15 organizations at first Volunteer Fair all looking for more helping hands


Tamara Medeiros -- wife, mother and full-time skin consultant -- found a few extra hours in her week.

Since October, she has been giving those hours to the Rape Crisis Intervention Center.

"The organization really drew me," she said. "They fit my schedule into theirs."

After the center's accredited training course at Carroll Community College, Ms. Medeiros said she averages "about two hours a week" working with victims of sexual violence.

"We all should try to do something in our own community," said the Westminster resident.

The center was one of 15 county organizations participating Friday in the first Volunteer Fair at Cranberry Mall. All of the groups were looking for more helping hands.

The fair was an opportunity to recruit and answer questions, saidKathleen A. Bare, Carroll Hospice coordinator of volunteer services.

"We clarify our role in the community," she said. "You never know what seeds of interest you are planting. They might sprout a year later."

Carroll Hospice, which provides services for the terminally ill and their families, listed about 200 volunteers, 80 of them care-givers, last year. "There are never enough volunteers," said Ms. Bare. "We especially need men and people from the county's outlying areas."

Ms. Bare said Carroll Hospice can find something for every volunteer to do, from "care-giving to clerical." The agency would like to set up a transportation network as its next project.

The Carroll chapter of the American Cancer Society also needs drivers, said Betty Frazee, a volunteer since 1978. "Drivers help our patients on the road to recovery," she said. "It's a real joy knowing you can help with even the littlest things."

Like the other fair participants, the Literacy Council "always needs more volunteers," said Eleanor Latini, a Westminster retiree, who tutors a young mother each week.

"I love the work," Ms. Latini said. "Most of our tutors would say the same thing. We try to reach as many people as we can, and we all work one-on-one."

Springfield Hospital Center has a generation gap among its volunteers, said Betty Jean Maus, coordinator for volunteers for 38 years.

"Our older members are getting older and young people just don't have the time," she said. "We have high school students and retirees, but we need the in-betweens.

"Just come. We'll find you a place."

Summer is the most difficult season for Meals on Wheels, said Gail Burton.

"We need a lot of substitutes in the vacation season," she said.

She hoped people would pick up the organization's literature at the fair and learn how providing meals to the elderly and disabled "is a worthwhile effort."

Cathi McAvoy, marketing director at Cranberry Mall, said the fair looked like a success from the first hour it opened.

"People were talking to all the groups," she said. "I hope it encourages volunteers. That is what this whole day is all about."

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