Upper Arlington is fortunate to benefit from a volunteer community program that is itself dedicated to volunteerism close to home.

Upper Arlington is fortunate to benefit from a volunteer community program that is itself dedicated to volunteerism close to home.

For approximately seven years, the Volunteer UA team has been doing its part to spread awareness of the benefits of volunteerism and to help connect civic groups and nonprofits with a pool of volunteers.

The group's signature annual event is on the horizon -- the Volunteer UA Expo. Timed to coincide with National Volunteer Month, this year's Expo is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Upper Arlington Library on Tremont Road.

The Expo is shaping up to be a good one, with close to 30 area nonprofits scheduled to be in attendance, so you're bound to find something that inspires you and fits your schedule.

This year's Expo also features a special presentation by Shirley Brooks-Jones, entitled "The Accidental Volunteer."

Brooks-Jones's plane was diverted during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Forced to land in Lewisporte, Newfoundland -- a town of only 4,000 -- she and her fellow passengers, numbering nearly 800, found refuge and assistance for three days before the plane could return to the United States.

Brooks-Jones was determined to find a way to give back, and she has since grown a scholarship fund of nearly $1.5 million through the Columbus Foundation, as well as becoming an active participant of the TriVillage Lions Club.

Beginning at 7 p.m. in the library's theater, it's well worth taking the time to hear her story and the many wonderful events that have happened as a result.

Volunteer UA is made possible through a partnership of the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging, city of Upper Arlington, Upper Arlington Public Library, TriVillage Mentor League, Leadership Upper Arlington and Syntero Inc./Northwest Counseling Services. These founding partner organizations will also have exhibitor tables at the Expo.

For additional Volunteer UA Expo details, visit uaoh.net under the Headlines section of our homepage.

Call to public service

A reminder that Leadership UA is hosting its Call to Public Service next Thursday, April 11, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Services Center.

If you've been considering giving back to your community in some way, the evening provides a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of serving on a city board or commission, or even running for elected office as a city council or school board member. Have your questions about the rewards and challenges of public service answered by experienced community leaders. Visit leadershipua.org for full details, and I hope to see you there.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.