Blytheville residents rack up $1.9 million worth of volunteer work in 2013

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 city hopes to repeat its efforts from last year in serving others.

Blytheville was one of 12 communities selected as a 2012 Arkansas Volunteer Community of the Year, along with Benton, Bentonville, Clarksville, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Maumelle, Mountain Home, Norfork, Van Buren and Warren.

Blytheville residents performed more than 141,000 hours of volunteer work and made an economic impact of more than $2 million, according to Angie Trotter, who compiled the 2012 data.

"You have everything from somebody who wants to mow the grass because somebody needs it, to somebody who can offer professional services, be it accounting, grief counseling or counseling to deal with abuse," she said.

The deadline for the 2013 application is September 30. According to the information submitted so far, 1,948 residents performed 113,245 hours of work and had an economic impact of $1,900,944.52 at a rate of $16.77 per volunteer hour. "We've got just under 2,000 volunteers, which when you look at 114,000 hours and 2,000 volunteers that's a lot for a small town that's lost half its population."

Angie's husband Scott has been a volunteer at Great River Charitable Clinic for two years, serving on the board of directors and as a counseling pastor.

"We'll have 25 or 30 (volunteers) here on clinic nights. We have doctors. We have nurses. We have pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and then we have a variety of people just from the community at large who are here to help out," he said.

Scott says the clinic serves about 1,000 patients, with almost 900 receiving care in 2012."The patients are very appreciative of the time that the volunteers give to them and they show it."

The Arkansas Volunteer Community of the Year Awards are co-sponsored by the DHS Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support, the Arkansas Municipal League, and the Office of the Governor.

To report volunteer hours, contact Angie at (870) 740-9738, email or mail 1121 West Pecan, Blytheville, AR.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.