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The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


Student Athlete Focus: Kennedy Fauntleroy

BC Hosts the Volunteer Fair

Hunter Aversa
A student gathers around Brain Injury Connections’ booth, one of the service organizations tabling, to discuss volunteering.

Bridgewater, VA-On September 13, 2023, Bridgewater College hosted the volunteer fair, in which twelve different volunteer organizations from the area participated which was held in the Kline Campus Center from 11 am to 2 pm.

Benjamin Erickson, Professor of Communication and Theatre and Director of Community Engagement, ran the event and was very happy with the turnout. “We had over 160 students come through the fair,” said Erickson. “The participation level exceeded my expectations. I was really pleased with the turnout.”

Before walking among the various tables, a passport card was handed to each visitor, which was to be filled out at half of the tables to win a raffle prize.

This raffle consisted of a $100 gift card to the campus store, a $50 gift card to the campus store, and 4- BC cinch bag prize packs. Over 150 out of the 160 participants had a passport card.

At the first stop, Village to Village and Church World Service (CWS) shared a table to talk about their partnership in helping refugees establish homes in the United States.

Village to Village works as a Christian nonprofit organization that also offers literacy and nutrition classes to children and mothers across the world. CWS is an organization that resettles primarily unaccompanied refugee children. They also have a separate program for Ukrainian refugees out of Moldova.

Next, Skyline Literacy offers English language, digital literacy, and citizenship education to those working on a Green Card. This program has been established since 1987.

At the next table was Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). This group primarily works with children of the foster system and/or that are neglected or abused to advocate for their sake to a judge.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters have each volunteer matched with an elementary or middle schooler with similar interests and they act as a mentor for two to three semesters. The non-profit has three running programs, including Sports Buddies, Community Based, and School/Site Based.

Open Doors is a homeless shelter that also has a meals on wheels program operating out of local churches. Each program has up to 10-20 participants per trip.

Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) cares for the elderly age 60 and older with health and wellness classes, meals on wheels, medicare, caregivers, and transportation. Currently, they are working on a dementia education program.

Next, Bridgewater Retirement Community, which is just down the road. The organization features plenty of volunteer and internship opportunities for a variety of different majors.

Brethren Woods Summer Camp is a camp promoting the education of elementary schoolers throughout the school year and through the summer. During the fall, they offer day camps for different ages and ask for volunteers from college students. The camps are throughout the week until mid-November.

Brain Injury Connections, located in Harrisonburg, is a non-profit built to promote and preserve the well-being of those with recent or on-going brain injuries.

In downtown Harrisonburg, a non-profit organization called Our Community Place acts as both a soup kitchen and a community center. On Fridays, they close the community center and open a restaurant with student volunteers acting as the staff to serve those in need.

Last but not least, The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County has many functions. Many of its staff are those with special needs. Working with these individuals, volunteers and staff deliver meals to young students through the Backpack Program, the Bridgewater Retirement Community, and more. In December, they even have a Santa Run in Harrisonburg.

“I contacted over 25 organizations in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham county area,” said Erickson, “We ended up having 12 organizations attend the fair. I hope to expand the fair next year.”

Each of these organizations make a difference in the lives of those in need and within the community, but require participants and volunteers in order to function. All in all, the fair had a huge turnout over all, allowing for many to seek volunteer opportunities they never thought existed.

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About the Contributors
Sammie Herbst
Sammie Herbst, Contributor
Professional Writing and Music Double Major with a Business Minor
Junior, Class of 2025
My preferred writing genres are journalism and creative writing. I am planning on going into music therapy with night jobs as a journalist and an author. BCVoice contributor.
Hunter Aversa, Staff Writer
Communication, Technology, and Culture Major, Digital Media Arts Major Junior, Class of 2025 I am a Senior Resident Advisor and plan to pursue a career in law after graduation. I am interested in the field of communications and newswriting.