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Volunteer group keeps DHS connected with the community

Date: 04/02/2018

With pen, clipboard, and paper in hand, five members of the Department of Human Services Volunteer Activities Council (VAC) stroll down the fourth grade hallway of Little Rock’s Bale Elementary – judging the Black History Month door decorating contest.     

Black History themed quotes, factoids, photos, hand-drawn artwork, or special construction-paper crafts cover the doors.

The volunteers’ steps stop-and-go in a zig-zag manner as they quietly examine doors and write down their observations.              

Classes are in session, so most of the students pay no attention to the visitors. However, a few kids curiously stare out the window of their classroom door.                        

After nearly 20 minutes of careful consideration, VAC members and their fellow-judges go to the library where a librarian thanks everyone for supporting the children and showing the students that the community cares about them.    

The council completed their task and in the process, upheld their commitment to community service. 

“The purpose of the council is to lead volunteer activities within and for DHS,” said VAC member Winona Lamb. “Several DHS employees have the volunteer spirit, but they don’t have the time to participate in outside community projects. VAC gives them a chance to make a difference in the community.”

“It shows that DHS is hands-on as part of the community. We do more than just provide government services,” said Myra Spring a member of the council.   

Annually, the council leads the agency’s involvement in blood drives, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the THV11 cereal drive, mentorship of female students at Bale Elementary, along with a career day, and reading club at the school.  

“I love how VAC impacts the kids through our partnership with Bale,” said council president Phyllis Lewis. “I’ll never forget the feeling I had when the Bale students attended one of our Volunteer Days and talked about how much they appreciate us.”

Lewis admires the purpose of the council.  

“VAC’s activities promote community wellness both, mentally and physically,” she said. “Also, the more you give to others the better you feel about your situation. I love making a difference it always gives me a sense of accomplishment.”

For Spring, the organization also displays the importance of unity between employees, divisions, and offices of DHS.

“There are more needs in the community than each one of us can take care of by ourselves,” she said. “So as a group we pull our resources together and accomplish a lot.”           

“VAC helps more people than most of us realize” Lamb said. “That’s why I take so much pride in being part of the council.”                                                

For more information about the group, contact Lewis at phyllis.lewis@dhs.arkansas.gov or Lamb at winona.lamb@dhs.arkansas.gov.



Cutline info: In the photo above Lewis - standing at the head of the table - passes out paperwork during a VAC meeting.

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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