Cupertino Volunteer Fair of 2019

City of Cupertino hosts event for students to sign up for volunteering organizations

Jasmine Lee

On May 5, the City of Cupertino hosted the Cupertino Volunteer Fair of 2019 in front of the Cupertino Library, where students of all ages could gather and learn about varying local volunteering organizations. A total of 64 organizations were registered for the event and the fair buzzed with performances and conversations between the organization ambassadors and the fair attendees.

The organizations that attended the event varied from the STEM-centered Valkyrie Robotics to the meditation organization, Art of Living Foundations. In an attempt to acknowledge  the academic stress students in the Bay Area experience, the Art of Living Foundations served to promote awareness about the importance of correct breathing and meditation in everyday life.

“Essentially what the [Art of Living Foundations] does is gives you tools and techniques so that way you make your life more efficient,” Art of Living Foundations member Ratna said. “You can do more work. You only have 24 hours so how do you do more work in less time? So it helps improve your productivity and it helps you reduce your stress.”

While Ratna participates in Art of Living Foundations, she also encourages her children, who are both in Lawson Middle School (LMS), to practice meditation.

“Some people start very early; like my kids started in middle school but I started two and a half years ago,” Ratna said. “It depends on when you are ready and when you are open to learning new things.”

In addition to Art of Living Foundations, other organizations such as the Hsinchu Sister City program were also present at the fair. According to the Hsinchu Sister City program president, Chia-Ching Lin, Cupertino and Hsinchu, a province in Taiwan, have been sister cities for 20 years and started the sister city exchange program for 16 years.

The Hsinchu Sister City program allows students from Cupertino to travel to Hsinchu and experience the lifestyle at Taiwan while students from Hsinchu can travel to live with a Cupertino Host family during Halloween week annually.

“[I hope attendees can] open up their perspectives about career-readiness and cultural-readiness [through] gaining experience and gaining friendship from friends from the other side of the world and become lifetime learners throughout this process,” Lin said.

While organizations promoted their cause, students also browsed the various opportunities that were offered. Junior Julie Wang, who heard about the event through her parents, attended the fair in hopes of finding volunteering opportunities and gaining experience from learning about the varying booths. Wang eventually signed up for an organization that allowed her to interact with children with autism believing that it is an opportunity for her to learn from people who are different than she is.

For Wang, who claims that she is indecisive, seeing all the different booths spread out in the fair allow her to expand her knowledge on the volunteering organizations available in the local area.

“They are all in one place and walk up to them and ask for information, it’s more accessible if you are at this place,” Wang said. “It is a very enjoyable and relaxing [experience].”