The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Local nonprofits to visit campus for Volunteer Fair

Local nonprofits to visit campus for Volunteer Fair - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Volunteers at Book Buddies, help to organize and categorize donated books that will be distributed to SAISD students. Photo courtesy of the Mays Center.

Students, faculty and staff can explore volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations at the Volunteer Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct 5. in the lobbies and hallways of the Science and Technology Building at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. 

In 2022, the fair attracted 61 students and 38 organizations, such as Special Olympics Texas, Catholic Charities and Operation Gratitude. This year, participants will include Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas and Meals on Wheels San Antonio.

Aaron Guerrero, civic engagement coordinator for the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, said many students feel a sense of purpose after volunteering. Participating doesn’t just benefit the community but also the volunteer. 

“It gives you a sense of usefulness,” Guerrero said.

Organizations need volunteers because many of them are nonprofit with limited budgets or smaller staffs that rely on the mutual relationships with college students. 

The volunteer opportunities are mostly off campus, such as working with Catholic Charities on projects at St. PJ’s Children’s Home and the Seton Home.  

Occasional on-campus opportunities have included helping with the General’s Store, which provides students  with supplemental food. Another was writing cards to soldiers and building teddy bears with Operation Gratitude for children whose parents are deployed. 

Students can RSVP for the fair on the event’s JagSync page.

They also can sign up for the fair on GivePulse, a website where students can register for on and off-campus volunteer opportunities. Students’ volunteer hours get tracked on GivePulse and can go toward a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Guerrero said the feedback he has received from past volunteers back studies that show giving back does make one feel good.

This is the first year the event is charging a registration fee for organizations that participate.

Guerrero said the $25 fee will help prevent cancellations and pay for a networking breakfast for the organizations, as well as parking and setup for the event.

Last year it was around $400 to host the fair, Guerrero said.

Renne Estrada and Madison Gutierrez contributed to this story.

About the Authors

Nevenka Gomez
Nevenka Gomez is a communication junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Texas A&M University at Galveston in Spring 2023. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and playing video games. She wants to explore the world and pursue a career in public relations after graduating.
Esteban Gonzalez
Esteban Gonzalez is a communications junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He currently works as a youth care worker for an emergency children’s shelter. When he’s not focusing on his studies he enjoys traveling, going to the gym, and playing with his dog Milo. In his spare time. He wants to explore different parts of the world and hopes to pursue a career in sports media after graduating.
Andrea Chavez
Andrea Chavez is a communications junior at Texas A&M University- San Antonio minoring in English. She works for a Social Media News Company that helps small businesses in addition to being a full-time student. When not at school or work she loves finding new ways to be creative such as painting, drawing and recently photography. After graduating she hopes to continue a career in helping all types of businesses with creative strategy.

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