Community Service Fair Expands

community-service-fairColin O’Connell
Contributing Writer

Students who have gone into Dansbury Commons within the past week have seen the white banner draped over the front entrance advertising the upcoming Community Service Fair.

Wando Holt, director of Greek life and member of the Community Service Fair committee, said he is excited for the future of ESU’s involvement in community service.

“We’re really trying to connect a lot of different pieces and make this commitment to service more of the forefront and really getting our students involved,” said Holt.

Holt explains that this commitment starts with the Community Service Fair.

The fair, which has upped its total number of participating agencies from 25 last year to 36 this year serves as not only an opportunity for students to meet with community service organizations but also get directly involved right away.

“We’ve got about six or seven different organizations that are looking for donations,” said Holt.

“Those organizations supplied us with a list of supplies that they’re looking for.

And we’re working with ShopRite this year to actually have those goods at the event for students to purchase so they can donate right then and there.”

The other agencies in attendance will be there to promote volunteer and internship opportunities through their own organizations.

This shift in philosophy from past years shows ESU adapting from being just a bridge to community service opportunities to a place where getting involved can happen right away.

This year, at least 600 freshman students must complete a program passport for their first year experience class, meaning they are all required to attend the event and draw a large crowd of helping hands.

The event is also an opportunity for those in the mentor program to get involved.

ESU’s community service involvement does not end next Thursday however, as plans for the event moving forward continue to expand.

“I think we’re going to be expanding it every year,” said Holt.

“We’re actually still trying to figure out how we’re going to cram as many tables as possible in front of SciTech. Or if it’s a rainy day trying to fit them all inside. So I think we’re growing, I think we need a larger space as we continue to grow to actually host this and to host it well.”

Keeping the event on campus is another major factor for the fair moving forward and an expansion of space may be a realistic issue moving forward.

The fair will also allow students to give the shirt off their back.

“We’re actually going to have the t-shirt wall that a lot of our first year students donate their high school shirts or wherever their from. And that wall is going to be there of all those shirts and they’re going to be able to take a selfie with it.”

Expanding through social media is just as crucial a factor as physically expanding for ESU’s community service as all students are encouraged to use the hashtag “#ESUserves” when participating in community service.

The Community Service Fair will take place Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. on the lawn of the Science and Technology Center.

For more information, students can contact careerdevelopment@esu.edu.

Email Colin at:
coconnel11@live.esu.edu

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