Cooperating for a good cause

Published 8:08 pm Monday, July 7, 2014

Work always has been and always will be the surest builder of self-esteem, dignity and mental well-being.

Humans are an industrious species — unless you’re off hiking in the wilderness, one needs only to look around at the immediate environment to confirm this.

It’s when we don’t have something constructive to do that hopelessness can set in. And for the many people unable to find something constructive to do, that can be a problem.

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Last October, the unemployment crisis hit home personally when I visited a job fair at the Salvation Army in Bank Street.

Traffic was snarled as jobseekers lined up around the corner to get inside and talk to prospective employers.

The line had started forming at 7:30 a.m., I was told, and 160 folks had entered the fair by 11 a.m.

Admittedly, the huge line and hive of activity was due to the venue being too small as much as to the urgency of the problem.

But it looks like things will be better this year: The Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is hosting its second annual event, this Friday, at King’s Fork Middle School, a much larger venue.

With more than 40 vendors, it will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., presenting a prime opportunity for those who have been looking for work — even those who’ve given up on finding a job — to come and see what’s available.

The authority has confirmed several companies involved are hiring.

After the Suffolk News-Herald previewed the job fair in an article, Greater First Baptist Church Orlando has stepped forward with an offer to help folks prepare for it.

Before Friday’s event, jobseekers can get help preparing their resumes, making copies of their resumes, preparing for interviews, and even getting clothes and a haircut.

On the day of the event, the church at 600 Factory St. will provide transportation to the job fair. To access services, the church can be contacted at 539-0032 or

The church coming on board is a great example of one organization volunteering to support another for the greater good. And who knows: with its assistance, the new venue, though much larger than 2013’s, may again prove too small.

That would be a good — if unlikely — thing, indicating that a larger number of folks had been served.

The job fair is a great opportunity for the unemployed to change their circumstances and reap the many benefits.