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Volunteer Recruitment Fair gets strong turnout from public

ACS table giving information at the volunteer recruitment fair.


The second annual volunteer recruitment fair presented by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) drew over 70 people and over a dozen organizations last week.

The fair, held in the community room at ACS’ offices within the Amherstburg Community Hub last Wednesday evening, pleased organizers who had hoped to connect people with various volunteer opportunities in the town and surrounding areas. ACS partnered with the Town of Amherstburg to present this year’s volunteer fair, with the latter receiving funding from the province in the form of a Seniors Community Grant.

Non-profit organizations that took part included ACS, the town’s recreation and tourism department, the Bryerswood Youth Camp Optimist Club (BYCOC), the Marsh Historical Collection, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, the Canadian Aviation Museum, the House Youth Centre, Essex Branch Ontario Ancestors, the Park House Museum, the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society, the Canadian Transportation Museum, the Gibson Gallery,  Community Living Essex County (CLEC) Golden Age Club member Kathy Leeman (who is making bags and mats for the homeless out of milk bags) and the Friends of Fort Malden.

Social workers Jessica Doyle and Staci Lawton were also on hand to present “The Benefits of Volunteering for Your Mental Health.”

Cathy Robertson, vice president of the BYCOC, said they are looking for volunteers to help out at their youth camp.

“It’s a big camp,” she said. “We need lots of help.”

Bryerswood needs help for work around the camp along with events they have coming up. Upcoming Earth Day activities requires more volunteer assistance as does other future events.

“We’re doing so much at the camp,” said Robertson. “We just need help.”

Meg Reiner, collections co-ordinator at the Marsh Historical Collection, said they could always use more helping hands.

“We’re always looking for volunteers at the Marsh Collection,” said Reiner. “There’s a project for everyone at the Marsh Collection.”

Reiner said she had spoken with people from youth to seniors about possibly volunteering. There were some high school students looking for volunteer hours they can put towards graduation or seniors looking for a way to contribute.

“It’s been a mix of ages, which is nice,” said Reiner. “It’s great to get out into the community and talk to people about what we do.”

Mark Feltoe, president of the Friends of Fort Malden, said he had a few people stop by to find out what that organization does. There were re-enactor uniforms on display for people to check out.

Feltoe added they try and support Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada. There are also events the Friends of Fort Malden puts on, including a barbecue at Art by the River in August among others.

“We have about 15-16 members,” said Feltoe, though noted they are always looking for more.

Christine Hamilton and Anna Lafreniere were checking out the tables that were surrounding the community room.

“For me, it’s just to see what is available in terms of community service,” said Lafreniere.

Hamilton said she enjoyed volunteering at Wings Rehabilitation Centre but can no longer physically do that. She decided to see what else is out there and if there is something she is able to do.

“I want to see what is available for volunteers in the area,” she said.

Lafreniere added she was familiar with some of the organizations that were at the volunteer recruitment fair but was learning about others.

Sue Armstrong and Enzo Chiarello also attended and said they wanted to find out more about what opportunities are open for people. They moved to the area recently and wanted to become more familiar with what is around.

Armstrong said she retired and now is looking for other ways to contribute.

“I think it’s great when you have these organizations in one spot,” she said. “There are a lot of good opportunities.”

Chiarello said he is good with his hands and wanted to lend those skills to a local organization.

“I’m sure I could still contribute,” said Chiarello.

Volunteer Recruitment Fair gets strong turnout from public

By Ron Giofu

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