Local organizations recruit volunteers

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

Local organizations took a few hours Wednesday to reach out for volunteers at Troy University.

Teresa Colvin, who oversees the children’s library at the Troy Public Library, said the annual volunteer fair is a “major thing” for the library’s tutoring program.

“I’d say I fill 50 percent of my tutoring through the volunteer fair,” Colvin said. “We really like to meet students face-to-face for our tutoring program. We want to find out exactly what area they’re passionate about and their major and match that with children here.

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“For example, if you’re an anthropology major, I can pair you with someone who needs help in history. Nursing majors can help with biology, criminal justice majors have been good working with children that have more of a tendency to act up. And of course, education majors are the cream of the crop.”

Many other local organizations were also there to find volunteers. Michael Mullins, Choctowhatchee riverkeeper, set up a booth to find volunteers to participate in a stream and river cleanup on September 9 and 17 and to spread awareness of the water reporter app that local residents can use to flag areas of pollution, litter and illegal dumping to the riverkeeper.

Jane Ward of Sav-a-Life was looking for volunteers to help with the organizations night classes and to help administer pregnancy tests.

Each different organization from churches to schools to civic organizations all needed the same thing at the core though– volunteers.

“The volunteer fair is just a way that we try to connect agencies and students to opportunities,” said Avery Livingston, head of Troy’s Office of Civic Engagement. “Our hope is that during the students’ time at the university, this is their home and they do what they can to help the community.”

After the fair was over, the heads of many local organizations had a first-ever roundtable to discuss the strengths and challenges in the community and how to find good volunteers to reach out.

“We were trying to focus on what each individual agency did, the resources we offer and the ways we can help each other monetarily or by working together,” Colvin said. “We wanted to find out the needs of the community what we can do as a whole to bring the community together and be aware of what the needs are and strengths in the community.”