Wanted: Volunteers for nearly 20 Butler County nonprofits

A community volunteer fair will be hosted by OhioMeansJobs-Butler County, LoveWorks and the Fairfield Lane Library Saturday afternoon at the job center on Dixie Highway in Fairfield. Habitat for Humanity is one of the nearly 20 nonprofit organizations seeking volunteers to help the community. Pictured is a volunteer in April 2019 at Habitat for Humanity’s Rock the Block in Fairfield Twp. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE
A community volunteer fair will be hosted by OhioMeansJobs-Butler County, LoveWorks and the Fairfield Lane Library Saturday afternoon at the job center on Dixie Highway in Fairfield. Habitat for Humanity is one of the nearly 20 nonprofit organizations seeking volunteers to help the community. Pictured is a volunteer in April 2019 at Habitat for Humanity’s Rock the Block in Fairfield Twp. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County is one of more than a dozen local organizations reminding residents that just a few hours of volunteering per month can have a major impact.

And the century-old organization is always looking for volunteers, especially men, as more than half of its waiting list is made up of boys and “we find that our boys tend to wait the longest, so we definitely want men to step up to be big brothers,” said Becky Perkins, vice president of marketing and outreach.

“We want to make sure the community is aware of the important and impactful opportunity to serve as mentors to kids in Butler County,” she said. “It really is a meaningful and easy service opportunity in that our mentors only give two to four hours a month to mentoring a child, and it makes a world of difference in the life of that child.”

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County is one of 17 service organizations that will be at this weekend’s community volunteer fair hosted by LoveWorks, the Fairfield Lane Library and OhioMeansJobs-Butler County.

The Fairfield Lane Library hosted the annual community volunteer fair last year, but parking and space inside the library limited the number of participating organizations and community members, said Valerie Simmons, Fairfield Lane Library branch manager and a LoveWorks primary member. This year they brought in partners.

“This year we thought it would be a good idea to combine LoveWorks and the library’s efforts at the volunteer fair because the missions are really so similar,” said Simmons. “LoveWorks looks at spreading kindness forward, encouraging people to give the gift of time and care through volunteering, and the library of connecting people with information and opportunity and to make our communities stronger. So we decided to partner up this year and to make it a bigger, better event.”

The partnership with OhioMeansJobs-Butler County, 4631 Dixie Highway in Fairfield, allows the fair to nearly double in size.

“I look at it kind of like a meet-and-greet where people who are looking for volunteer activities in a room full of people who make use of volunteers, and then just matching up for the opportunity that’s right for you,” said Simmons. “There are so many cool things going on in the community”

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Making the OhioMeanJobs building available for the volunteer fair is an extension of a partnership between the county’s Job and Family Services and the Lane Library system, said Bill Morrison, Butler County JFS executive director.

Some of the organizations seeking volunteers, like the Fairfield Food Pantry and Hope’s Closet, also support some of the same people JFS assists, and Morrison said any “community connections are essential to our overall mission.”

“A lot of our work is about extending ourselves out of our building and into the community,” he said. “We try to do more and more outreach into the community because when (our system) works well we should be a hub of upward mobility for people in our community.”

Community Volunteer Fair

When: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: OhioMeansJobs-Butler County, 4631 Dixie Highway, Fairfield

What: Volunteer opportunities with local nonprofit organizations

Who: A partnership between LoveWorks, Fairfield Lane Library and OhioMeansJobs-Butler County

More info: Contact Fairfield Lane Library, 513-858-3238