Inaugural volunteer fair held in Fort Smith

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 63 views 

A first ever Fort Smith Volunteer Fair was held Saturday (Jan. 21) at the Riverfront Pavilion in downtown Fort Smith and included 13 area historic and natural sites.

With the event being held indoors, the chill didn't keep potential volunteers away. About 100 residents from Fort Smith and the surrounding areas attended to learn more about volunteer opportunities. Light refreshments were also served.

“The event is a two-fold – one to gather volunteers and second to open up communication between the sites and make sure that all involved are on the same page,” said Cody Faber, volunteer coordinator at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. “This will give people the opportunity to shop around and see what good historical and natural sites we have.”

Those interested in volunteering at one of the sites were given the chance to match their skills with site needs and find ways both can help each other. The potential volunteers were able to learn about the volunteering opportunities at each of the sites represented.

The historic and natural sites represented were: Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith Museum of History, Miss Laura's Visitor Center, U.S. Marshals Museum, River Valley Nature Center, Fort Smith Trolley Museum, Clayton House, Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, Chaffee Crossing, Bonneville House, Drennen-Scott House, Fort Smith Parks & Recreation, and RSVP.

Volunteers are needed for things such as helping with grounds maintenance, as well as other things at the sites. Potential volunteers also learned what they could gain from their efforts of volunteering.

Jordan Landry, Alexa Torres, and Savannah Leonard are Van Buren High School students who came to the fair looking for summer activities to do. They are in band and find it difficult to find activities that match their schedule. They want to do something to give back and decided that volunteering at one of the sites best fit their schedule. The three girls are looking for a place at which they may volunteer together.

Faber is hoping to make Fort Smith a destination and not a stop. He is also hopeful that this will be an annual event. Those not able to participate in today's volunteer fair are encouraged to call Cody Faber at 783-3961 for more information.