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Livingston Volunteer Fair Lets Residents Know Where Help is Needed

Kimberly A. Bolognini

Sunday, January 27, 2013 • 8:44am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The town's Vision 20/20 Committee, in conjunction with the Citizen’s Institute and Bicentennial Committee, hosted a Volunteer Fair at the Senior Community Center Saturday afternoon.

Alan Karpas, chair of Vision 20/20, explained that due to the overwhelming responses from the organization’s assessment questions, it was clear that Livingston residents wanted to volunteer around town more.

“The survey responses showed us that people want to volunteer for something, but they don’t know where to start, so we decided to have a fair where we can bring everything to them,” Karpas said.

According to Karpas, 35 Livingston committees and organizations were in attendance at the fair where each had their own table offering residents addition information about volunteering opportunities.

Peg Williams, chair of the event, added that since this is the first time running an event like this, she and Karpas didn’t know what to expect, but they were “pleasantly surprised.”

“We will definitely consider having another volunteer fair in the future, due to the amount of people who attended this one so far,” Williams said.

Among those who participated, Saint Barnabas Medical Center was in attendance searching for potential volunteers.

“This is an opportunity to give people the chance to volunteer at St. Barnabas and support the community,” Director of Volunteers Lorraine Marino said. “Volunteerism supports our staff and patients.”

Marino added that there are currently 681 volunteers at St. Barnabas, including both adults and teenagers.

“So far we’ve had numerous inquiries and given out many fliers, so hopefully those who expressed an interest will contact us for an interview,” said Josephine Colosimo, assistant director of volunteers.

New resident Damien Caillault came to the fair to learn about different volunteer opportunities within Livingston.

“I moved here two weeks ago and I would like to invest in the community,” Caillault said. “I decided to come here today because I’m curious as to what volunteer opportunities there are.”

Caillault said that he is interested in possibly volunteering for Sunshine Rotary and Knights of Pythias.

“I’m open-minded in terms of where to spend my free time volunteering,” Caillault said.

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