Volunteer Fair to help connect volunteers to nonprofits

“We need more volunteers” is the most-often heard statement from the over 60 nonprofits throughout Tillamook County.

By Laura Swanson
[email protected]

But how do you recruit them? Then, what do you do with them? Where are they and how do we encourage more people to volunteer?
“It seems that we are all looking for volunteers, and we see many of the same people volunteering at the various nonprofits,” commented Melissa Carlson-Swanson from the Tillamook Regional Food Bank. “We don’t want to burn them out, and we need to recruit new volunteers.”
The idea for a countywide recruitment fair has been bouncing around for a decade or more, and this year with organization from Carlson-Swanson, Erin Skaar at CARE, Emily Fanjoy, volunteer coordinator for the Tillamook County Women’s Resource Center, County Commissioner Bill Baertlein and a Deborah Mather, a volunteer at Tillamook regional Food Bank, a volunteer recruitment fair will be held at Tillamook Bay Community College on Thursday Oct. 8 from 1 to 6 p.m.
This will give the general public an opportunity find out about all the nonprofits in Tillamook County and where their interests and capabilities might be best utilized as a volunteer for a local nonprofit.
“This is an opportunity for the local nonprofits to build awareness about their programs and services,” said organizer Deborah Mather. “It’s about recruiting volunteers and to simplify the process for larger employers with volunteer programs.”
It is also an opportunity to create inter-organizational awareness among the nonprofits and create more community awareness of needs based resources.
Many of the residents of Tillamook County are retired (approximately 65 percemt or more) with many strong skills that are needed by local nonprofits.
“This event will provide a venue to gather information about as many nonprofits as possible for these individuals to find an organization that matches their interests,” said Mather. “To find a place to do good work and make a contribution to their community.”
Volunteering has many benefits for the organization as well as the individual as it creates connections and compassion for a cause or causes. For a small rural county, Tillamook boasts some of the most successful and active nonprofit organizations, which contributes to the overall quality of life in the area.
“We attract good people to the area, and they, in turn, want to give back to the community for the good of the area, but they don’t know where to find the organizations that need volunteers,” said Mather. “This event will assist everyone in making those connections.”
Nonprofit organizations interested in participating in the Volunteer Recruitment Fair should contact Deborah Mather at [email protected] or Emily Fanjoy at [email protected] or 503-842-8294 to reserve a table and for more information.

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