GREENFIELD — While her two young sons were enjoying the candy and other free giveaways, Kara Purvis was looking for something a little more substantial Saturday at the local community foundation’s open house and volunteer fair.
“I came out to see how I can get better connected with my community,” said the Greenfield woman, who joined her sister-in-law, Casey Kinderman, at the event.
The two women were among the throngs of people who turned out to peruse the booths set up by more than 30 local nonprofits in the Community Foundation for Hancock County’s Thrive Center.
The volunteer fair coincided with an open house to introduce the community to the foundation’s new office space in the former Realife Church building at 971 West U.S. 40.
The foundation moved there in March after the building was completely remodeled. On Saturday, visitors were given a punch card to fill out as they visited various stops throughout the building.
Katie Ottinger, the foundation’s Community Investment & Grants Officer, spent the day passing out popcorn and chatting with guests.
“It’s so great to see so many people come out and join us today,” said Ottinger, who organized Saturday’s volunteer fair.
She said the event was a great opportunity for the potential volunteers to get connected with nonprofits, but for nonprofit directors and board members to get connected with one another.
“There’s always a lot of networking that goes on at something like this, which is really great,” she said.
Ottinger said the foundation was happy to take on hosting a volunteer fair, something the United Way of Central Indiana had done in years past.
Visitors had the chance to connect with groups providing a wide range of services, from food pantries to reading resources to recovery centers.
“We’re just thrilled to have a beautiful facility to be able to host an event like this,” said foundation president Mary Gibble, who had overseen the new center’s remodeling throughout most of last year.
“We set out with the intention to have this place serve as a magnet for the county, a real community hub, and based on the turnout today, I think we’ve done that,” she said.
Kinderman was happy to have the chance to explore multiple volunteer opportunities all under one roof.
“I’m really interested in giving back to the community in some way, and this is a perfect way to learn more about a number of organizations all at once,” she said.