Elks, Lions network to offer volunteer fair




SaltWire Network



Nearly 100 communityminded people recently gathered at Gander’s first Community Services and Volunteer. The event, hosted by the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador, was an opportunity for local not-for-profit and charitable groups to connect with members of the public, to recruit volunteers, fundraise and spread the word about the work they do. In all, 12 organizations were represented by volunteers and decorated displays. The exhibitors offered pamphlets to the public as well as free treats, toys, other promo items, and prize draws. The idea for the fair came about as Gander Elk Luc Chouinard connected with Bettina Ford from the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador charity. What started as a plan to recruit members for the Elks turned into an event for the full community. “There is extraordinary value in the fair as a networking opportunity between organizations” says Ford, co-ordinator and trainer with the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador. “They shared information, identified where events and values align and ways to work together. For example, the Elks Lodge was able to inform the Red Cross and Gander Fire Rescue about one of their national programs that provides financial assistance to children affected by a house fire and loss of belongings.” According to Ford, feedback from the fair was positive. At least three organizations recruited new members on the spot. About 50 people from the public visited the event, while another 40 individuals were represented by the exhibitors.