This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a Field Fair at UNCW’s School of Social Service. It was a chance for organizations like ours to present themselves to the students who are looking to careers as Social Workers. I’ve been working with UNCW to investigate the possibility of bringing on an intern to assist me at the Center. This fair was geared to showing the students possible opportunities for internships. The event was held at the Warwick Center; there seemed to be a couple dozen organizations represented, e.g. Catholic Charities, Cape Fear Literacy Council, the Disability Resource Center and many others.
Several young women stopped at my table to inquire about the Center. Most were juniors, looking ahead to next year’s internships; however their interest was piqued in the Center when they learned I was looking for volunteers. As part of their requirements in their junior year they need to put in 25 service hours. I received a follow-up call the next day from one of the young women telling me she and two of her friends were interested in volunteering with us. I came in over the weekend and gave them my tour and spoke with them at length. They’ve all signed up and are coming on board in a few days. We hope to have them spend time in all our different areas so they can get an understanding of the work we do and the people we serve. It should give them insight in what it takes to deal with people in need.
In the meantime, I’m continuing to work with UNCW to secure an intern for the fall. It would certainly be a good help to me, as well as providing a student with real life experience before following their career paths. I myself am not a social worker (perhaps I could get some sort of credit for on the job training all these years ….) But I do have a few retired social workers on my volunteer staff. One of them has kindly offered to be a mentor to the students we bring on board. Looking forward to working with the students!
Another ‘student’ event I’m happy about: during Catholic School Week, our St Mary students always bring in donations for the Center. Each year I’m always asked if there’s a particular type of item we especially need. This year, I suggested towels – any kind at all. I stopped in the office after church this weekend and was very pleasantly surprised by the colorful mounds of towels that appeared – dozens and dozens, all shapes and sizes! What a wonderful collection for our housewares department! My thanks go out to Mrs. Price and her staff for organizing it, and for all the families that donated. It was very much appreciated.