There, peering out her front door with a smile as bright as the Saturday morning sun, stood Sue Stallings.
Her countenance was inspired by watching a group of Arkansas Tech University students rake and dispose of leaves from her yard as part of the 2018 Green and Gold Give Back event on Nov. 17.
"I couldn't appreciate them more," said Stallings, a member of the Arkansas Tech Class of 1958. "They have done this for several years for me. It's a wonderful thing. It's like Christmas morning when they come to help. When we were visiting, I told them what's even more special is the fact that you all, on this beautiful Saturday, you have given up these hours to do something and give back to the community when you could have been doing something for yourselves. To me, that is so important for young people. They should feel good about helping others. It's a tribute to ATU that you have this program. It's a tremendous service and I know others who are the recipients of it must feel the same way. The students are so willing and have great attitudes. They even seemed like they were having fun."
Rubbish removal alongside a well-traveled Russellville roadway was the task for ATU student Sydney Stone and her Phi Mu sisters during the 2018 Green and Gold Give Back.
By the time they were finished, Skyline Drive was a lot cleaner and Stone's education beyond the classroom was enhanced.
"Arkansas Tech does such a good job of motivating and emphasizing the importance of giving back to our community," said Stone, a senior from Clarksville. "Additionally, most of our students are living or have experienced hardships that afford them the knowledge and capacity to understand the importance of helping out others in our community who are in need. I have had many experiences through Tech to give back to my community and it has taught me so many life lessons. Through events like Green and Gold Give Back and my work in Because We Can, I feel like I have a new outlook on life. I became more aware of the struggles that our community faces and my ability to create an impact on that. It has allowed me to become self-aware and more self-confident."
Approximately 300 ATU students registered for the 2018 Green and Gold Give Back. The annual volunteer effort is orchestrated by the ATU Department of Campus Life. In addition to assisting alumni with yard work and cleaning streets and parks, Arkansas Tech students also gave of their time to benefit multiple local non-profit organizations.
Visit www.atu.edu/service to learn more about the ATU student volunteer opportunities organized by the Arkansas Tech Department of Campus Life.