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CSC Fair to highlight organizations

| Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) will host its annual Social Concerns Fair on Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in rooms B035 and B036 of Geddes Hall. Representatives from over 40 organizations, all of which offer students opportunities for outreach in the South Bend community, will be in attendance.

Some of the groups at last year’s fair included the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County, the American Red Cross and Hope Ministries.

“[The fair is] an opportunity for agencies like ours … to meet students directly interested in service, give us the chance to explain what we do and how we serve the poor and the marginalized in our community and give the students the chance to see how their particular talents and passion might be used in the furtherance of the University’s mission and our mission to break the cycle of homelessness,” Peter Lombardo, director of community involvement for the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, said.

The Center for the Homeless is the largest provider of homelessness service in the community and is home to over 200 men, women, children and military veterans, Lombardo said.

“They are striving to return to the community where the rest of us lives, free of the challenges that made them homeless, with a good and safe place to live, a job with dignity and connections to family and friends,” he said. “We are looking for students to help us in all aspects of our work, students who wish to live out their University’s mission and our Catholic social tradition.”

Lombardo said that the Center for the Homeless hopes to welcome a variety of student talents. Volunteer positions needed include tutoring children at the center in order to give them a role model and improve their classroom performance, teaching computer literacy skills to adults helping adults learn a foreign language or gain their GED, serving meals and helping at the front desk, he said.

Sam Centellas, an executive director at La Casa de Amistad, a community center in South Bend that aims to assist and encourage the Hispanic community, said his organization will also have a table at the fair this year.

“It is always great to see so many Notre Dame students that want to be involved in the local community,” Centellas said. “We love working with Notre Dame students. Whether in a community-based learning class, getting some career-related experience outside of campus or just spending some time mentoring kids, we know Notre Dame students take their commitments seriously and work hard to make an impact.

“We want students to know they can come just once a semester, come once a week all semester or do an internship with us. We work hard to make sure your experience with us at La Casa not only benefits the community but provides you with a meaningful experience.”

Students who can’t attend the fair are invited to view the CSC’s 2014-2015 Civic Engagement Guide, found on the CSC’s website, for outreach opportunities.

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About Andrea Vale

Andrea Vale is a freshman at Notre Dame who has previously written for both the Sun Chronicle and the Huffington Post. She plans to major in English with a Creative Writing concentration and a minor in Journalism.

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