NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Several local organizations have teamed up to offer adults, students, and groups interested in volunteering a chance to "connect" with area not-for-profit organizations at the Volunteer Connect Fair April 23 from 3 to 7 p.m. at JIM's Place in New Philadelphia. The fair is free to the public and no registration is required. Refreshments will be provided.

"Many people have thought about volunteering but don't know where or how to start," said Kathy Willoughby, manager of volunteer services at Union Hospital of Dover, a Volunteer Connect Fair participant. "This event enables local residents to meet with non-profit organizations and see what volunteer opportunities are available."

According to Willoughby, those attending the Volunteer Connect Fair will learn about what volunteers do at various not-for-profit organizations and what it takes to get started.

Willoughby said 18 local non-profit organizations are expected to be on hand for the Volunteer Fair.

"This is a great way to learn about volunteer opportunities that will give back in a big way," said Vicki Indorf, certified volunteer manager at Community Hospice in New Philadelphia. "Even if you're not necessarily interested in volunteering or you already volunteer, we encourage you to come out and learn about the organizations right in your own community that may be of service to you, a friend or a loved one."

According to Willoughby, fair-goers are likely to be surprised at the large number of organizations that utilize volunteers and how important volunteers are to the organizations serving their community.

"It's a great opportunity for people interesting in doing volunteer work to find a good 'fit' for their unique interests and talents," she said.