ReNU Niagara seeks volunteers
People from Niagara Falls and surrounding areas gathered at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute Tuesday evening for one purpose: to make a difference.
At the first-ever LiveNF Volunteer Fair, charitable organizations and potential volunteers had the chance to meet and search out new opportunities to help make Niagara Falls a better place.
The event was coordinated by the staff of ReNU Niagara, the community outreach arm of Niagara University, as part of National Volunteer Month.
"We're all active in organizations in Niagara Falls and we know and we see, we're struggling for volunteers," said Tom Lowe, director of ReNU Niagara. "There are a lot of committed people in the city that have been committed for years or even decades, and unfortunately, they're just getting older and they're not going to be around 20 years in the future and we need to fill that gap."
Forty organizations participated. Most were specific to Niagara Falls, though some countywide groups also joined, including the Niagara County Office for the Aging, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara and the Riviera Theatre and Organ Preservation Society.
Riviera Customer Service Manager Laurice Russell said the theater got involved because she has worked with Lowe in the past. She said the Riviera's volunteer-to-staff ratio is 50:1, making it "Absolutely essential for us to find good volunteers, and we thought this would be a good place to build our base."
Different volunteer opportunities included working with young people or senior citizens; neighborhood beautification; marketing, event planning, fundraising, scheduling and grant writing; construction and building rehab; working as greeters and ushers; serving in food pantries, hospitals and offices; and supporting tourism efforts.
From left, ReNU staff Brittany DePietro, Natalie Cook and Danielle DePalma.
Neil Lange and Laurice Russell of the Riviera Theatre were among the charitable organizations present at the first LiveNF Volunteer Fair.