DERRY — Allie Colliton loves to help others.
She heads out every week to make sure she is somehow making a difference.
The Pinkerton Academy senior represented the Sonshine Soup Kitchen as one of its volunteer staff at a fair last week at the school.
The volunteer fair brought out representatives from area nonprofit agencies to the Shepard Auditorium. Students came by during their free periods to learn about ways they can get involved as volunteers.
Organizations including the soup kitchen, Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, Derry Heritage Commission, Massabesic Audubon Center and the Salvation Army joined with other groups interested in signing up student help.
Nonprofit groups set up displays and offered information as students roamed the auditorium and learned about ways to help in the community.
Tracy Untiet, fair organizer and Pinkerton's assistant Career and Technical Education director, said the school has been hosting the volunteer fair for eight years. 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.
Senior Courtney Magoon has volunteered with Community Caregivers for about a year. She said her experiences with the group gave her a great opportunity to meet someone who needed help and forge a relationship.
"I signed up at this fair," Magoon said.
Caregivers' Julie Levesque said having young volunteers like Magoon is a great asset for her organization.
She said she hopes younger students might want to get involved as volunteers with groups in town.
Karen Anderson, curator of the Derry History Museum, came to the fair hoping to sign up some volunteers to help with some specific museum work.
The museum suffered some damage at its home in the Adams Memorial Building following a water heater issue in the building.
Sadie Heckman gladly signed her name on the History Museum sheet. The Pinkerton senior said her family has strong historical ties to a town in Maine, so signing up to help the local history cause was something she wanted to do.
"I've always wanted to touch at least one artifact," she said.
Untiet said the fair is successful every year, giving students a chance to find a niche in the volunteer world.
For Colliton, being involved in something like the Sonshine Soup Kitchen is important.
"I just love to help people," she said. "I feel I should give back."
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