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Local Service Opportunities

In addition to the many opportunities coordinated by the Elrod Center, Arkadelphia and the surrounding area have many needs for willing volunteers. Explore the list below to find a place to minister in our local community that matches your passions, interests and skills.

The Elrod Center's Community Volunteer Placement Program seeks to place Ouachita volunteers in meaningful positions of service within non-profit organizations (may not be listed below). These positions also may be open to students interested in work-study positions. The center will work with the financial aid office to arrange work-study placements.

Contact Judy Duvall (duvallj@obu.edu or 870-245-5320) or Diane Runyan (runyand@obu.edu or 870-245-5320) for more information on placement through the Community Volunteer Placement Programs.

  • Humane Society of Clark County (627 Walnut, Arkadelphia): Volunteers are needed  for the following. Come anytime between 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.
    • Play with animals and give them individualized attention and exercise
    • Clean pens and feed animals
    • Bathe and brush animals
    • Pick up and deliver food donations
    • Help with fundraisers and booths at fairs
    • Design flyers and posters advertising adoptable animals and upcoming activities
    • Take animals to the vet for treatment
    • Clean and organize warehouse supply shelves
    • To volunteer, call Janie Allen at 870-245-2579 or email humanesocietyclarkcounty@yahoo.com.
  • Give Me A Chance Equine Rescue (Mailind address: 68 Terrapin Trail, Arkadelphia, AR 71923; Rescue location address: 97 Lane Road, Arkadelphia AR) is a horse, donkey, pony and mule rescue organization located 10 miles east of Arkadelphia in the Manchester community. All visits are by appointment only! Tom and Polly Cates started Give Me A Chance Equine Rescue in June 2010. Volunteers are needed for:
    • Horse care (brushing, gentling, holding for the farrier, etc.)
    • Paddock clean-up and repair
    • Fundraising (to come up with ideas and provide baked goods and to sit in booths to distribute literature, etc.)
    • Bookkeeping
    • Handling paperwork of the equines coming in and being adopted 
    • Researching grants
    • Certification for cruelty investigations and court presentations
    • Produce and distribute a printed newsletter 
    • If you would be interested in volunteering for Give Me A Chance Equine Rescue, fill out the Volunteer Form or contact Polly Cates, president, by phone at (870) 246-3007 or (870) 403-7925.
  • Heifer International is a non-profit humanitarian organization working to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. Heifer helps communities by providing livestock and training to develop sustainable agriculture while improving the environment and strengthening community. Heifer needs volunteers to help staff booths, participate in fundraising events and educate the community about hunger, poverty and the environment. For information about volunteer opportunities in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado, contact the Central Region Office at 800-422-0474 or visit their website.

  • The Arkadelphia Housing Authority is a non-profit organization and umbrella with Housing of Urban Development (HUD). We assist low-income families with:
    • housing assistance
    • being self-sufficient
    • homeownership
    • volunteering
    • office work
    • beautification worker
    • GED/literacy tutoring for adults
    • Backyard Bible Club activities

Contact Shelia Hunter at 870-246-4632 or arkadelphiahousing@yahoo.com.

  • Senior Activity Center - Meals on Wheels: Volunteers are needed to transport meals to families that are in need throughout our community. Deliveries are made five days a week and each route takes about an hour and a half. Route starting time is 10:30. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for multiple deliveries or you could do as little as one delivery a week or twice a month. Meals and containers are provided with volunteers using their own transportation. Contact Lisa Tallent or Cindy Rhodes at the Senior Activity Center, 1305 N 10th St. Arkadelphia, 870-246-9871 or ltallent@cadc.com crhodes@cadc.com.

  • The Community Family Enrichment Center need volunteers to help with social media, bulletin boards, newsletters, library, community, and children activities. Contact Pat Wright at 870-246-5675.
  • Arkadelphia Head Start: Needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to act as teachers' aids. Other ways you can help include reading a story, volunteering at the receptionist desk and cutting out educational materials and stapling papers for classroom teachers. Contact Shana Gentry at 870-246-8931 sgentry@CADC.com.  
  • The CALL Mall is a ministry that supports foster families by providing a place where they can “shop” for clothing, shoes, and toys for the foster children in their home.  It also provides emergency items for children taken into care by DHS.  CALL Mall volunteers are needed to help sort donations for these children.  It’s a great way to volunteer & day/times are flexible. Contact Meg Scott at clarkcounty@thecallinarkansas.org or 979-651-8816 for more info. 
  • Knit Unto Others volunteers are needed to knit or crochet hats and other items to be donated to various charity groups. Contact Claire Gehrki at 870-245-2552 or knitarkadelphia@gmail.com.
  • Percy and Donna Malone Child Safety Center (PDMCSC) Percy and Donna Malone Child Safety Center (PDMCSC) needs volunteers to assist in prep work for annual events such as "Denim and Diamonds" in October and "Duck Derby Festival" in April. This may include clerical work before the events, setting up the events, and/or working during the events. Volunteers are also needed throughout the year to assist in creating a friendly and welcoming environment for children and families on site at the center. This may include organizing donations, some client contact or doing service projects such as lawn care, painting, etc. Contact Christa Neal at 870-403-6879, or christa.neal@pdmcsc.org

  • Chamber of Commerce needs someone to volunteer two hours a week or any time if possible. Would be filling packets, filing, doing office work, etc. Contact Shelley Loe at shelley@arkadelphiaalliance.com.

  • Peake Partnership:  OBU student tutors visit Peake once or twice a week to work with 4th and 5th grade students on a variety of subjects.  Contact Leigh Anne McKinney at 870-245-5320 or mckinneyl@obu.edu.
  • The Clark County Christian Academy, in Arkadelphia, is looking for volunteers to help with the student’s activity time. Activity time includes, but is not limited to, PE, indoor and outdoor games, art, story time, Bible lessons, music, and possibly even cooking classes. For the younger students, times are very flexible during the school hours of 8:30-3:30. Please contact Jessica Day, 870-210-6033, or Dayrj14@gmail.com if you need more information or want to help. The students would definitely enjoy it.

  • American Red Cross: insures help when needed through disaster awareness and recovery, preparation and response, health and safety courses, first aid, CPR and water safety. They are always needing volunteers in the office and with any disaster. Contact the Hot Springs office at 501-623-9321.
  • Lighthouse Ministries of the Red River Baptist Association needs volunteers to work in all aspects of their ministry. They need help with the thrift store, food pantry and other areas as volunteer experience expands.  Open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Contact, Debbie Files, Lighthouse director,  lighthousemrrba@gmail.com or Joe Burt, RRBA missionary, revjoeburt@gmail.com. Please contact for more information: (870) 246-9524. Location: 905 Hwy. 67 So., Arkadelphia.

  • Baptist Medical Center Auxiliary is a volunteer group of men and women who service the local hospital and its patients. Duties include working in the gift shop, giving visitors information and helping in the surgery waiting room, recovery room and out-patient area. Visitors are welcome at the group’s meetings at 11:30 a.m. on the second Monday of each month in the hospital cafeteria. For more information, contact Loretta Kilts at 870-245-1106.
  • The Baptist Medical Center, Arkadelphia, is looking for volunteers to be available to minister in the following way: Who: Faculty, Staff and Students interested in leading a brief devotion and prayer.  When: Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.  Where: The Chapel at Baptist Medical Center Arkadelphia.  Why: An opportunity to pray for and minister to hospital staff and patients. Please call the office of Dr. Kevin C. McLeod at 870-246-5097 tell the receptionist “chapel” and she will transfer your call to Dr. McLeod.
  • Baptist Home Health and Hospice: Contact Director Brenda Trigg or Toni Davis for more information at 870-245-1041 or 870-245-1040.
  • Arthritis Foundation: provides programs of research, education and patient care and provides water activities and exercise classes for arthritis sufferers. For more information, contact Diane Stephenson at 800-482-8858 or Ollie Allen (leads arthritis classes) at 870-353-4955.
  • Pregnancy Resource Center for Southwest Arkansas (PRCSA) is a non-profit counseling and resource center that serves Arkadelphia, Clark County, and the surrounding area. PRCSA provides Christian counseling, free services, educational information and practical support to women and men in pregnancy situations. Volunteers are needed for specific projects within the center and in the community. Address:  702 Carpenter Street, Arkadelphia,  Contact:  JoAnn Vidal, at PRCSA@live.com or 870-210-5353 for more information.

  • Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that offers families an opportunity to become homeowners. After qualification and selection, partner families enter into an agreement to complete volunteer service and repay a no-interest mortgage; to own a home that meets their needs! Habitat is more than a non-profit; they are a social enterprise.
  • Garland County Habitat for Humanity, has kick-started a youth volunteer program. They are seeking to partner with high school and college students to build the future. They have volunteer opportunities to fit even the busiest schedule and they work very hard to ensure that young people have every opportunity to make an impact on families who need a hand up, not a hand-out. Please contact Dennis Cooper, director of community engagement, at (501) 623-5600 or dcooper@garlandcountyhabitat.org
  • Arkadelphia Human Development Center is a state-supported residential facility for people with intellectual disabilities. Volunteers are needed in several capacities, including helping with yard maintenance, flower beds, mowing and working with recycling. Can be done any day/any time.  If you are interested in volunteering, fill out the Human Development Volunteer Application and contact Deborah Wilson at deborah.wilson@dhs.arkansas.gov or 870-246-8011 ext 297. Note: Volunteers go through a short orientation before they go out and volunteer unless it is a one day project that does not involve direct contact with clients.

  • Help staff with events and theme nights
  • Administrative work
  • Lifeguard
  • Swimming and hot tub with clients (if lifeguard is available)
  • Sing alongs
  • Ride bicycles
  • Go for walks
  • Play basketball, volleyball
  • Play video games with clients
  • Work with clients in Technology Center
  • Workout in Wellness Center on campus
  • Do hair and nails for the ladies
  • One-on-one mentor with clients
  • Working in training areas with clients

Volunteers are needed in work and training areas from 9 – 11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m. and for recreation and leisure time and on the weekends. Note: Volunteers go through a short orientation before they go out and volunteer unless it is a one day project that does not involve direct contact with clients.

Projects for Social Clubs can include collecting socks, hats/caps, gloves, scarves, makeup for the ladies, perfume/cologne for our 117 clients.

  • Group Living: provides developmentally disabled adults with a working and living environment which enables them to attain the highest level of independent living. Group Living provides jobs for clients at the Beehive. Recognized for its innovation and creativeness in working with its clients. Contact Jane Lucas at 870-246-5849. (Possible paid positions available, as well.)

  • Earth Team is the volunteer branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service which helps people conserve, improve and sustain natural resources and the environment. Earth Team projects have included tree plantings, computer operations, engineering assistance, conservation education programs, clerical and secretarial assistance, water quality activities and more. To volunteer, call Joann Hardy , NCRS District Conservationist, at 870-246-9816 ext. 3 or email joann.hardy@ar.usda.gov.
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens (Hot Springs): Garvan Woodland Gardens is a botanical gardens in the area and is in need of volunteers. Some job possibilities are:

    • Greeters: Handing out maps at the door and welcoming guests, answering questions.
    • Golf Cart Tour Driver: Give tours of the Gardens. Taining furnished.
    • Garden Shop Helper: Assist in wrapping purchases and helping visitors. No cash register.
    • Train Engineer:  Operate our G-Scale miniature railroad.
    • Other positions are also available as needs arise.

The Baptist Medical Center, Arkadelphia, is looking for volunteers to  lead the Sunday morning Chapel service. Here's a way you can minister:  Who: Faculty, Staff and Students interested in leading a brief devotion and prayer.  When: Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.  Where: The Chapel at Baptist Medical Center Arkadelphia.  Why: An opportunity to pray for and minister to hospital staff and patients. Please call the office of Dr. Kevin C. McLeod at 870-246-5097 tell the receptionist “chapel” and she will transfer your call to Dr. McLeod.

  • Twin River Health and Rehabilitation: Spend time with the elderly community through bingo, church services, exercises, singing, arts and crafts, board games, gardening and more. Volunteer work can be done at any time/day of the week on a regular basis or as a one-time event. Contact Sara Short at 870-246-6337 for more information.
  • Courtyard Gardens Health and Rehabilitation (2701 Twin Rivers Drive, Arkadelphia) needs volunteers for the following tasks:

    • Decorations provided by and put up by volunteers. The center will supply 3 Christmas trees to be picked up and decorated after Thanksgiving.
    • Visit residents who don’t have family nearby or are lonely.
    • Push hydration cart at 2 p.m. each day.
    • Play games with, sing and read to the residents.
    • Lead large or small group activities for residents.
    • Feed residents and pass meal trays at 7:30 a.m., 12 noon, 5 p.m. (Volunteer may have a free lunch.)

Contact Carol Harris at 870-246-5566 or carol.harris@southernadmin.com 

  • ElderServe is a program sponsored by the Elrod Center that is designed to connect OBU students with senior adults in the Arkadelphia community. The ElderServe student forms a friendship with a senior adult over the course of a college semester. The student and senior adult meet once a week, mainly just to visit. These relationships are mutually beneficial. The senior adult greatly benefits from the youth, energy and friendship of the student and the student is given the opportunity to serve and make a difference in the life of the senior adult while gaining a new friend with valuable life experience. ElderServe students also function as a team each month to carry out service projects in area nursing homes and senior adult housing complexes. For more information, contact Judy Duvall at 870-245-5320 or duvallj@obu.edu.

  • Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation has opportunities for you to coach your own sports team for children in the community. Sports include football, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball and basketball for both girls and boys. 

  • Clark County 4-H provides education programs for youths including individual and group projects, competitive activities, camping and tours. The 4-H develops leadership, initiative and character. Contact Cindy Ham at 870-246-2281, cham@uaex.edu.

(Students, all of the programs above may count for TranServe hours.)

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