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Spotlights | FeaturedApril 19, 2022

200+ Lions Give Back During Lions Community Outreach Week

Written By: Rachel Rodemann Putman

On a dreary Saturday morning close to 50 University of Arkansas – Fort Smith students worked together to brighten their community during the annual Lions Community Outreach Day sponsored by Nabholz and Entegrity Energy Partners.

Student volunteers served at Fort Smith nonprofits, the Bonneville House, the Ronald McDonald House, the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas, and the UAFS campus, capping off a full week of volunteer activities that saw more than 200 student volunteers.

“This event is so important because it fosters a lasting connection between UAFS students and the Fort Smith community. Building these connections will open doors for students in the region and provide them with a well-rounded college experience,” said Kara Crowley, UAFS Coordinator for Student Activities and Civic Engagement.

Each semester, the LionHeart registered student organization hosts a week of service supporting the organization’s mission to empower UAFS students to find their passions while serving the community they call home.

“Volunteering gives you a chance to give back to your community and help those who are going through difficult times,” said Maddie Slaton, a junior social work major who served in the Ronald McDonald house. “It feels rewarding helping others; however, it’s bittersweet knowing that these families are struggling.”

 The week began with service to the four-legged communities creating toys for shelter pups and hosting adoptable cats from Jen’s Kitty Rehab during a Sexual Assault Awareness Month event, Cats Against Catcalling. Campus Activities Board and the UAFS Title IX office urged students to take a pledge against sexual assault, and University Police hosted a self-defense clinic, showing students how to ensure their immediate safety if danger approaches. Wednesday, the Campus Activities Board hosted a two-day campus blood drive, and Thursday, Rotaract, a student wing of Rotary Club, served dinner at the Fort Smith Boys Home. 

“Service week is a great reminder to show your love for your community through actions such as volunteering,” said Amy Tran, a member of Rotaract. “Making them a meal and seeing the smiles and appreciation on the boys’ faces shows the impact that you had on them. One small action can go a long way – that’s the power of volunteering.”

Students interested in joining LionHeart and participating in future volunteer activities may sign up on NumaLink.