Volunteer fair Sept. 21 at Echo Centre

Are you a volunteer with nowhere to go? An organization in dire need of volunteers but you can’t seem to find the ones you need?

Are you a volunteer with nowhere to go? An organization in dire need of volunteers but you can’t seem to find the ones you need?

The Alberni Valley Volunteer Fair will give people on both sides of the spectrum an opportunity to find what they need.

The fair will take place Monday, Sept. 21 from 3–7 p.m. at Echo Centre on Monday, Sept. 21. Admission is free; door prizes and refreshments will be available.

The fair will feature organizations needing volunteers for everything from long-term commitments to one-day events.

“We wanted an opportunity to attract and recruit, but also to know who is out there,” said Stevenson, adding the endeavour will also benefit the Better at Home Program, which is hosting the event with support from Parks, Recreation and Heritage.

The purpose of the volunteer fair is twofold, says Stevenson: she hopes it will be a good gauge of whether there is a need for a volunteer bureau in the Alberni Valley.

There are 94 non-profit organizations in the Alberni Valley, all needing volunteers. “With most volunteer activities, the people are too busy to advertise what they’re doing,” said Stevenson.

“It’s like having a website or a place for people of all ages, people coming into town, to go.

“It’s expensive and difficult for small organizations that may need things like criminal record checks.

“We want to know if others are experiencing this,” she said.

Volunteer Canada has systems in place to help groups. Stevenson  has a contact with Volunteer Victoria who is willing to help set up a bureau in the Alberni Valley if the desire exists.

Stevenson and Lynn Turner from Better at Home sent out numerous surveys to non-profit organizations asking if there is any interest in starting a bureau. Depending on the response, they would be willing to start the process.

“It’s to have the community decide what it wants,” Stevenson said. “If we have a significant number of sustainable, viable organizations interested we would offer to help facilitate the formation of a bureau.

“Whether we would end up delivering it, who knows?”

For more information on the fair, please e-mail pabetterathome@shaw.ca or leave a message at 778-419-3000.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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