Gov. Asa Hutchinson and First Lady Susan Hutchinson
Since the challenge has been issued, the response has been widespread. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, first lady Susan Hutchinson, and several community partners joined the Department of Human Services Office of Communications and Community Engagement in presenting a challenge in conjunction with the launch of VolunteerAR.org at the end of April.
“I like the website.” Gov. Hutchinson said. “We want everyone to participate. Everybody can do something.”
In regard to the competition, Hutchinson announced that the First Family Challenge was underway.
“We’re going to volunteer, and we’re challenging all of you to volunteer as well. We’re doing it as a first family,” he said. “We’re also volunteering in the governor’s office. We all are engaged in it and supporting it.
“We want to challenge each of you to participate in this spirit of volunteerism for Arkansas. We can get more accomplished by working together than any other way possible.”
In support of the First Family Challenge, DHS Director Cindy Gillespie pledged that staff members will commit to 75,000 volunteer hours over the next year. That equates to 10 volunteer hours per DHS employee.
VolunteerAR.com lists a litany of community service organizations and opportunities to choose from.
“The volunteer portal is a wonderful way for people to find options that will help make a difference in their community,” Gillespie stated. “The statewide portal is the infrastructure which will organize volunteerism and connect people to opportunities to make a difference at home.”
Boccalandro of Hands on Connect, an organization that uses technology to promote volunteerism, is happy about the possibilities of VolunteerAR.org.
“We can definitely see a lot of potential for great volunteering in the state,” he said. “We’re excited about what DHS is doing.”
Several people and organizations have registered on VolunteerAR.org.
“The First Family Challenge and the volunteer portal go hand-in-hand promoting the value of Arkansans volunteering in their community,” said Ezell Breedlove, OCCE Volunteer Program Coordinator. “The number of individuals registered to VolunteerAR.org has grown since the official launch event. Clearly, people are interested in making a positive impact in Arkansas.”
For more information about the #Volunteer10 movement, visit VolunteerAR.org.