School, nonprofit partner for volunteer opportunity
For the past few years, Habitat for Humanity of Saline County has had interns from Bryant
High School, but recently the school and nonprofit began a new partnership.
Habitat Director Stephanie Griffin spoke to Bryant students about the organization and then interested students recently had an opportunity to volunteer at a home build.
Lindsey Forga, a teacher at Bryant High School, said many of the students had heard of the organization, but didn’t know exactly what volunteers do.
She believes volunteering is an important opportunity for students.
“I think it’s important for them
to realize that you never know what situation people are coming from or the hardships they’re overcoming,” Forga said.
By installing siding on a home and visiting a home dedication, Griffin said the students had the opportunity to see a “complete picture” of the home build process.
“We wanted them to see that this is a big deal and these are the people this serves,” said Evelyn Butler, testing and career and technical education coordinator at Bryant High School.
Along with being a service opportunity for students, the experience may also plant seeds of a career or further volunteering, Butler said.
A total of 14 students from a wide variety of interests participated.
“It was students who may typically not be sideby-side working together,” Forga said.
Riverside Grocery and Catering provided lunch for the students, she added.
Both Habitat and school officials said the partnership was a success and they hope to continue working together.
Griffin said the organization’s regular volunteers “throughly enjoyed” working with the students.
She said she hopes this is the “beginning of a beautiful partnership.”
“Our goal is to move forward with more volunteer days,” Forga said.
After students try new things, word often spreads quickly and more students want to participate, Butler said.
In the future, the school may also start a Habitat club.
Along with the Bryant partnership, the organization has also also worked with another Saline County school.
The basketball team at Harmony Grove volunteered at a home build in Haskell.
Griffin said she has also reached out to the Benton School District and plans to reach out to officials at the Bauxite School District about volunteer opportunities.
School officials say this opportunity was made possible since the addition of the house system at Bryant High School.
There are more opportunities now for students to hear presentations from guest speakers, Butler said.
Other speakers scheduled to mentor students are Julia Descarpentrie, director of The Call in Saline/ Perry Counties, Scott Hill with Chick fil A and Roslyn
Tillman from the University of Central Arkansas.
Individuals who would like to serve as a guest speaker are encouraged to contact school officials at bhscareer[email protected]ols.org.
Through a partnership, Bryant students recently worked on a house build alongside regular volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Saline County. Both school and organization officials said the partnership was a success.
From left, Johnathan Greenbaum, Taegan Green and Mark Haston work together to hang siding while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Saline County.