General FAQs:

What is the Women and Families Resource Fair?
The Women and Families Resource Fair is an annual one-day event, which will be held this year for the first time at the Jacobs Center in Southeast San Diego, for the benefit of women and families in need.

How did the Fair start?
The first Fair was held 28 years ago in 1989. The Fair was established by San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. (SDVLP), with the help of Lawyers Club members, and was inspired by Stand Down, a similar event for veterans. The Fair was initially called the Women’s Resource Fair and focused on serving homeless, battered, and indigent women and children.

What is new for the 2017 Fair?
In addition to changing the location of the event from Golden Hall at the Civic Center in downtown San Diego, SDVLP has expanded the focus of the Fair to families in need.

What is the scope of the Fair?
In past years, the event has served up to 1000 people. Over 100 public and private organizations donate their time providing free legal, medical, and social services to the participants onsite during the event. This year’s event will feature activities for children, who are welcome to attend the event and will remain with their families throughout (in the past children have been cared for by event volunteers, this year separate childcare will not be provided).

Who is responsible for organizing the Fair?
Over 250 volunteers are involved in putting on the annual one-day event. It takes 10 months of planning by a volunteer Taskforce of approximately 50 members to plan the event each year.

Will there be food for Fair attendees?
Every participant receives a free meal. In addition, free groceries to help sustain families over the course of San Diego Unified School District’s week-long spring break holiday will be provided at the Fair.

How is the Fair funded?
The Fair is funded by generous donations from local law firms, businesses, and individuals, along with grants from the Lawyers Club of San Diego Fund for Justice, and the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club.

If I volunteer on the day of the Fair, can I utilize the services that are being offered to Fair participants?
No, all services offered on the day of the Fair are for participants only.

I am very active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), is it okay for me to take pictures at the Fair and post them?
No. In order to respect the privacy (and safety) of Fair participants and their families, taking photographs of any kind is prohibited at the Fair.

Are men allowed at the Fair?
Yes, with the expanded focus of the event to include all family members, men are welcome to attend the event.

Will childcare be provided at the Fair?
No. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend the Fair, but this year children will remain with their families while their parents access services. The Fair will have activities for children and also offer some services for them directly.

What service providers have participated in the Fair in past years?
Too many to list! But here is a sampling:

2-1-1 San Diego
American Red Cross WIC Program
Family Health Centers
Planned Parenthood
Postpartum Health Alliance
San Diego Unified School District
SAY San Diego Central Region
UCSD EyeMobile for Children
UCSD Welcome Baby Program
Al-Anon Family Groups
Alcoholics Anonymous
Black Infant Health
Catholic Charities Homeless Women Services
Center for Community Solutions
Center for Employment Training
Child Development Associates
Christie’s Place
Co-dependents Anonymous of San Diego County
Deaf community services
DebtWave Credit counseling
Department of Child Support Services
Disability Help Center
Disability Rights
Families Forward Wraparound
Feeding America San Diego
Girls Think Tank
Golden Share Foods
Grandparents Connection
Home Start, Inc.
McAllster Institute for Treatment and Ed
Mental Health Systems/ Harmony West Women
New Horizons/ Gender Equity Program
Recovery Innovations
San Diego Clean Slate Clinic
San Diego Family Justice Center
San Diego Law Library
San Diego Miramar College
San Diego Public Library
San Diego Superior Court
San Diego Youth Services
SD District Attorney Victim Assistance
Social Security Administration
South Bay Community Services
Southern Caregiver Support Resource Center
St Vincent de Paul Village
The Salvation Army
The San Diego LGBT Community Center
UC San Diego
Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC)
University of San Diego Legal Clinics
Veteran’s Village of San Diego
YMCA Childcare Resource Service
YWCA of San Diego County

Providers

How do I register as a Provider?
To register as a social service or medical service provider for the 2017 San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Women and Families Resource Fair please complete and submit the Registration Form. If you have any questions about registration, please contact wfrfsocialservices@gmail.com.

When should I arrive at the Fair?
The Jacobs Center will open at 7:00 a.m. Allow sufficient time to locate and set-up your table—participants will begin to arrive at 8:30 a.m.

What do I do when I arrive at the Fair?
Please check in at the Registration Desk located in the main entrance area.

Where Do I Park?
Visit Directions and Location for information on parking at the Fair.

Volunteers

Where should I park?
The Jacobs Center has free parking onsite. In addition, carpooling or public transit are great options. Please see the Location section of the website for more information.

What do I do when I arrive?
Please sign in at the Volunteer check-in table, which will be located in just inside the main entrance next to the participant registration tables. A nametag and further instructions will be provided to you there.

Will lunch or snacks be provided?
We are reserving our resources for the participants, so it is unlikely that we will have enough food or drinks for the volunteers. Please bring enough food and drink to sustain you for the duration of your shift.

What if I have to cancel?
If a conflict arises and you are no longer able to volunteer or you will arrive late or need to leave early, please email volunteerwrf2017@gmail.com. We will have very limited access to email and telephone on the day of the Fair, so we kindly ask that you let us know at least 24 hours in advance of any changes.

Can I bring my kids?
Regrettably, Volunteers cannot bring children under age 18 to the event. Children over age 18 are welcome to volunteer along with their parent.

Do I have to volunteer for the whole day?
No. The Fair is from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We will need Volunteers from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to assist with set-up and clean-up. While we appreciate Volunteers who are available for the full five hours, Volunteer may also choose to work the first half (8-10:30) or the second half (10:30-1) by letting us know in the comments section on the volunteer registration form.

Can my high school student volunteer for school credit?
At this time, we are only accepting minor volunteers who are part of an organized group and have at least one adult chaperone for every five minors. Certificates of completion will be available at the conclusion of each Volunteer shift. Please email volunteerwrf2017@gmail.com directly for more information.

What should I wear?
Volunteers should dress comfortably. Jeans and sneakers are welcome and encouraged. If possible, please do not wear a red shirt (I can’t remember what the shirts look like this year) as the Task Force members will be in red to make them easily identifiable. Volunteers serving on the Welcoming Committee should dress for the weather as they will be outdoors for portions of their shift.

Do you need Volunteers who speak languages other than Spanish?
Absolutely! If you speak a language other than English, please note the language(s) on the Volunteer Registration Form.

Can Volunteers choose the areas in which they would prefer to volunteer?
The online volunteer registration form allows Volunteers to select a few preferred tasks. Although we cannot promise every person will get their top choice, we will do our best to make sure everyone is happy with their assigned posts.

Can friends/groups volunteer together?
Sure! If you are part of a group, list the names of your group members in the “Notes/Comments” section of the sign-up sheet, and we will do our best to assign you volunteer jobs together.

Donations

Do you accept clothing or other personal items to distribute at the Fair?
No. We are not able to accept and distribute clothing or other personal items for the women and children.

Do you accept items such as books or toys?
Occasionally, we have received paperback books for women and small items like coloring books and crayons for children. Please contact us if you have a donation and we will determine if we can distribute it at the Fair.

What if I have some toiletries to donate on the day of the Fair, can I bring them?
Yes. Donations of toiletries in small quantities will be accepted.

Job Counseling

Do the Fair’s Career Advisors offer job placement/referral services?
Career Advisors do not offer job placement services or referrals to specific jobs. However, they are career counselors who will provide you with valuable job search and job training information and resources.

Can the Career Advisor write my resume for me?
Since you are the most knowledgeable person about your experience and skills, you are the best person to write your resume. While Career Advisors cannot write your resume for you, they will offer valuable feedback on your resume if you bring a printed copy to the fair. If you haven’t written a resume yet, the advisors can get you started on the task by providing you with samples and templates. They also can recommend local workforce agencies where you can receive additional assistance to help you reach your goals.

Spiritual Care

What is the purpose of the spiritual care service at the Women’s Resource Fair?
To provide non-denominational pastoral care to participants at the fair who wish to talk with a chaplain. No proselytization or evangelization of a particular faith tradition is allowed. As far as possible, I try to include representatives from a variety of religious traditions as well as some Spanish speaking chaplains.