Fall Volunteer Fair offers a variety of opportunities

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On Wednesday, Oct. 9, the Bellevue College cafeteria was lined with booths adorned with bright poster boards and flyers, hoping to catch the eyes of BC students. Over 30 booths were up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with members of different volunteer organizations hoping to recruit BC students as their future volunteers.

One of the non-profit organizations present was Jubilee Reach, a local organization that works to serve the families and kids of Bellevue with the mission to “love our neighbor.” With over 21 opportunities a week for people to volunteer, Jubilee Reach needs all the help it can get. Jubilee Reach hosts donation drives as well as fundraisers Monday through Sunday, Jubilee’s participants volunteer at the Heart and Home Thrift Store where duties include receiving, organizing, sorting and stocking donations while also providing customer service throughout the store. A lot of Jubilee Reach involves work with kids, such as KidREACH every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8:30 p.m. where volunteers will provide one-on-one tutoring to elementary school students. In addition to KidREACH, there’s also Before School Care, Jubilee Tots, Evening Child Care and Club Jubilee Sports that all involve interacting with children.

Jane Lewis, who works in the Volunteer Department at Jubilee Reach, acknowledges that it’s very important for college students to get involved. “It’s important for everyone to volunteer. My life has been touched, and I get more than I give when I help all of these people out. Life is not about us, it’s about all of us. My life has improved from volunteering,” said Lewis.

Also present at the Volunteer Fair was the YWCA, an organization that works to eliminate racism and to empower women. Some of the events that they are recruiting volunteered for are math tutoring, a two hour per week volunteer position. The YWCA is also looking for Child Care Providers, a volunteer job that requires more availability with shifts from 5:30-8:15 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. The group is also looking to recruit Personal Dressers whose job is to support disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and help them network in the professional world. Lastly, the YWCA needs volunteers for Angeline’s Day Center for Women, a homeless shelter in Seattle.

“Being with the YWCA, I meet a lot of people, a lot of different people, that I wouldn’t get the chance to meet otherwise, so it’s a cool experience,” said Sarah Bartlett, member of the YWCA.

MDA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, is today’s leading non-profit health agency that dedicates it’s time to finding treatment and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. The MDA has a summer camp where people can volunteer.

Niki House, health care service coordinator at MDA, stated that volunteering has more benefits than just building your résumé.

“You get to build relationships with your clients and you really get to know these kids,” said House.