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More than a dozen organizations will be represented at the fair, which is scheduled for Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

TIDINGS FILE PHOTO - The Friends of McLean House are looking for more volunteers. Residents can learn about that group and many more at the volunteer fair Saturday.The inspiration came to Clackamas County Volunteer Services Coordinator Wendy Hays when she was talking to members of the Friends of the McLean House nonprofit, which was hoping to attract more volunteers.

"We were brainstorming on how to create connections in the community, tap into the whole community: youth, adults and so on," Hays said. "I said, 'Hey, this is the time when people are looking for things to do — kids are back in school, or maybe someone just retired.'"

With that in mind, Hays suggested that the Friends organize a volunteer fair at the McLean House. The idea was to host an array of local agencies that were hoping to bolster their volunteer force while allowing attendees to mill about different booths and find an organization (or two) that spoke to their interests.

The talks resulted in the volunteer fair that's set to take place Saturday at the McLean House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We all loved it, because it supported the Friends as they're trying to get the word out — they really do need more support," Hays said. "With Clackamas County, I did a very large volunteer fair last April, and it was very successful. So we thought, 'Let's do one that's on a little bit smaller of a scale, a little more intimate to the community. Yet if somebody comes from outside the community, it's still going to be fitting to them."

More than a dozen organizations will be represented at the fair, including Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Clackamas County, Father's Heart Street Ministries, Friends of Maddax Woods, Historic Willamette Main Street, Music and Arts Partners (MAP) and several programs under the umbrella of Clackamas County Volunteer Connection.

Hays said the hope is to draw volunteers of all ages, particularly younger residents.

"One of the reasons we're having it on Saturday is to reach out to school-aged youth who might have projects they need ideas for," Hays said. "We considered doing it during the week when people (at the organizations) were working ... but we thought, 'It's not (the goal) to be convenient to the organizations, but to reach out (to volunteers)."

The organizations will be posted under a large tent, and hot dogs, chips and beverages will be on sale for $2 (with proceeds going to the Friends of the McLean House).

"So it's kind of a picnic-style community-building event," Hays said.

She also encouraged residents to attend even if they're not particularly interested in volunteering.

"Even if you don't want to volunteer, come and find out what's going on locally," Hays said. "Maybe you know someone who's kind of isolated and needs to be engaged with the community — bring them."

To learn more, contact McLean House manager Diane Harju at 503-847-1542 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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