Fair encourages students to volunteer with local agencies

Desiree Bartoe

Ron Kilchenman’s smiling face poked out from behind a towering board decorated with numerous brother and sister photos and a “Big Brothers and Sisters of Portage County” banner.

“Welcome,” said Kilchenman, associate director of Big Brothers and Sisters of Portage County. “Are you interested in Big Brothers and Sisters? Let me tell you a little bit about our organization.”

Kilchenman was not the only person recruiting volunteers yesterday. Nearly 20 Kent State student organizations and local social service agencies set up

informational tables from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center for the Volunteer Fair.

“The event gives organizations the chance to get their name out there,” said Matthew Haramis, Ohio Campus Compact VISTA

service leader. “It also makes it easier for students. They don’t have to go off campus to find volunteer opportunities; we bring the opportunities to them.”

Several students talked to

representatives and collected information about volunteer opportunities on campus and beyond.

“I think (the Volunteer Fair) is a wonderful opportunity for

students to get involved,” said Angela Femia, Visiting Nurse Service

volunteer services manager. “I am so happy that Kent State supports volunteering within the community. Volunteerism improves our community and the lives of the volunteers.”

Each organization had sign-up sheets for interested students.

The fair normally draws a majority of student and Greek organizations, said Dave Gynn, Coleman Professional Services volunteer coordinator.

“I am the new-member educator for Delta Zeta, and I came here to learn about new opportunities for the girls,” senior education major Christine Wilson said. “It is very informative, and it is great for freshmen. Even as a senior, I have learned of so many new opportunities.”

Students at Kent State are very community-minded, and the fair provides even more opportunities for them, Haramis said.

Contact social services reporter Desiree Bartoe at [email protected].