Cambodia (2)Well, Hogs Care Week 2014 is in the books and this year was one to remember! Thanks in large part to the participation from University of Arkansas alumni, students, faculty, and staff we had nearly 1,450 people participate in random acts of kindness and service between February 24 and March 1. Postings of pictures, videos, and stories using the hashtag #HogsCare were seen by an estimated 128,850 people around the world!

Here on campus, there was an event each day in the Union Mall promoting Hogs Care Week and educating students, faculty, and staff on ways that they could get involved and share their stories. The week started with a student-led “flash mob” near Brough Commons on campus to raise awareness of the week’s events. Later in the week, the Student Alumni Association got in on the action by providing free water bottles and flavored water packets to students on the Union Mall, along with information about Hogs Care Week 2014. Alumni and friends from around the world joined the effort in record numbers. We recorded #HogsCare posts from Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Norway, South Africa, China, Venezuela, and Cambodia!  This annual event is truly becoming a worldwide effort.

One of the most touching stories came from Michelle Bell, B.A. ’05, who visited the Kalaywatawra Buddhist nunnery in Cambodia. The nunnery has space for slightly more than 200 young girls who come there to receive an education. Girls at the nunnery typically come from poor families in rural areas of the country. While many of the nunneries’ sponsoring monasteries are supported by the local communities, the nunneries themselves often have a hard time obtaining funding for daily operations. In honor of Hogs Care Week, Michelle purchased individual noodle packages, toothbrushes, soap, and detergent for the girls currently housed at the nunnery. She donated approximately 50 toothbrushes, 200 noodle packets, and 200 bars of soap. Upon receiving the much-needed donation, the head nun blessed the donation and thanked Michelle for her generosity.

I hope you had a chance to get in on the fun. If not, I encourage you to visit and see the impact Razorbacks made during Hogs Care Week. It will inspire you to join us next year! Until then, thank you for helping… like Hogs!

With Pride in Arkansas,

Heath Bowman, M.Ed. ’11

Associate Director and Life Member