Volunteer Fair unites students and organizations

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Mackenzie Boeckmann, early childhood studies sophomore and Always Building Children's Development member, oversees 4-year-olds Emilia Chapa and Abigail Esparza watering marigolds and pansies in a garden Feb. 13 between the early childhood studies building and playground. Boeckmann wants to reach 14 volunteer hours in TECA 1311, Educating Young Children.  Photo by E. David Guel

Mackenzie Boeckmann, early childhood studies sophomore and Always Building Children’s Development member, oversees 4-year-olds Emilia Chapa and Abigail Esparza watering marigolds and pansies in a garden Feb. 13 between the early childhood studies building and playground. Boeckmann wants to reach 14 volunteer hours in TECA 1311, Educating Young Children. Photo by E. David Guel

Students are urged to take action on their beliefs.

By Matthew Reyna

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Local organizations gathered to recruit student talent at the Volunteer Fair Feb. 18 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

The event, which ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., attracted as many as 25 students at any given time.

Eighteen organizations participated, including the San Antonio Children’s Museum, Child Advocates of San Antonio, Big Brothers Big Sisters and One World Conservation.

Organizations brought volunteer sign-up sheets and small gifts, including gel stress-reliever balls and posters, for visitors and volunteers.

The American Heart and American Stroke associations shared a table loaded with health pamphlets, lapel pins and even mini-cookbooks.

AHA/ASA volunteer Ray Hernandez handed out items and discussed the organization with curious students.

Hernandez said the 2015 Heart of Gold Gala on April 25 and the 2015 San Antonio Heart & Stroke Walk on Oct. 24 are events that can always use extra volunteers.

Molly McKenna, an AmeriCorps digital literacy program designer working at the San Antonio Library, said the library needs more volunteers for its adult digital literacy program.

The Central and Las Palmas branches of the library both have begun programs in teaching adult digital literacy. The library is looking for students who can teach basic computer skills, McKenna said.

“It is a good way to get your foot in the door for many jobs,” McKenna said.

Metha Haggard, volunteer for the Mitchell Lake Audubon Society, described the wide variety of opportunities her organization offers volunteers.

“Everything (from) chopping weeds to educating fifth-graders,” Haggard said.

She invited students to participate in community events sponsored by the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, including “Astronomy Nights” and “Owl Prowls.”

The next event the organization will host is the “Spring Break PICNIC-PALOOZA!” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 10-14 at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. The series is meant to educate children and their families on insects, birds and wetland ecosystems.

Many organizations stressed the value of student volunteers.

Getting students more involved is the most important aspect of this event, said Andrew Moncada, a work-study student working at the sign-in table.

The office of student life’s center for civic engagement sponsored the event.

For more information, call the center at 210-486-0157 or visit student life’s OrgSync page.

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