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Fair introduces students to service opportunities

| Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) hosted its annual Social Concerns Fair at the Dahnke Ballroom from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. At the fair, many non-for-profit organizations and student-run clubs had the chance to present their activities to students and other visitors.

The fair consisted of clubs with different social service aims such as tutoring, health care and service and student government, among others. The representatives of these clubs were mainly students and officials who expressed excitement to share the opportunities available for the students.

One such group was the Friends of St. Joseph County Parks. This group is a not-for-profit organization which helps preservation of parks’ biodiversity and the organization of outdoor activities in its facilities. There are four main parks preserved by this organization, but the closest park to Notre Dame is St. Patrick County Park.

According to the group’s representative, students can participate in a range of winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter tubing at the park. At Bendix Woods Park, which is approximately 15 miles away from Notre Dame, the Tapping Day is celebrated on Feb. 15. At this event, visitors tap the Bendix Woods Sugar Bush and make fresh maple syrup.

The Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph Country is another not-for-profit organization which helps young children to reach their full potential and productivity, said Andrea McCollester, who represented the group at the fair.

“We try to expose children to a lot of different things which they might be interested in,” she said. “We try to lift up kids by trying to realize their potential and be the best version of themselves.”

According to her, it is very easy to go from Notre Dame to the organization, which is located on Sample Street. There is a South Bend city bus stop on Eddy Street which stops very close to the organization.

This fair is an opportunity for students who want to engage with the community and help others in need. Michael Hawley, a freshman at Notre Dame, said students should volunteer into these organization as it is a great way to help the local community.

“There is an abundance of opportunities in South Bend area and they all look very interesting,” Hawley said.

Another student, freshman Tanner Condon who studies at the Mendoza College of Business, said the education he has received at Notre Dame has encouraged him to help others.

“Here they teach you to strive for goodness through business, and I wanted to come up here to see how can I serve to the community,” Condon said.

Shannon Gibson, a freshman, said she is looking forward to this opportunity to meet with local community groups and learn more about them and their work. Gibson and her friends were very excited about the CSC fair, which offers the students a lot of different opportunities to help them develop. They are looking forward to future events as they seek to strengthen their bond to the community.

“I want to get more involved in the local community,” Gibson said. “In that way I can offer my help in improving the community, which is very important to me.”


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