Story by Brian Branch | Contributing Writer
Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Volunteer Fair kicked off around 10 a.m. in the Middle Tennessee State University commons. The event featured around 12 separate organizations seeking volunteers to help aid them in improving the community. Every kind of service could be found, from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to Campus Recreation all the way to The Center for the Arts.
The Volunteer fair is organized and coordinated by the Director for Student Organizations and Service, Jackie Victory, and the staff of the Student Organizations and Service.
“I think that the Volunteer Fair is important for students for a couple of reasons,” Victory said. “One, sometimes students have scholarship requirements and class requirements to complete service, so it helps students make connections with agencies. And then there’s also a lot of students who enjoy service. It’s a hobby of theirs and things that they want to do so it helps them make connections in the greater Murfreesboro community, and I would also say they it gives students that opportunity to live out that True Blue pledge that we have where students can be engaged in the life of our community.”
Some organization representatives shared their missions and views on volunteer work. Jolene Radnoti, executive director of Read to Succeed, said it was all about bettering the community.
“If you volunteer, you get to see all different aspects of our community and what it takes to grow this community and have that fellowship and give somebody that doesn’t have that opportunity, help that person better themselves,” Radnoti said. “And if you volunteer you can do that through so many nonprofits and programs in our community.”
Another organization representative, community engagement manager of Big Brothers Big Sister of Middle Tennessee, emphasized that no experience is needed to volunteer. “If you are 18 years old or up, they have a place for you in their mentoring origination,” McWilliams said. “Even if you don’t have transportation, we have transportation assistance to help get you to the locations they connect you with.”
For incoming or returning students, many organization representatives say volunteering is a great way to help the community, meeting people and helping out while getting life experience.
Below is a list of the organizations that attended the fair along with their contact information:
— Feed America First, Michelle Olsen, 801-589-9301
— Read to Succeed, Jolene Radnoti, 615-738-7323
— The Center for the Arts, Q Rankins, 615-904-2787
— MTSU Student Health Services, Becky Figeroa, 615-494-7608
— Greenhouse Ministries, Cherie Jobe, 615-494-0499
— Isaiah 117 House, 423-518-3760
— MTSU Campus Recreation, Olivia Nye, 615-898-5068
— Big Brothers Big Sisters, Dantriel McWilliams, 615-329-9191
— Beesley Animal Foundation, Dawn Roberts, 615-890-6878
— A Step Ahead, Ashley Hullett, 615-549-7662
— Special Kids, Addie Chandler, 615-893-4892
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