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Street fair to connect students with community service opportunities

Looking to connect with the Athens community, but aren't sure where to start?

Next Tuesday, students will be able to explore a wide range of volunteer opportunities from the student center's doorstep during Ohio University's third annual Community Service Street Fair. Hosted by the Campus Involvement Center, the event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 2 on the patio of The Front Room Coffeehouse, located on the fourth floor entrance of Baker University Center.

The fair will feature 24 community and campus organizations working to raise awareness for the causes they support. The event will take place in conjunction with the Ohio University Majors Fair, which will be held simultaneously in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

"The intent is to get students off-campus and engaged with what's out there. (We want students to) experience and explore and develop new skills, as well as bring our community service organizations to campus to help build that reciprocal relationship," said Patricia Riley, a graduate assistant for community service in the Campus Involvement Center. "We'll be having fun, talking about service and getting people energized about giving back to the community."

According to Barb Harrison, assistant director of off-campus living and community service, it is especially important for students at Ohio University to volunteer, based upon the region's need.

"We have about 30 percent of people in Athens County living at or below poverty. And that's compared to Ohio, which is only about 13 percent of all citizens. That's a huge difference for us in this region. So because of that, I think our responsibility is greater," Harrison said.

"We're all part of the Athens community, and we all want to work to make Athens better," added Riley.

Organizations participating in the 2012 Community Service Street Fair include:

  • Appalachian Progressive Education Center
  • Appalachian Community Hospice
  • Athens County Children Services
  • Athens Student Action
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County
  • COAD's Senior Volunteer Program
  • Community Food Initiatives
  • Community Work Study
  • Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development
  • CSLC
  • Discover Museum
  • Friends of the Shelter Dogs
  • Good Earth Farm
  • Good Works Inc.
  • Good Works: Service Living
  • Leading Creek Watershed
  • Live Healthy Appalachia
  • Office of Sustainability
  • Red Cross of Southeast Ohio
  • Sojourners Care Network
  • The Athens Village
  • The Gathering Place
  • United Appeal for Athens County
  • United Campus Ministry