Last Monday many people recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. day through volunteer work, but a volunteer fair in Downtown Bend this weekend highlighted the opportunities available year-round.
The fair took place Sunday in the Deschutes County Library, with 20 nonprofit organizations represented.
They ranged from the Red Cross, to Habitat for Humanity, to the Deschutes Land Trust- all required to be nonprofits largely depending on volunteer work.
It’s the 15th year the fair has taken shape in the library.
“This event started when someone suggested that we have a event, a program where volunteers could or organizations could come in and talk about their organizations and volunteering with them. And we thought, well, why don’t we do a fair instead?” said Liisa Sjoblom, a librarian with Deschutes County Library.
They selected Sunday for the fair because of the high amount of foot traffic at the library, bringing in visitors to the event who might not have attended otherwise.
They had to waitlist around 15 organizations due to space constraints, but they hope to include everyone once the new, larger library space is built.
“It’s pretty cool that there’s that many people who really want to volunteer,” Sjoblom said. “I think there’s a great history of volunteering in Central Oregon, and we’re getting new people here all the time and they’re going, where do I volunteer? Where do I find out? And this is one of those events that they can do that.”
Around 200 people came through the volunteer fair during the course of the day.
If you missed the fair but still want to find volunteer opportunities, you can find them on connectcentraloregon.org.