February 22nd, 2018

UVolunteer Fair connects U of L students with volunteer agencies

By Schnarr, J.W. on September 14, 2017.

Camila Agurto speaks with Rudeen Laina, Community Health Facilitator and volunteer co-ordinator for the Interfaith Food Bank, during the UVolunteer Fair at the University of Lethbridge on Wednesday. Herald photo by J.W. Schnarr @JWSchnarrHerald

J.W. Schnarr

Lethbridge Herald


University of Lethbridge students hoping to get connected with organizations in need of volunteers had an opportunity to do so at the third annual UVolunteer Fair.

On Wednesday, Volunteer Lethbridge and the U of L’s UVolunteer group held the event in the First Choice Savings Centre.

The fair provides a unique opportunity for non-profit organizations to interact with the university population early in the semester and promote their volunteer opportunities.

“In business parlance, it’s called networking,” said Keith Nalder, a membership services co-ordinator with Volunteer Lethbridge. “So right now, we’re just getting out, talking to people and getting exposure.”

He noted while students may be very busy settling in to the new school year, making an initial connection may lead to more opportunities to get involved down the road.

“It’s really a great way to tap into that pool of talented individuals willing to give back to the community,” he said.

Volunteer Lethbridge acts as a hub for volunteerism in the city. Agencies looking for volunteers can contact Volunteer Lethbridge in order to connect with advertising for needed positions, which, in turn, can result in connections with the help they need.

Many volunteers in the city also use Volunteer Lethbridge to see what is available or in demand.

“This type of fair is an excellent opportunity for us to interact directly with volunteers, find out what drives them to volunteerism, and see how we can guide them into something they would find fulfilling,” said Nalder.

Bryce Baker, a UVolunteer program co-ordinator, said the event features 25 nonprofit organizations from around the city.

“We’re just trying to create a bridge for students to connect to these organizations, find volunteer opportunities, and ways to get involved in their community ” Baker said.

Baker said volunteer opportunities not only provide a chance for students to learn more about careers which might interest them, but to apply classroom learning to real world situations. It is also of great benefit to the community.

Volunteerism can further help enrich a university experience. Many students do not have the experience needed to get into the workplace immediately after school.

“I think it really helps the students with who they are,” he said. “They can try different tasks. And maybe they can change their major after if they are new, if they really find something they are interested in or what their strengths are.”

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