Simpson Service Fair provides engagement opportunities

by Taylor Miller

Not many people are knowledgeable about the Simpson Service Fair, mainly because this is the first year Simpson College had it as an event.

Jorie Landers, service coordinator and assistant chaplain, said it’s important for the community to take advantage of the Simpson Service Fair.

“The Simpson Service fair is here to bring in a number of organizations, to familiarize students with opportunities within the community,” said Landers. “It helps students get connected with places to volunteer.”

Landers said these community-based organizations students can volunteer for are either in Indianola or in Des Moines.

Mary Sheka, executive director of the John C. Culver Public Policy Center, said the wealth of opportunities presented at the Simpson Service Fair is only one of the aspects.

“The organizations offer volunteer opportunities and also they offer some internship opportunities,” said Sheka. “It is just a wide variety from social service agencies, advocacy groups, and state government political parties, so you are looking at a full range of service within the Des Moines area.”

Sheka said the opportunities for volunteering can range from semester long periods or can extend to a summer opportunity, such as an internship.

Some of these organizations include Amanda the Panda, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, The Governor’s Office, and Everybody Wins! Iowa. These are a few of the organizations often providing Simpson’s students opportunities to get engaged.

Maureen Snook, sophomore, described why the Simpson Service Fair was important to her.

“This will help me be exposed to different organizations within the community,” Snook said. “It will help me get an idea of some of the things I can do later in life.”

“I was really interested in Everybody Wins! Iowa, it’s a reading program that works with the various elementary schools in town and in the Des Moines metro area,” said Snook. “Since I’m interested in being a teacher, this will help me gain experience working with kids, and it will help me make connections that I can use as references.”

Snook said Everybody Wins! Iowa is a great way for college students and adults to encourage literacy.

“They pair a college student or an adult with a child who is in elementary school, you go once a week and read to them,” Snook said. “It gives the kids positive interaction with adults and makes them more apt to want to read.”

Snook hopes that she might be able to help get the Everybody Wins! Iowa program started in other schools that she might end up working at in the future.