The Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs hosted its Fall Volunteer Fair at WCU in Sykes Ballroom, where 59 organizations set up stands to recruit students and advocate for their respective causes, on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
One of those organizations was The Garage, a nonprofit community youth center with branches in Kennett Square and West Grove.
Murphy Mcardle, a University of Tennessee graduate and Program Coordinator at the Kennett Square branch, has loved the time she has spent at The Garage.
“It’s really a great organization,” said Mcardle. “The kids love that we take a genuine interest in their lives and their education.”
Most of the volunteers spend their time tutoring students and helping them with their studies.
“Our organization is perfect for education majors,” said Mcardle.
According to Mcardle, “we give them an opportunity to use their teaching skills” before entering the classroom.
However, The Garage also does activities with the kids, like basketball and board games.
They run a fantasy football league, which is a favorite among the kids and program coordinators alike, because not only is it fun, it is also a good way to teach math.
“The kids love it,” said Mcardle.
For more information on The Garage, visit www.garageyouthcenter.org.
Another organization in attendance was the West Chester Area Senior Center, located on Union Street just a few blocks from campus.
The representative for the Senior Center was Barbara, who is also a member of the senior center.
“We always have stuff going on,” said Barbara. “Movie nights, card games, book clubs, exercise clubs, you name it.”
Specifically, Barbara said they are in need of volunteers who are fluent in Spanish in order to assist some of their Spanish members.
The Senior Center is in its 40th year of community service and serves 3,500 seniors per year.
They serve over 25,000 meals per year and 76 percent of the members share breakfast and/or lunch there.
On Nov. 7, the Senior Center will host a Night at the Races, an event that includes food and an open bar. Tickets can be purchased at http://wcseniors.org/a-night-at-the-races-2/ for $60 per ticket, and all proceeds benefit the Senior Center.
On May 9, the Senior Center will host the Great Race 5k Run & 1 Mile Walk. For more information, visit wcseniors.org.
Another organization in attendance was the Valley Forge Trout Unlimited, a national organization with a Chester County chapter that focuses on “protecting, preserving, and restoring the life-giving waters that keep Chester County green and beautiful,” as stated in their Fall 2015 newsletter.
The chapter has been “protecting and enhancing Chester County trout streams for more than 30 years.”
Chris Burns was the representative in attendance for the Chester County chapter.
“Our main focus is in stream upkeep and restoration,” said Burns.
He had a diagram on his poster, which depicted a before and after picture of a stream that was eroded and then restored by Valley Forge Trout Unlimited.
Burns also elaborated on a program that Trout Unlimited does in partnership with the Veterans Administration called Healing Waters.
“We find wounded and/or disabled veterans who are interested in fishing and we teach them how to fly fish,” said Burns. “They really enjoy it, and so do we.”
For more information on Valley Forge Trout Unlimited, visit www.valleyforgetu.org.
Chris Cox is a fourth=year student majoring in English. He can be reached at CC764721@wcupa.eduedu.