Students learn what they can do to volunteer

The University of Northern Iowa hosted its annual volunteer fair on September 2, in the Maucker Union Central Ballroom. From the Alzheimer's Association to the Arc of Cedar Valley, more than 40 nonprofit agencies from the Cedar Valley shared their volunteer opportunities with students, faculty and the community.

Many valuable experiences for students come from volunteering. Shinita Crawley, representative from Highway 63 Gateway Community Development Corporation, said, "Great things come from volunteering such as job and networking opportunities, and advancements in professional careers."

According to the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley, there are 188,600 more Iowans that are volunteering than 20 years ago.

The Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley's primary role is to bring people and community needs together through a range of programs and services. They also provide leadership at the national and local level to solve community problems through volunteering.

Carley Barry, UNI senior health promotions major, came to the volunteer fair in need of volunteer experience essential to graduating and to help great organizations. "I want to gain knowledge about different organizations and learn about applying that knowledge to future careers and life," said Barry.

Among the nonprofit agencies present, was the Boys and Girls Club, which offers club programs and services that improve the development of children ages 6-18. Activities include sporting activities, computer and Internet safety workshops, drug resistance programs and arts and crafts, all to create productive citizens.

Site coordinators Brenda Vavroch and Ashley Stewart spoke of the great opportunities gained with volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club programs. "It helps anyone from someone who wants to be a classroom teacher or someone who wants leadership opportunities," said Vavroch.

If you missed the volunteer fair, but would like more information on volunteer opportunities, visit the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley website at, e-mail or contact Lauren Pelleymounter at 319-272-2087.

Volunteer Fair