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Fair serves up opportunities to volunteer

Submitted by LaShaune Rostagno on September 5, 2012 – 7:08 pmNo Comment

The Office of Community Engagement will host the 2012 Service Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 12 in Ledbetter Hall.

Taking time to volunteer may seem daunting for students with busy schedules, but there are many benefits.

According to UALR’s website, the OCE was established “to facilitate the building of partnerships between UALR faculty, staff, students and the community in ways that will be mutually beneficial.”

Susan Ellis of said, “Instead of considering volunteering as something you do for people who are not as fortunate as yourself, begin to think of it as an exchange.”

Ellis tells readers to consider that one day they may be in need of someone else’s volunteer efforts.

Although it takes commitment, time, energy and dedication to volunteer, it also presents students with opportunities to demonstrate their passions, broaden their professional network and add experience to a resume.

Students can prepare for the fair by considering available time commitments and  the issues that are important to them.

Volunteer activities can vary in time commitment anywhere from a couple of hours to years.

“Students should bring themselves and an open mind,” said Betsey Hart, community relations coordinator. “They should be prepared to converse with the organizations.”

If students are unsure how to choose the best project for their schedule, assistance  will be available through OCE during the fair.

The Service Fair will have over 40 nonprofit organizations for students to explore including:

Easter Seals of Arkansas

March of Dimes

Bishop Leodis and Goldie Warren CDC

World Services for the Blind

American Lung Association

Arkansas Food Bank

Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Arkansas

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

Youth Home, Incorporated

Pulaski County Youth Services

Odyssey Hospice

Junior Achievement of Arkansas

Camp Aldersgate

Arkansas Literacy Councils

Nonprofit organizations respect the student body of UALR because they are stepping up and volunteering, said Hart.

“Many organizations return year after year to present opportunities for more students to have a part in volunteering for their organizations,” Hart said.

Questionnaires  from previous volunteer organizations have shown positive feedback. The majority of vendors said UALR students responded well to volunteer opportunities and made the experience enjoyable.

“I think the fair was great,” a Girl Scouts representative wrote. “I really enjoyed speaking with students and talking with them about all the fun ways they can volunteer and get involved [in] the local community.”

An advocate of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Arkansas agreed, “As always we had a great response from the service fair [last] year.”

For a full list of attending organizations visit

Although it is not required, business casual dress is appropriate.

For more information, contact Hart at 501-569-3424 or email


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