For the Siuslaw News
It is well known that there are cases where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is true here in the Florence area. And it is due in large part to the awesome force of volunteers.
The first Florence Area Volunteer Recruitment Fair attracted over 250 folks. Thirty-six local agencies, associations and volunteer groups had representative volunteers available to discuss the merits of service with interested citizens who attended the free event Wednesday afternoon, April 18, at the Florence Events Center.
Florence Area Coordinating Council (FACC) hosted the event during National Volunteer Week to help garner support and recognition for the hundreds of volunteers who contribute thousands of hours annually to make our Florence community just that, a community, more than just rows of houses but neighbors who care for and bolster one another just because they can.
This year’s event was a public “Thank you” to all the individuals who get out to clean our beaches or run to raise money for cancer. Thanks to all the volunteers in education, health care, veterans affairs, the arts, civic and political issues, senior citizen support, women’s issues, children’s social welfare, ecological concerns and so much more.
Thanks to KCST’s Bob Sneddon for providing excellent emceeing and a big shout out to all the sponsors of the fair who donated fun door prizes.
FACC presented its 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award to 9-year-old Taylor Graham for his continued efforts to raise money to buy food for Florence Food Share with his Read for the Need program, which just so happens to be collecting gently used books to resell Saturday, April 28.
One of the big surprises of the day was the attendance of the entire fourth grade class of Siuslaw Elementary. Each child interviewed at least three organizations about the type of volunteer work they offered. The STEP program and booth was a favorite among the kids. Evidently they didn’t realize that in seventh grade they could join the Steam Team and get credit for fishing and hiking out in our beautiful Pacific Northwest.
National advocate groups and tiny local groups greeted potential volunteers side by side. A couple recently arrived said this was better than they could have asked for, one-stop shopping for fun social and service organizations. They left with hands full of phone numbers and bellies full of cake and coffee.
Bobbie Spencer, Kathleen Mangeram and Bob Teeter were the primary FACC coordinators and they are ready to do it again next year. If you or your organization is interested in participating in the future, write FACC, P.O. Box 1161, Florence, OR 97439.
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