Volunteers finding their perfect fit

Last year's Volunteer Fair volunteers, Carol Welo and Stephanie Morgan, members of the Senior & Community Services Advisory Council. Photo by Crista Adamczyk


As the director of Westlake's Department of Senior & Community Services I frequently meet people who are searching for meaningful ways to give back to the community. Most are retirees but I also meet a fair number of young people who are equally interested in making an impact.

Often, the biggest challenge is finding the right fit. Some look for a volunteer commitment as a regular part of their routine, and others are looking more for events. Some are called to a specific social issue, and some are called to share skills they developed before retirement. There are also groups (such as church groups, scouts, corporate community outreach committees) looking for projects that they can do together. So where do you go to find the right fit?  

One answer is to attend the 2020 Volunteer Fair co-hosted by Westlake Senior & Community Services and Westlake Porter Public Library on Tuesday, March 24, from 4-6:30 p.m. The event will take place at the library, located at 27333 Center Ridge Road. Local organizations will be on hand recruiting for a wide variety of volunteer needs for individuals ages 16 through adulthood. The fair offers the unique opportunity to learn about local organizations and consider roles you would never have dreamed existed.

Do you like to cook? You might be interested in volunteering for the Village Project (who provide meals for individuals and families undergoing cancer treatment). Do you have business expertise to share? SCORE is an organization that matches volunteer mentors with small business owners. Maybe you are looking for a way to contribute as a family. You can help Because I Said I Would package promise cards, while learning more about how this local non-profit is making an international impact. One of the volunteer roles in our department is to referee chair volleyball games. Like I said, there are opportunities out there that would surprise you.

In addition to these examples, our current exhibitor list also includes: the Alzheimer's Association, CAIR, CASA, Clague Playhouse, Far West Center, Friends of the Library, Hunger Network, Lutheran Metro Guardians, Meals on Wheels, Ombudsman Long-Term Care, Prayers for Maria, Recovery Resources, American Red Cross, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, The Gathering Place, Westlake Auxiliary Police, Westlake Police Explorers, Tri-C, UH St. John Medical Center and Youth Challenge. Surely there is something that will spark your interest and maybe even be your perfect fit.

Research tells us that volunteering is good for our physical and emotional health. We also know it is good for our community. Come see for yourself and find out how you can get started.

For more information about this event, contact Susan Laschinger, Senior & Community Services volunteer coordinator, at 440-899-3544.

Lydia Gadd

I am the Director of the Senior and Community Services Department for the City of Westlake. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:05 AM, 03.03.2020