IPFW hosted its third annual Community Service Fair on Tuesday from noon to 2 p.m. in the Walb Student Union Classic Ballroom as an effort to connect students and community members with local not-for-profit agencies.
Over 40 agencies were present at the Community Service Fair to offer students, staff and faculty members information about the various volunteer opportunities available within the community.
“Most of the agencies will take volunteers for different activities throughout the year and try to get them engaged throughout the community by volunteering and networking with the organizations they might be interested in working with now or in the future,” Casey Eisenreich, graduate assistant for the office of student life and leadership, said.
A wide variety of not-for-profit organizations and volunteer opportunities were available at the fair including Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Alliance, American Red Cross, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and many others.
“A lot of students assume volunteer work means picking up a shovel or getting your hands dirty,” Eisenreich said. “This event allows students the opportunity to see all of the organizations that need volunteers for really diverse causes, and that there’s a fit for anyone who wants to make a difference.”
According to Eisenreich, the goals for this year’s Community Service Fair include connecting individuals with agencies they are interested in, creating awareness of the various volunteer opportunities and increasing the number of volunteers to support the not-for-profit organizations and each of their causes.
“I think all three of those goals have been met,” Kasey Price, assistant vice chancellor for student life and leadership, said. “Given that over 200 people attended the fair and were able to witness just how many opportunities there are to help the community.”
In addition to the multiple volunteer opportunities, the Community Service Fair offered free food and giveaways. The students were also able to earn a free lunch if they filled out their Community Service Fair passport by visiting 12 agency tables.
“As a Don to Don coach, I see this event bringing more community to the campus, along with the added benefit of allowing students to network with various organizations to make connections,” Hideto Tanimura, student employee for the student success and transition office, said. “It’s amazing what can sprout from just a simple hello.”
This year, the Community Service Fair was sponsored by the Office of Student Life and Leadership, the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Career Services.
The Community Service fair is one of several events that occur during IPFW’s Diversity and Community Engagement Week, a week dedicated to promoting opportunities for community engagement and supporting IPFW’s diversity and beyond.
In addition to the Community Service Fair, IPFW will be hosting another community service event in the spring called The BIG Event. The BIG Event is a one-day service project where students, faculty, staff and alumni connect with the Fort Wayne community by volunteering a day of service for over 50 local not-for-profit agencies. This year The BIG Event will take place on April 16, 2016.