FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas Greek Life community, Volunteer Action Center, and Razorback Athletics are leading a collaborative effort to collect items and monetary donations for the "Woo Tide! Hogs Care!" initiative to help tornado victims in the Vilonia, Ark., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., communities. On Friday, May 6, the university community is encouraged to donate and drop off 12- or 24-pack packages of bottled water in Parking Lot 56 anytime between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
"Our student-athlete advisory committee, or SAAC, approached the administration in athletics with ideas to assist Alabama students and others affected by the recent tornadoes. Members of our SAAC contacted the Alabama SAAC to see how best we could help. They informed us of their need for bottled water. So, we joined in the university's efforts to assist in any way we could," said Eric Wood, assistant athletic director for student-athlete development.
In partnership with these departments, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. has charitably donated a truck to transport all toiletry items and bottled water to the Vilonia and Tuscaloosa communities free of charge. Items will be delivered on Saturday afternoon and distributed to residents who are in need.
"We are grateful to J.B. Hunt for their generous donation of a truck to deliver these much-needed supplies to those in Vilonia and Tuscaloosa. We are hoping University of Arkansas departments and individuals will contribute in a major way to support this cause," Wood said. "Our ultimate goal is to the fill the truck and make a difference in the lives of those in need."
Throughout the week, Greek students have collected more than 5,000 toiletry items and generous donations to help with this effort. "What happened to both communities is really devastating!" said Robyn Jilg, a junior and vice president of community service for Kappa Delta. "Many people lost absolutely everything. I want to help out as much as possible because I know they would do the same if it was the University of Arkansas."
This week, the Volunteer Action Center had student volunteers stationed during various campus events such as the Blake Shelton Concert and Hip Hop Festival to collect monetary donations for the relief efforts. In addition, various Greek chapters and their councils are donating money to both efforts as well.
"As a Razorback community, we value the opportunity of giving to others. This is what we should do for each other no matter the rivalry or geographical area within the state or country. Hogs care! And, we give!" said Parice S. Bowser, director of Greek Life.
If you are interested in making monetary donations, you may contribute in various ways including:
- Giving online to the University of Alabama's Acts of Kindness Fund to help University of Alabama students, faculty, and staff who need assistance as a result of the storm damage.
- You may also drop off check or cash donations in designated buckets located at Lot 56.
- For monetary donations to Vilonia, you may make those at any Arvest location using account number: 15315379.