The annual Service Fair makes Mercyhurst College students more aware of volunteer and service opportunities available throughout the school year.
Whether students are interested in volunteering simply to help out or need service hours for classes or major requirements, the Service Learning Department dedicates one day at the beginning of each academic year to educate students on the different service organizations available.
Mercyhurst’s annual Service Fair, which hosts 26 local non-profit organizations, took place Wednesday, Sept. 9, in the Herrmann Student Union.
These nonprofit organizations include large, national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Booker T. Washington Center.
Organizations such as the Ophelia Project and CHAMPS, which emphasize mentoring, are included as well.
Colin Hurley, director of Service Learning, said the Service Fair is important because it helps students to know “how and where to serve for service learning classes, and how they can make great connections for future careers.”
Another service emphasized at the fair was Americorps VISTA, headed at Mercyhurst by Amanda Hamorsky. Americorps VISTA provides such services as transportation to service sites and opportunities for 24-hour service events.
“The service fair went well, although we had less traffic this year,” Hamorsky said.
Hamorsky believes attendance was lower this year because of the changes in the Laker Inn. Students are no longer able to use board plans at the Laker Inn, and this has caused a decline in student traffic throughout the Student Union.
Alicia Cagle, one of the students who did make it to the service fair this year, plans to help out at the Family First Center in Erie.
The Service Fair was a “great opportunity to find out how to get involved in the Erie community,” Cagle said.
Students who are interested in serving others are encouraged to contact Colin Hurley in the Service Learning office on the first floor of Egan.