In connection with the Arkansas Alumni Association’s volunteer engagement program, the Association is pleased to announce the creation of “Helpin’ Like a Hog.” Only a few weeks into the planning process, staff members have come together to create a program that will help to engage alumni who express an interest in community service.
Heath Bowman, Assistant Director of the out-of-state territories, explains that the purpose behind the “Helpin’ Like a Hog” program is to “provide alumni with a way to connect and serve the University of Arkansas family through community service.” Recognizing that there are volunteers who wish to give back in more than just monetary ways, the program will help to show that volunteering one’s time and effort can be valuable.
As more and more alumni express an interest in getting involved, it is Bowman’s goal to inform chapters of the benefits of creating opportunities for community service through the “Helpin’ Like a Hog” program. Although alumni chapters regularly host social functions and networking events throughout the year, Bowman sees community service as an attractive option for chapters looking to find new ways to engage alumni.
Mike Macechko, Executive Director of the Association, recognizes that young people are often “attuned to being involved in community service;” however, the Association hopes the program will attract and encourage alumni of all ages to get involved in community service. “Community service bonds people together for a common cause. That sense of connection and community is a major goal of the Arkansas Alumni Association,” Bowman said.
With the most recent tornadoes and floods impacting communities in several states throughout the southern portion of the United States, the Association staff realized the necessity to have a program that could provide volunteer leaders with a way to “connect through service.” Plans have already been made to help those affected in Joplin and in the Denning and Etna areas. Additionally, Mike Macechko, Executive Director of the Association, expressed his belief that “in addition to words of concern and prayers, we believe we can help a chapter area by involving geographically close chapters who might want to help.”
Bowman believes that although it is in its beginning stages, the “Helpin’ Like a Hog” program “will be a great asset to chapters in organizing community response efforts in the future.”