Volunteer Action Center Wins $10,000 Gift

USA Today recognizes U of A Make a Difference Day of Service

Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Holly Hilliard, president of the Volunteer Action Center, helps during Make a Difference Day.

Holly Hilliard, president of the Volunteer Action Center, helps during Make a Difference Day.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Volunteer Action Center has helped Fayetteville become one of the top three Make a Difference Day Cities for 2014, according to the USA Weekend.

For more than 20 years, USA Weekend magazine and the Points of Light Foundation have sponsored Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. Millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others on a Saturday in late October.

Lyna Ninkham and Daniel McFarland, co-chairs of events for the Volunteer Action Center, and Holly Hilliard, the center’s president, will represent the university at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., at which each of 14 award winners will receive a $10,000 gift for the charity of their choice. The Volunteer Action Center’s gift will go to support Make a Difference Day 2014 and to provide mini-grants between $200 and $500 for agencies who apply for funding this summer.

“Make a Difference Day is a great way to introduce students to service in Northwest Arkansas, and it’s a great opportunity to get out and do meaningful work together with fellow students,” said Angela Oxford, director of the university’s Center for Community Engagement. “We are excited to be able to support local agencies’ projects this fall with mini-grants by sharing the award with our Northwest Arkansas community.”

McFarland was honored by the award and excited about the prospect that the $10,000 gives the future of the Volunteer Action Center: “A gift of this capacity will be very beneficial to the students of the University of Arkansas and will help the Volunteer Action Center pursue its ongoing mission to ‘empower students through service to change the world.’”

“As the Volunteer Action Center is again receiving national recognition we are reminded that this program and the students and staff dedicated to its success are campus treasures,” said Melissa Harwood-Rom, dean of students at the University of Arkansas.

The Volunteer Action Center was also awarded a volunteer service award in 2013 by the Points of Light Foundation in recognition of the efforts made by the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry to provide food and personal products to all members of the University of Arkansas community.

To get involved, register with the Volunteer Action Center as either an individual or a registered student organization on the center’s website or at its office located on the sixth floor of the Arkansas Union.

Along with the university’s Volunteer Action Center and the city of Fayetteville, the other cities honored were Cleveland, Tenn., and the Weirton Madonna and Weir High Interact Clubs of Weirton, W.V.

Contacts:

Scott Flanagin, director of communications and outreach
Division of Student Affairs
479-575-6785, sflanagi@uark.edu

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