The city of Upper Arlington and several community partners are seeking nonprofit exhibitors for an annual event that links organizations with volunteers.
Since 2007, the city and groups such as the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging, Upper Arlington Public Library, Tri-Village Mentor League, Leadership Upper Arlington, the Tri-Village Lions Club and Syntero Inc./Northwest Counseling Services have hosted an open event each year to raise awareness about area volunteer opportunities.
Through the Volunteer UA collaborative, the annual Expo not only educates residents and those outside the Tri-Village (Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff) area about local nonprofit organizations, but also seeks to bolster civic pride and community service through volunteerism.
Currently, Volunteer UA is seeking nonprofit organizations to host exhibits at the Volunteer UA Expo, slated for April 16 at the Upper Arlington Public Library's Main Branch, 2800 Tremont Road.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; a table can be reserved for $25.
"The idea for Volunteer UA and the Expo was to pool the resources of the participating entities in a way that would raise awareness about volunteer opportunities in the community and provide an easy way for residents interested in volunteering to connect with area nonprofits," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington's community affairs director.
"We share the load for the brainstorming, coordination, marketing and logistics for the event and also have strengthened networking between our respective organizations as a result."
Speight said 30 to 35 organizations typically participate in the Volunteer UA Expo, which gives civic-minded individuals a plethora of options to get involved in the communities or in specific projects that match their interests.
Those who choose to take ownership of their communities or help their neighbors, she added, help Upper Arlington and the Tri-Village area maintain high qualities of life and make them unique places to live and work.
"Volunteerism benefits the community in many, many ways," Speight said. "If it weren't for the 10,000-plus hours volunteered at the (Upper Arlington) Senior Center each year, many of the programs offered there would not be possible.
"The volunteers of the UA Civic Association host numerous community events that are enjoyed by thousands each year, including the Easter candy hunt, UA Stage and Fourth of July. Older adults receive yard work and home maintenance assistance, thanks to the Commission on Aging's Senior Service Saturdays. The Citizen Police Academy Alumni group provides hundreds of hours of support to the (Upper Arlington) Police Division and its safety education programs."
Organizations interested in hosting an exhibition at the Expo can call Amy Schossler of the UA Commission on Aging at 614-583-5326. She is also available by email at aschossler@ uaoh.net.
As for the Expo itself, the event is free and open to anyone, regardless of where they live.
Speight noted that new volunteer opportunities could be available to Upper Arlington High School students this year, through an inaugural "Get It in 6" program, which will seek to link students to projects that would fulfill an academic requirement to complete six hours of community service.
Additionally, the event will feature opportunities for students to volunteer at the UAPL during their lunch breaks.
"The list of activities and programs that are made possible by volunteers is endless," Speight said. "Volunteerism also benefits the volunteer, providing new contacts and networks, a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from helping others and an increased sense of wellbeing by being an active community participant."