A diverse group of volunteer organizations from around Edmonton attended a recent volunteer fair on campus to showcase various volunteering opportunities within the community. They came to attract a broad group of students, each one looking to fulfill a different skill set. As no two groups were alike, neither were the skills they were looking for. Some sought general community outreach volunteers, while others had positions available for more specialized roles, such as veterinary technicians and IT personnel.
Among the organizations was Wildlife Edmonton, a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned wildlife. As their annual intakes continue to increase, they look for additional volunteers to attend their training sessions in the spring. There was also the Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association, a group dedicated to providing lifelong learning to adults over 50. ELLA runs affordable courses that are relevant and challenging to promote mental and physical well-being. Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse, a coffee shop run by volunteer baristas dedicated to the revival of Alberta Avenue, also came by. These groups and more each provide an opportunity for people to share their skills in a unique and fun way. In total, 13 different organizations were represented in their own individual capacity.
Volunteering can be greatly beneficial not only to the organization and community but to the individual as well. Joel Benitez, a member of the Campus Activity Board, says that “volunteering is one of the most important things we can do to connect with our community.” Joel has volunteered at a variety of organizations. Such effort can expand a person’s skill set in something which interests them. It can also aid in networking as you meet all sorts of new people.
“Networking is very much needed as we progress through our careers as students”, Joel says, as a student can gain valuable experience and contacts needed for landing a job.
One of the best things that we can give as people is our valuable time. Time is equal to all, for everyone has the same 24 hours each day. Volunteering allows us to provide time and effort to a good cause, which in many cases is as important or even more so than monetary donations. A lot of organizations can do great work but need the hands to do it. By taking even a few hours a month, you can make a huge difference in the community.
The volunteer fair at NAIT was received well by the students. Many of the guests spoke of having seen a good turnout of students. There were several interested bodies who received a lot of valuable information. It allowed several of those groups to fill up their sign-up sheets with interested students. All are ready to make use of the hard working new volunteers.
There still remains lots of time for students to become involved. If you are looking for an opportunity, you can check the Volunteer Initiatives Program (VIP) on OrgSync. There you can find new organizations and new positions added regularly to the portal. A vast number of opportunities await and these are not the only ones available. Will you Looking for volunteers choose to go out and give a little?