A volunteer fair will take place from 2:30 to 6 p.m., April 18 at Elkhorn Area High School during National Volunteer Week from April 15 to 22.

The fair will feature more than 20 agencies including United Way, SMILES, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Dementia Friendly Community Initiative, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Alzheimer’s Association, Home Helpers, VIP Services, Inc., and several county-related groups, that will have information about volunteer opportunities they’re offering.

National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration.

Since then, every U.S. president has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week, which will be April 15 through 22.

The theme for National Volunteer Week is “Celebrate Service.” The theme captures the meaning behind this signature week, honoring those individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. It serves as an opportunity for individuals, families, nonprofit organizations, and government entities alike to celebrate the ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things through service to others. It also serves as a way to promote volunteerism and focus attention to the renewal of our national commitment and culture of service that has shaped America.

The Walworth County Board will join the celebration, and the county recognizes that area residents can make great contributions as volunteers in local government. According to a news release, the county supports and encourages the use of volunteers when and where it is feasible and appropriate to enhance and expand the work of county staff.

Almost every county department utilizes volunteers in some capacity. Volunteers work for Lakeland School, Lakeland Health Care Center, the Department of Health and Human Services, the public works and parks departments, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the Walworth County Jail and the Clerk of Circuit Courts.

In 2017, the county’s volunteer hours totaled more than 35,000 hours, which is equivalent to 17 full-time staff members.

More information about volunteer opportunities in Walworth County can be obtained by contacting Colleen Lesniak, volunteer services coordinator at 262-741-4223 or clesniak@co.walworth.wi.us.


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