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Tech RAs Give Back to Arkansas River Valley

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Individuals who serve as resident assistants in college residence halls must be hard-working and compassionate people who take joy in helping others.
 
Fortunately for the Arkansas River Valley, resident assistants at Arkansas Tech University have those characteristics and they are willing to use them to help surrounding communities.  
 
Arkansas Tech resident assistants fanned out across Pope County during the days leading up to the fall 2011 semester to volunteer with eight organizations.
 
“Usually, in the afternoons during resident assistant training, our RAs are very sleepy after lunch,” said Melissa Klinkhammer, graduate assistant for volunteer services in the Arkansas Tech Office of Residence Life. “But the afternoon of our volunteer service projects, they were so talkative. You could tell they had a blast and really bonded as a staff. It made them want to volunteer more. I think that’s the purpose of the project. We want to inspire our student leaders to volunteer and serve.”
 
Arkansas Tech resident assistants volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of the Arkansas River Valley, Hickey Park Pool, JP Ranch and Rescue animal shelter (photographed), Main Street Mission, the River Valley Shelter for Battered Women and Children, the Russellville Animal Shelter, the Salvation Army and Wildflower Assisted Living.
 
“I feel so lucky to work with the students on our staff,” said Klinkhammer. “They are an incredible group. They are wonderful leaders, students and role models. I’m so proud of them. They’ve truly changed me as a person.”
 
Upcoming volunteer projects through the Arkansas Tech Office of Residence Life will include the fifth annual Helping Halls program. Tech students collect food kits for a traditional holiday meal during the month of November and donate those kits to the Salvation Army.
 
To date, the Helping Halls program has helped provide 934 holiday meals --- a retail value of approximately $10,300 --- for those in need in the Arkansas River Valley.
 
Arkansas Tech students interested in volunteerism opportunities can send e-mail to Klinkhammer at mklinkhammer@atu.edu

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