For University of Arkansas - Fort Smith students Christina Early of Conway and Coral Polk of Fort Smith, a “fun” Saturday consisted of washing the windows of St. John’s Episcopal Church, a church in downtown Fort Smith.
“We’ve been breaking out into song,” Early said with a laugh. “We’re having fun.”
Early and Polk were two of more than 80 students participating in Lion Community Outreach Day April 11, a yearly event where UAFS students work community service projects across Fort Smith.
Students volunteered at 10 locations -- including The Salvation Army, Children’s Emergency Shelter, We Care Foundation, and the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center. In addition to washing windows, the students pulled weeds, planted flowers, painted, and raked leaves.
Tyra Bates of Clarksville learned about the opportunity in a campus email and saw a chance to get more involved with both the university and the community.
“I just wanted to help out, and I knew there were people and places that needed help,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve volunteered since high school, and I’ve been wanting to do more volunteer work.”
Blake Payne, a UAFS alumnus, decided to participate after hearing about it at a meeting for Hyphen, a student organization on campus.
“I like doing volunteer work and helping out the community, and I thought this would be a good opportunity,” he said.
Stephanie London, student activities event coordinator, said events like LCOD helped students bond with the community as well as each other.
“Lion Community Outreach Day is a day for UAFS students to not only give back to the local community, but also an opportunity to learn about teamwork and service,” she said.
Students participating in Lion Community Outreach Day were:
Alma: Micheal Phan.
Altus: Serena Her.
Avery, Texas: Allyson Peek.
Barling: Thao Cao.
Bentonville: Ryan Spooner.
Branch: Sharlene Moua.
Charleston: Meagan Crosby, Elizabeth Johnson, Joyce Lee, Brooke Slaton and Emily Stubblefield.
Clarksville: Tyra Bates and Ashley Warren.
Colleyville, Texas: An Ly.
Conway: Christina Early.
De Queen: Franklin Carreon.
Farmington: Eryn Silva.
Fort Smith: Malayna Alonzo, Melissa Altes, Cory Bates, Memoona Bibi, Talia Blanton, Lina Bul, Miriam Carreon, Armando Castro, Steven Frankin, Tony Jones, Gama Lira, Anthony Nguyen, Bachkhoa Nguyen, Jazmine Ortiz, Coral Polk, Jesus Sedeno-Gutierrez, Rachel Townsend, Corey Waldrep and Devante Wise.
Greenwood: Andrea Duhon, Ryan Emerson, Courtney Gosch, Chelsea Holden, Jennifer Hosley, Emily Learned and Wendi Learned.
Hot Springs: Alyssa Bean.
Japan: Kotaro Arashiro, Kosuke Fujisaki, Natusmi Fujita, Moeka Harada, Risa Hasebe, Tomoka Hashimoto, Marina Ishii, Maya Kamiya, Yukari Kondo, Takumi Ochial, Ayana Shinogi, Nanako Suzuki and Shogo Takizawa.
Kansas City, Mo.: Gabrielle Back.
Laos: Chouly Nakhonesack.
Lavaca: Josh Brown, Clara Fleer, Jason Huffmaster and Brittany Sullivan.
Lincoln: Kory Reed.
Marble City, Okla.: Aubrey Hale.
Mena: Jordan Hooper.
Ozark: Kayla McCallister, Lauren Schluterman and Zong Xiong.
Panama, Okla.: Codi Brown.
Springdale: ReBecca LeBlanc and Sarah Rosenkrans.
Thailand: Luekrit Kongkamon.
Van Buren: Allison Bartley, Hailey Buie, Jenna Burnett, Hayley Howard, Jennifer Mayo and Rebecca Stevenson.
Vietnam: Jack Bui and Thanh Bui.
West Fork: Blake Tedford.
The event was co-sponsored by Grifols, a plasma donation center in Fort Smith that provided free snacks and bags to all volunteers.