Carisa Cegavske

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May 11, 2013
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Nonprofits reach out at volunteer fair

Roseburg resident John McDonald stopped by a Battered Persons’ Advocacy center booth Saturday afternoon in the Roseburg Valley Mall to say he wanted to volunteer to help stop violence against women.

“I think it’s important we all put aside some of our personal time to serve our community,” McDonald said.

Representatives of nonprofit organizations like the Community Cancer Center’s breast cancer screening program and Start Making a Reader Today, or SMART, provided information to potential volunteers at the Umpqua Connects volunteer fair Saturday. Most said they had a trickle of interest throughout the day and a handful of potential volunteers.

Della Hart, area manager for SMART, said she was looking for volunteers to share a love of reading with children. If even a few new volunteers join the program, Hart said her efforts would have paid off.

“If you look at what a difference one volunteer makes for a child, how can you measure that?” Hart said.

Peer Power AmeriCorps volunteer Rachel Fitzhugh said she was looking for volunteers to provide peer counseling or just to buddy up with kids at lunch time. Peer Power’s goal is to prevent addictions, suicide and other teen problems.

“I’ve had a lot of people come by and pick up brochures,” Fitzhugh said.

Joyce Lyne Jordan, volunteer resource coordinator and legal advocate for Battered Persons’ Advocacy, said a handful of people stopped by to inquire about volunteering or just to learn more.

“Today the goal was to kind of get our face out there and also to just inform our community about services we provide,” Jordan said.

McDonald said he heard about the fair and came to offer his support.

“The long and short of it is sexual assault is a scourge of our society and I want to be part of the solution,” McDonald, 43, said.

Nursing student Tamara Montgomery of Medford and breast cancer survivor Debbie Brown of Melrose both volunteer to help low-income and uninsured women get breast cancer screenings. Both said they hoped to encourage others Saturday to volunteer as they have.

Brown said she began volunteering after her own fight with breast cancer 15 years ago.

“My main thing is when I went through breast cancer myself I decided if I couldn’t help someone else with that it wasn’t worth going through. It’s like paying it forward,” Brown said.

• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or

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The News-Review Updated Jun 13, 2013 12:21PM Published May 14, 2013 08:03AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.