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Falls fair aims to match volunteers with organizations needing help

NIAGARA FALLS – Citizens who are looking for opportunities to give back to their community are invited to attend the second annual LiveNF Volunteer Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave.

The event is sponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, and Niagara University’s ReNU Niagara program.

“Many residents express a desire to serve their community, but aren’t really sure where to start,” Higgins said in announcing the volunteer fair. “This event provides a great opportunity to explore the needs of local agencies and determine where your unique skills and availability can best make a difference.”

The focus of LiveNF is to fill gaps for organizations looking for volunteers and serve those who are looking for a sense of civic purpose, said ReNU Niagara Director Tom Lowe.

Dozens of organizations are expected to participate.

New this year will be the “Priceless Auction.” Local businesses and organizations will purchase art from local artists and the artwork will be auctioned off to bidders who commit volunteer hours, not cash, for the art pieces. The art will hang in the business or organization’s office until the bidder completes his hours of service.

LiveNF is held in advance of National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, a national drive to inspire volunteerism and community engagement. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, in 2014 New York State was ranked at the bottom, 50th of the 50 states, with just 19.4 percent of residents participating in civic engagement activities.

Organizations interested in participating should go to or call Lowe at 205-0287.