Royal Examiner spoke with Samuels Public Library Executive Director Michelle Ross as we approach the conclusion of the Community Organization Volunteer Fair held on Saturday, May 14. Ross explained that after an initial cancellation due to an untimely spike in COVID-19 variant cases last year, many annual volunteer fairs are hoped to have been launched under the joint sponsorship of the Samuels Public Library. , the Wednesday group and C-CAP.
“I am a member of the Wednesday Group, and the idea of the Volunteer Fair was born last year. The Wednesday group was discussing how so many of our nonprofits were struggling to recover volunteers after COVID. And we had this great idea of what would happen if we put them all together and could let people come and check out all the wonderful organizations they can help out here in Warren County,” Ross explained.
“Unfortunately, last year there was a spike in COVID, so we had to cancel. But we were able to host it this year, and we had about 20 organizations that showed up and participated, promoted” in seeking to regain that momentum of volunteerism, Ross said of what appeared to be a successful inaugural event.
Set up just off the Friends Of Samuels Library (FOSL) at the entrance to the event venue was the Wednesday Band (TWG) table manned by two familiar, albeit masked faces, Jeff Browne and Jim Wolfe , a day after a big announcement of their work with the new WC EDA board.
WC EDA announces a sale contract on the warehouse at 426 Baugh Drive.
We asked them about The Wednesday Group and its partnership with Samuels Library and C-CAP during today’s event. “We have always focused on unmet needs in the county. And one of the needs that we identified was that we needed more volunteers to work with things in the county to help people,” Browne observed, adding, “And so the genesis of The Volunteer Fair was to give people the opportunity to see the dynamic activities taking place in the county and give them the opportunity to get involved. Because a lot of people want to do things but don’t know where to go.
“Well, this is the place to do it. And we’ll start doing it regularly every year. And we think we can grow it – it’s our ‘community garden’, and it will grow over time. So , we’re excited about it.
Arriving about 20 minutes past the 1pm end time, we asked how the attendance had been throughout the day. “Yeah, it was solid,” Wolfe observed, noting the year-long delay due to the peak of COVID. “So we were all set to do that last year and probably correctly decided that the COVID situation was just too risky at that time. So, this being the first, we had a good and solid turnout…
“Another thing that I noticed and didn’t even anticipate is that voluntary organizations don’t normally talk to each other. Still, it was a time when they could walk around and talk to each other and start building those relationships,” Wolfe added with a nod to one of the Wednesday Group’s (TWG) goals. “And that’s really what TWG does, we do a lot of networking, we do fundraising. And we’re trying to make the county a better place to live.