuse victim or teaching pre-schoolers at a nature center were other opportunities available for students to get involved within the community.

    Rob Williamson, a volunteer coordinator for the Hospice of the West, said young people can learn a lot from helping others.

    “Volunteering brings culture awareness,” Williamson said. “By volunteering, students aren’t just being young and living life by the seat of their pants.”

    About 13 different volunteer agencies had booths Wednesday to inform students about ways they can get involved in and around the community.

    Stephanie Futscher, a freshman premajor, said she has been serving her community since high school and would like to continue volunteering.

    “I wanted to get involved in something,” Futscher said.

    Peter Thompson, program coordinator for the Center for Community Involvement and Service Learning, said this year’s fair was held right after Leaps because students were in the mindset for volunteering.

    “Hopefully students will come back from Leaps and be excited about the community and want to get involved through this,” Thompson said.

    Terence Kennedy, an education graduate student who works with the Center for Community Involvement, said the goal is to keep students volunteering.

    “We want students to be able to continue these relationships and foster a life-long service attitude instead of a one-day event,” Kennedy said.

    Volunteering can help young people find direction in their lives, said Heidi Earl, the human resources assistant for The Gladney Center for Adoption.

    The Gladney Center has a maternity home for pregnant women who are going to give their children up for adoption.

    Earl said students can get involved with the center by going out to dinner with the women or taking them shopping.

    One student said she thought volunteering would be a good experience for future jobs.

    “It’s helping out the community, and it doesn’t look bad on resumes either,” said Tracie Henderson, a freshman physics and astronomy major.