Volunteer fair set for May 24

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 101 views 

The NWA Business and Leadership Council is hosting a volunteer fair from 3 to 6 p.m. on May 24 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers.  The public is invited.

The fair is designed to connect residents of the region with volunteer opportunities throughout Northwest Arkansas.

Volunteer opportunities range from board and committee assignments to assisting at non-profit events.

Krista Khone at the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce said it's the first year for this matchmaking event.

Khone said there are more than 70 non-profits signed up for booths at the fair. Booth information is available here.

"Booth space is filling up pretty quickly, I will be able to take applications from non-profits through this Friday, May 11. We have about 70 spots already reserved," Khone said.

The idea sprung from a subcommittee group meeting of the NWA Council a few months back as the group looked for ways to bridge talent with needs. The hope is not only improving quality of life, but also spurring on economic development in the process.

A study by the Institute of Economic Advancement at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock found non-profits have a profound impact of the state's economy.

Charitable organizations contributed more than $14 billion to the state's economy between 2005 and 2008 and supported 189,000 jobs, according to the report.

In Benton and Washington counties there are roughly 1,500 registered non-profits that filed Form 990s with a minimum income of at least $500 as of 2010, according to the Endeavor Foundation.

Employment specialists have long advised folks in between jobs to seek out volunteer opportunities and build that side of their resume, because through networking unadvertised job opportunities often present themselves.

Khone said too many times folks say they would like to volunteer but they don't know exactly how to get plugged in. This fair should help.