Forest Hills Church-in-the-Gardens Community House to host first Volunteer Fair next month

Volunteer Fair
Photo courtesy of Rama Waworuntu of the Church-in-the-Gardens

If you’re thinking of joining an organization to donate your time to a great cause, the Church-in-the-Gardens will host a Volunteer Fair at its Community House in Forest Hills on Sunday, Feb. 23, from noon to 3 p.m.

The Volunteer Fair is organized by the 106-year-old church’s World Service Committee, whose mission is to find and execute ways for the church to serve both the local Forest Hills/Queens and the greater worldwide communities, according to Hal Christensen, a member of The Church-in-the-Gardens.

“For decades, World Service has been providing volunteer services, such as blood drives for the Blood Center, food drives for the Queens Federation of Churches food pantry, home building for Habitat for Humanity, free lunches for residents in some of the neediest parts of New York City, life skills educational programs for children, and Christmas parties for children at the Briarwood shelter,” Christensen said. 

The organization has also raised money to support an orphanage in Haiti, Habitat for Humanity, the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, and the Face-to-Face Project, a Brooklyn-based organization that is promoting self-sustaining agriculture for families in Malawi and Cambodia. 

This will be the committee’s first volunteer event that will enable aspiring volunteers to meet and chat with representatives from regional nonprofit organizations. Quick interviews will be held in a low-key atmosphere, the organizations and the interested volunteers will be able to explore common interests and possible partnerships. 

The participating nonprofits have a variety of missions, including the aiding the homeless and hungry, the elderly the sick and impaired, at-risk children, the environment, the arts and the general Queens community. 

“We recognize that the congregation of one church has limits on how large a impact we alone can make,” Christensen said. “The goal of the volunteer fair is to leverage our resources. We’re trying to provide a vehicle for the nonprofit organizations we want to support to find eager volunteers in Forest Hills and Queens who are not part of our church community. If all goes well as early indications suggest, we would like to repeat this event on a periodic basis.”

Overall, Christensen said, they’re excited about the event and it’s estimated there will be around 20 organizations in the Community House. 

“We have a third of that number confirmed with a month and a half to go, so we are optimistic,” Christensen said. “There are a great many people in Queens — retirees, students, families — who would love to donate their time and skills to a great cause. This event will be the perfect way for them to learn about opportunities right here in Queens and about service-minded organizations that would love to have their help.”

The Church-in-the-Gardens Community House is located at 15 Borage Place in Forest Hills and is within walking distance from the 71st Continental subway station for the E, F and R lines and the Long Island Rail Road’s Forest Hills stop. The host venue will provide temporary permits for on-street parking to those who drive. 

Admission is free for all and agencies get display tables. There are some door prizes, too.

For more information and to donate items for door prizes, send an email to CITGVolFair@gmail.com with “Volunteer Fair” in the subject. Interested nonprofits are asked to complete a form at https://bit.ly/39HCEIwz

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