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Volunteer Fair Gives Agencies a Chance to Find Help

With the economy still in a rut, many non-profit organizations are short on volunteer workers. One way those organizations can find willing volunteers is through the Community Volunteer Fair, which is happening later this month. KSMU’s Matt Evans has the story.

If you’ve ever been to a job fair, you know the scene of too many people competing for just a few job openings. Instead of the rush to hand out as many resumes as possible, envision a fair where there are practically unlimited openings for everyone. That’s a volunteer fair; something that has been a part of Missouri State for nine years now.

Last year, the volunteer fair served nearly 2,000 members of the Springfield community looking to volunteer at local non-profit organizations. This year’s fair will feature over 50 organizations looking for volunteers. Shellie Jones is the program coordinator at the Citizenship and Service Learning office at MSU.

“It’s just a really great way to find out about agencies in the community and the different services they provide and how folks can get involved. And everything is right under one roof.”

Potential volunteers can talk with all of the agencies about what kind of volunteering is available and sign up for different positions. Jones says this year’s fair will have more organizations represented than there ever have been. She thinks the broken economy may be the reason for that.

“I think that in an economy such as this you have more and more demand for those services, so therefore you’re going to have more and more need for volunteers. And I think probably a lot of these agencies have a lot less resources to work with.”

The fair is scheduled for January 27 at the Plaster Student Union on the Missouri State Campus. It will run from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.