Spring Service Fair Links Volunteers to Opportunities
By Christine Neff
ECU students had the chance to scope out volunteer opportunities in the local community at the Spring 2009 Service Fair held Jan. 28 in the Bate Building lobby.
Organized by ECU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, the fair attracted more than 20 non-profit agencies with a variety of missions, such as helping children, animals, the elderly, the environment and more.
“This fair is helpful because otherwise students don’t know what is going on in the community,” said Deja Mitchell, a sophomore nursing student.Mitchell’s love of animals led her to sign up to volunteer with the Pitt County Humane Society. It’s important, she said, for students to get involved with the community.
“You feel like you’re giving back,” she said.
Other students offered their talents to the Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Police Athletic League, Pirate Tutoring Center and the Little Willie Center after-school mentoring program.
Melissa Alston, volunteer coordinator for the Little Willie Center, said the program depends on volunteers to tutor and mentor children ages 3 to 14. “Most of our volunteers are students from ECU, high schools and Pitt Community College,” she said. Alston first got involved at the center while a student at ECU. She enjoyed it so much she transitioned to a fulltime job there after graduation. Now, she provides guidance to other students interested in volunteering.
“Fairs are the best way to reach students,” she said. “It’s best to talk to them in person.”