In an unusual twist of its outreach program, the Round Hill Community Church reached out itself this year to parishioners who are called upon weekly to stuff collection envelopes. “Instead of just writing checks to beneficiaries we decided to give donors a chance to meet with multiple organizations and connect in person with them,” says Caroline Lazzara, chair of the church’s Outreach Committee.
To that end, on a Sunday morning in early October, the church staged a “Volunteer Fair” and invited both church members and the public to meet with 23 service organizations in the Round Hill Community House. The event drew more than 100 people, about a quarter of them non-congregants, who visited tables staffed by members of such diverse organizations as Kids in Crisis and Domestic Violence Crisis Center, and River House Adult Day Care Center and Community Plates which transfers unneeded food from businesses to hunger programs. Local area service providers were joined by special needs programs in Haiti, and in Mexico and the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
The Volunteer Fair also gave visitors the opportunity to volunteer themselves at any of the organizations and at least three of them are now doing just that.