West Chester University held its annual Volunteer Fair on Sept. 12, 2012 from 11 am to 2 pm at Sykes Student Union.
Jodi Roth, the director of the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs, said the Friars’ Society, the Abbe Society, and Circle K were a big help in setting up for the fair. More than 65 agencies were in attendance, and several organizations were within walking distance of campus. By 1 pm, more than 400 students had already attended the fair.
Many of the volunteer opportunities include upcoming walks/runs for charity, including Walk Now for Autism Speaks (in Philadelphia), the Light the Night Walk (in Berwyn), the AIDS Walk (in Philadelphia), and West Chester’s Relay for Life Team, a subset of Colleges against Cancer.
Also in attendance was One Run Together, an organization that hosts runs and other events, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly towards the medical and living expenses of cancer patients.
Vern Murphy, the CEO and founder of One Run Together, lost his wife to breast cancer in 2009. While many of the events for One Run Together are 5K runs, there are also one-mile walks, so that anyone can participate.
One Run Together’s other upcoming events also include spaghetti dinners, Chili’s Give Back Day, and a Costume Craze 5K. Interested volunteers can sign up for the monthly newsletter.
“I want families to be involved, and I want to help people help us,” Murphy said.
Students can also volunteer at a variety of tutoring and educational centers. These commitments range from occasional to year-long. City Year, an organization fighting against the student drop-out rate, has a full-time volunteer position, tutoring students over a 10-month period.
“A student drops out every 26 seconds. That is absolutely unacceptable,” Kari Sheridan, an admissions coordinator said.
The fair also included services for students at the University. The Learning Assistance and Resource Center, located on the second floor of Lawrence Hall, offers free tutoring services. The Career Development Center, also a free service on the second floor of Lawrence, helps students build their resumes and find jobs.
Additional volunteer opportunities involved equestrian-based therapy, hospice, Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, Adopt-a-Block, the Peace Corps, and many others.
Theresa Kelly is a first-year English literature education major. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.