Can I have 5 hours of your time?

by Chris Klein

So, San Diego EarthWorks' EarthFair in Balboa Park is currently the largest free environmental fair in the world: more than 200 exhibitors, 60,000 visitors in an average year, parades, entertainment, food... if you've been, you know. And it runs like clockwork.

    People often ask me: how big is your staff? They probably picture a large office with numerous staff members running around, phones ringing in the background, a conference room with diagrams tacked up on whiteboards....

    Whatever, they are always surprised when I say: 2. Two paid staff. Everyone else is a volunteer. All 400.

    I've been the Production Supervisor of the EarthFair in Balboa Park for 13 years now. As a volunteer. I'm lucky that my life situation lets me dedicate about 4 months each year to helping organize this event.

    What about the other 399 volunteers? Each year, about 80% of our volunteers assist at the EarthFair for the first time. Many have never been to the fair before!

    Why do they assist? Because they want to make a difference for the environment and our quality of life... and be an important part of something big... and meet people who are up to the same kinds of things they are.

    Frankly, we couldn't do it without our volunteers... it would simply cost too much for most of our exhibitors. And, personally, I wouldn't be interested. There is something about people contributing their time – for something they just think is worth doing – that can't be bought.

    So here's the deal. If this sounds like something you'd be up for – if this seems to you like the right thing to do – I invite you to come play. We need about 5 hours of your time – minimum. That's about 2 hours to go to a training meeting (no experience necessary), plus a 3-hour shift at the fair. Five hours is a minimum... we'll take all you're willing to give.

    If you want more details, or want to sign up online, go to our website:

    Come out and help put on a party for 60,000 of our closest friends.