DERRY — Volunteerism is alive and well at Pinkerton Academy.
Students filed through the high school’s annual volunteer fair last week, looking for opportunities to do community service and help others.
This was the 10th year for the fair. Representatives from area nonprofit agencies came to the Shepard Auditorium to meet prospective student volunteers and offer information about what they do. Students came by during their free periods to learn how they can get involved as volunteers.
Organizations including the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, Derry Heritage Commission, Girl Scouts, Derry Public Library, Parkland Medical Center, and the Salvation Army joined with other groups interested in signing up student help.
It is a way to bring nonprofit organizations to the school to help students find things they might be interested in doing as a volunteer. Students are very interested, according to Pinkerton teacher Roger Konstant.
“I believe there is a rise in volunteering because of the economics issues our country faces,” he said. “Many students are finding it difficult to get a job. They want to ‘work,’ so volunteering is a way to do something productive.”
Signing on to volunteer can not only teach students the importance of helping others, but it can mean community service experience on their resumes.
“I’m looking for some community service opportunities,” Pinkerton junior Sophia Shay said as she considered signing up to help with Community Caregivers of Greater Derry.
That nonprofit group relies heavily on its volunteer base, with people helping provide transportation and other services to help the disabled or elderly remain independent in their homes.
Junior Sam Boyle was looking for a perfect volunteer fit.
“I just want to help people in the community,” he said, “and do what I can.”’
Debbie Aboud represented Girls Scouts of America. She said older students can help the younger Scouts learn and serve as role models.