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Student Volunteerism Celebrated with Non-Profit Organizations at Chancellor's Residence


It’s the time of the year when many of us have special thoughts about giving and helping others.

A new group at Arkansas State, the Volunteer ASU Council, is carrying those thoughts throughout the year, and their impact is showing in the community and beyond.

These students have organized with their motto, “Make a stAtement,” to volunteer for the benefit of others, and they are working closely with representatives from several local non-profit organizations.

To celebrate the success of volunteerism at A-State and to celebrate their progress, the council and representatives of the non-profit agencies with which they have been working this year gathered Dec. 3 at the Chancellor’s Residence, where Dr. Tim Hudson and his wife Dee Dee hosted a reception in their honor.  Several faculty and staff members who have been supportive of the Volunteer Council also attended.

“The main purpose of the reception was to honor and thank the Volunteer ASU students for their hard work,” Cherry said.  “In addition, all nonprofit partners were invited so that we could say ‘thanks from A-State’ for what they do in Jonesboro, and to further strengthen ASU's relationship with each of these vital community organizations.”

During a brief program, Jodie Cherry, sponsor for Volunteer ASU Council, addressed those in attendance about the important work they do.  This was a somewhat bittersweet moment for Cherry, the founding sponsor for the group, who has accepted a new job and will be leaving ASU soon.  Katey Buckley, a recent graduate of the master of student personnel administration degree program at ASU, joined the Student Affairs staff some time ago and will be the new staff sponsor.

Nanette Heard, executive director of the United Way of Northeast Arkansas, spoke to those attending about the importance of volunteers, especially the student volunteers from ASU, to the success of the United Way.

"Our volunteers mean everything to us and I'm sure that I can speak for all the non-profits in saying that,” Heard said.  “We would not do all the things that we are able to do without them, and ASU Volunteer Council has been key in helping us this past year.  They helped us with our VITA program and most recently with our Bucket Brigade.  We would not have been able to do the intersection close to Arkansas State without them volunteering through the day."

Rosey Nguyen of Vietnam, a sophomore accounting major, was recognized as recipient of the Servant's Heart Award.  Voted on by the students, the award is based on demonstrated reliability, deep passion for helping others, leadership ability and a positive outlook.

Nguyen, an international student, also spoke briefly about how Volunteer ASU has helped her transition to life in the United States.

Zach Marsh of Hot Springs, who has chaired the Alternative Spring Break project that involves volunteers, presented a summary of the students’ activities this year.  Marsh recently was recognized at the annual Who’s Who banquet as the most outstanding recipient of the award for 2012.

“Dee Dee Hudson has been very supportive of our volunteers program since she and Dr. Hudson arrived at ASU,” Cherry said.  “We thought this would be a great way to say thanks to the students and the non-profits for their acts of generosity and to celebrate the accomplishments of our program.”

As part of the “Making a Difference” series on KASU, the public broadcasting service, Volunteer ASU was featured Wednesday, Dec. 12.  Host Johnathan Reaves interviewed Cherry, as well as three students who are involved in volunteer activities. 

The program also is available for on-demand listening on KASU.org.   The “Making a Difference” series airs every Wednesday at 8:40 a.m. and features non-profit organizations that work to make a difference in the communities they serve.          

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