Cesar Chavez service fair inspires non-profit work

Cesar Chavez service fair inspires non-profit work

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Community involvement was on display at the Cesar Chavez Service Fair on Wednesday. This was the third annual installment of the fair, hosted by the campus organization Unified We Serve and the Chicana/o Studies department.

Justin Weiss, activities coordinator for Unified We Serve, said he hoped students would get two things out of the event.

“I hope they can get inspired by the opportunities they can get involved in to make an impact in their community,” he said. “And I hope they act on that and make use of their education, talents and skills.”

More than 40 non-profit organizations had set up tables along Cleary Walk West, next to the Oviatt LIbrary. Most of the groups had flyers and brochures to hand out to students and sign-up sheets for those who wanted to get involved. They represented organizations involved in everything from youth mentoring, to hospice care and environmental groups.

Claire Gal, a volunteer and board member with Ahead With Horses, a non-profit group that works with disabled children by providing therapeutic horseback riding lessons, said she hoped to find students with diverse backgrounds to help out at their Shadow Hills ranch.

“You name a disability, our kids have it,” she said. Gal hoped to find students with experience in speech therapy, sign language or kinesiology among others.

Lupe Hernandez, 20, junior cellular molecular biology major said she was looking for a particular group she had heard about.

MEND (Poverty) has a lot of volunteer opportunities in different sectors and they do a lot of community outreach,” she said.

Hernandez said she also hoped to find out what other volunteer groups were out there while at the event.

The Tree People asked students interested in environmental activism to sign up via their internet sight to save paper. The 40-year-old group works to beautify Los Angeles by planting trees in urban areas, parks and schools.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you still need to breathe the air,” said volunteer coordinator Art Salter.

Another student, Amani Austin, 21, junior urban studies major said she was interested in finding out what was going on in the community.

“I want to start my own non-profit someday,” she said. “I like to hear what different organizations are all about.”

The fair included free pizza for students and free salsa dance lessons provided by the Salsa Libre club in the adjoining courtyard.

Weiss said he hoped people would be inspired by the legacy of Cesar Chavez and the community work he did.