B'ville: One-stop op for volunteers

Driving seniors to doctor appointments. Serving pancakes at Beaver Lake Nature Center. Being a stagehand for the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild. These are just a few of the many opportunities available for volunteers in the Baldwinsville area.

Thanks to the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, people interested in volunteering can explore these opportunities at next Thursday's Volunteer Recruitment Fair, a one-stop shopping event for those who want to better serve their community.

"[This event] will allow people interested in volunteering to match their passion with an organization's mission," said Nancy Conley, event organizer and executive director of the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center. "It's like window shopping for the volunteer. They can see what is out there."

Twenty-seven organizations will provide information about their missions and how interested volunteers can contribute their time and talents to make a difference during the fair, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday April 30 at the Baker High School cafeteria.

This year's event is the first of its kind in Baldwinsville. According to Conley, President Obama provided the inspiration to host and organize the recruitment fair. Quoting the President, she said, "People are ready to serve their communities, but not enough have been asked or know how."

The goal of the fair is "to encourage community involvement by connecting people who would like to become volunteers with community service organizations and non-profit groups that rely on volunteers to continue the wonderful work they do."

"For people that have been asking themselves 'What can I do to make a difference,' this will be the place to explore the volunteer opportunity that is the right fit for them," she said.

Conley added that membership for a lot of service organizations is dwindling and, without new members, they're struggling to carry on their mission. She hopes the fair will help increase interest in volunteering.

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