Twenty organizations got more than 115 volunteer sign-ups at the first-ever Saluda Volunteer Fair in late September at the Saluda Senior Center.
“It was better than we had hoped for,” said George Sweet, Vice Chair of the Saluda Downtown Foundation, Inc., which organized the fair. “It was a great turnout.”
Fair attendee Nancy King said, “We just became full-time residents this spring and were eager to meet people and have ways to get involved. The volunteer fair was perfect! We both signed up for many groups and were excited to talk about the possibilities this effort created for us.”
The organizations that participated were from Polk and Henderson counties and included Saluda Historic Depot and Museum, Saluda Arts Festival, Sister City, Saluda Elementary School, MountainTrue, Conserving Carolina, Saluda Community Land Trust, Blue Ridge Literacy Council, Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, Saluda Tailgate Market, Top of the Grade Concert Series, Saluda Community Table, Saluda Living in Place, The Medical Loan Closet of Henderson County, the Free Clinics, Polk County Health & Human Services Agency, Autumn Care of Saluda, Saluda Senior Center and Pop-Up Pantry of Saluda.
More than 40 organization representatives met one-on-one with fair goers to talk about available volunteer positions. More than 75 potential volunteers visited the fair. The purpose of the fair was to give individuals an opportunity to learn about the different organizations in the area and to help potential volunteers match up their interests and skills with the available opportunities.
The fair also benefited from support from the business community. RiverStreet Networks made a financial contribution to sponsor the event and 15 area businesses donated door prizes. The Purple Onion and Wildflour Bakery and Café donated refreshments for the event.