With Laura Trach of Orange Cat Studio looking on student Rachael Reddering tries her hand at hemming at the last Try It Fair. The next fair is May 4 at the high school. /File photo by Darren Lum

Fair an introduction to volunteer opportunities new technology

By Jenn Watt
Published April 17 2018

Those looking to broaden their horizons and try something new need to mark Friday May 4 on their calendar for Volunteer Recruitment and Try It Again Fair – previously two events which have come together this year.

From 3:30 to 7 p.m. participants are invited to come to the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School Athletic Complex to try new activities and meet with local organizations seeking volunteers.

“It is an awesome opportunity for those who have thought about volunteering but don’t know where to start or if someone is new to the Highlands and wants to get involved in the community” said Brigitte Gebauer co-ordinator of volunteer services at Haliburton Highlands Health Services.

A long list of community organizations have already signed up for booths at the fair including Abbey Gardens Haliburton Highlands Museum Rails End Gallery Canoe FM Haliburton Highlands Health Services Haliburton Highlands Outdoor Association and the municipalities of Algonquin Highlands Dysart and Minden Hills among others.

“Because we are partnered with the Try It Fair this year it becomes far more than a volunteer fair” said Gebauer. “You can explore all sorts of interesting businesses organizations and entrepreneurs who are offering experiential displays where you can try things out see interesting demonstrations on how things are made. The Try It Fair is part of the larger maker movement that has swept the globe in the last decade and serves to introduce folks to equipment and services offered by the Community of Making.”

The fair will also include the Lions Club offering vision and hearing screening as well as diabetes awareness and a by-donation café.

Benefits of volunteering include meeting new people developing skills building a resume and providing an introduction to possible career directions.

“Volunteering gives you a chance to learn more about a career area before you make a commitment” Gebauer said.

“Volunteering can provide you with skills experience contacts and opportunities. It can also provide an enormous amount of satisfaction and accomplishment and a lot of fun! You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!”

Gebauer also pointed out that volunteering can boost mood and self-esteem and that for those who are older adults it helps them remain active and connected to the community.

“Studies have found that older adults who volunteer have reduced stress-related illnesses and higher self-esteem and are less likely to feel isolated” she said.

“Volunteering can also have a positive impact on lifestyle transitions in older adults as they retire downsize their housing or deal with health issues.”