Students donate their time for volunteer fair


Roberto Hodge

Jenny Greenberg an intern for Girls on the Run informs Ben Misselhorn, senior marketing major about their volunteer services during the fifth annual Volunteer Fair.

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Eastern’s South Quad was filled with students, stands and a cardboard Superman for the fifth annual volunteer fair.

The fair, which was hosted by the student community service office, is a way for students to get acquainted with the many volunteer options available in the Eastern-Charleston community.

 Rachel Fisher, director of student community, said volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and expand the Eastern experience.

Fisher said more than 80 percent of students participate in volunteering, and students completed 130,000 service hours combined this past year.

Going into fall 2013, the students had 100,000 hours of service completed. Fisher said the office is trying to get 150,000 hours within the next two years.

Brett Kingery, a senior account manager from Consolidated Communications, was present at one of the stands for the fair, and his company is the corporate sponsor for the Special Olympics Family Festival.

Kingery said this is the company’s 31st year sponsoring the Olympics, which will have 75 volunteers and around 2,000 people present.

Philanthropy is hardly a word uttered by teenagers and college students, so it’s a good opportunity for college students to assist those who are less fortunate, Kingery said.

This year’s theme is “Superfriends,” and those participating will be in costumes. Some participate in the festival annually and match up with the same person each year.

“We have people who have been doing it for years and wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Kingery said.

Kingery said this year might be difficult for the festival because it happens during Eastern’s annual Family Weekend.

Special Olympics Family Festival is Saturday, Sept. 20 at Lakeland College.

Another organization present during the volunteer fair was the Charleston Teen Reach, which gains no less than 30,000 hours of service from Eastern students, said CJ Porter, the teen reach program coordinator.

“If you put that into perspective, that’s incredible,” Porter said.

Porter said some teens within the program come from foster parents or those placed in jail, which puts the teens at risk.

“These kids don’t have the same things we have,” Porter said.

There is also a program put on by teen reach called “adopt a stocking” where students on campus adopt a stocking for a child during winter and get them gifts. Porter said last year 42 stockings were adopted and they raised around $7,000.

“It’s a really exciting time to be volunteering at Eastern,” Fisher said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]