The Center for Community Engagement along with more than a dozen community partners held the Post Fire Service & Internship Fair. A similar event occurred at the beginning of the semester but a host of issues facing the area exacerbated as a result of the fires. Sonoma County will face long-term economic and housing repercussions so local nonprofits and organizations need volunteers and interns now more than ever. As a community we must assess what needs exist and transform the surge of volunteers and donations into something that is ongoing. We were all affected somehow and the tragedy showed us we are all vulnerable so it's time to demonstrate our commitment to service.
"We always need volunteers to work at the warehouse and sort through food" said Rigoberto Morales with the The Redwood Empire Food Bank. "We are particularly interested in long- term volunteers" with the possibility to transition from volunteer to employee. An internship opportunity exists through the food connections program which provides administrative support.
Over 15,000 people contacted the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County after the fires wanting to help, according to Sandra Uribe, and even individuals from out-of-state expressed interest. While the outpouring of support highlighted our ability to come together, Uribe states that the need is still there and that new volunteer opportunities are arising.
Psychology student, Jesslyn Carlos, came to the fair to find out about organizations and what she could have extra time for. Jesslyn discovered that plenty of volunteer opportunities exists but became especially interested in Homeless with Pets and Restorative Resources. By attending such events, students can establish a connection with community organizations, and put their abilities and interests towards work in a meaningful cause.
Want to see more pictures? Check out out album of this event on Flikr.