Bridgewater College Volunteer Fair

Giving Students the Opportunity to Serve the Community

Shaina Breeden, Staff Writer

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Bridgewater, Va.- On Monday, Oct. 21, the Office of Community Engagement and Sustainability, which is part of the Center for Engaged Learning, held a volunteer fair from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the KCC Lobby.

According to Teshome Molalenge, Director of Community Engagement and Sustainability, the volunteer fair is an annual event that is held in the fall semester. 

The goal for the Volunteer Fair is to familiarize students with local  non-profit organizations and provide them with the opportunity to explore volunteer options within each organization.

Molalenge said “These organizations rely heavily on volunteers to achieve community goals: feed the hungry, care for the homeless, build homes, provide free medical care for needy people and so on.” 

According to the post on MyBC reasons that students choose to volunteer are that “it gives students the opportunities to explore and live out their civic responsibilities, they provide valuable human resources to non-profit organizations to achieve community goals, it helps them create a network for jobs and references as well as enhances their resume, they promote college goals and objectives in community excellence and engagement, and lastly they learn valuable skills in many areas that are essential in today’s job market such as communication, collaboration, leadership, project planning, task management and so on. Volunteering is an excellent rewarding experience – it benefits all of us become better citizens and more productive in our careers.”

Some of the organizations that attended the volunteer fair were Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Central Valley Habitat for Humanity, New Creations, Mercy House and the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. 

According to Molalenge “There were 17 non-profit organizations that attended/participated in the Volunteer Fair, and we estimated that 110 students visited the fair. It went very well- programs like this require the collaboration of many stakeholders on campus. We are very grateful for the support we received from the Office of Communication and Marketing, Student Life, Campus Events, Campus police, FILA Seminar and Portfolio Program, Dining Services and the Center for Engaged Learning.”

Lastly, Molalenge said, “The Office for Community Engagement and Sustainability serves as a central point of contact for community engagement programs. Our mission is to provide students with community engagement, service learning, and volunteer opportunities in our area that enhances their ability to master core skills, engage complex issues, and serve local and global communities. We hope students take advantage of the resources we offer. We are in the process of finishing our web page for the program. This will provide additional resources to students when planning a community engagement.”