“The world is getting smaller and smaller. It’s important to think outside of your own world and to gain a larger view,” were the words spoken by Jenessa Pettit, the NSA president, and Zoe French, the head of the rummage sale when asked what the value of volunteering and all of Bellevue College was given the opportunity to do just that this past week.
On Sep 28, 2017 Bellevue College hosted its semi-annual Volunteer Fair. Over thirty non-profit organizations met in the C building from 11.30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Representatives from everything from the Issaquah Food Bank to the Pacific Science Center were there talking to students and faculty members about the different community service opportunities they offered in their businesses.
The Volunteer Fair is put together to show the value of volunteering to the students and faculty of Bellevue College.
According to Eunice Lubemba, a student assistant at Bellevue College’s Student Programs who was running the check-in stand, student programs had been preparing for the Volunteer Fair since the beginning of summer quarter. Since they hold two Volunteer Fairs, one during fall quarter and the other during spring, it takes a lot of preparation and planning time throughout the entire year.
However, there is no shortage of people who need the volunteers. The Pacific Science Center is run almost completely by volunteers. “We have over 600 volunteers but we always need more,” said Karin Pierce, the person in charge of running the Pacific Science Center booth at the Volunteer Fair. She thought that the fair was valuable because “it [brought] us in to connect with a demographic we can’t reach any other way.”
When faculty member Wendy Pickering was asked about volunteer work she talked about how even though she worked for the English Language Institute, she still tried to integrate it into her classes. “There is great value in volunteering. It is just another way learning and we should always try to learn and expand.”
According to United Way of Greater New Haven, volunteers have a better chance of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers. And a couple of months after the initial Volunteer Fair, Bellevue College hosts a Job Fair where students can come and learn about what type of job opportunities they have open to them outside of college life.
“Adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteer when they were younger,” said the United Way of Greater New Haven.
The Volunteer Fair is there to get more young people of the country involved in volunteering so that they can form the habit of volunteering at a very young age.
In the words of Sheryl Crowe, “If compassion was the motivating factor behind all of our decisions, would our world not be a completely different place?”
Anyone interested in volunteering or the Volunteer and Job Fairs held at Bellvue College can look on the Bellevue College websites under events calendar, or go to the URL https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/events/. There, anyone can find all information about upcoming fairs and other opportunities at BC.