Nonprofit program operates food drive to ‘Reach 13,000’
Reach 13,000 is a service project managed by Chancellor’s Leadership Corps senior student Amber Standridge, who is working to amass more food for the needy.
“The big goal is to [gather] 13,000 nonperishable items to donate to the [Staff Senate Helping Hands and Arkansas Food Bank],” said Standridge, “[and] to reach out to the community to show that even though we are college students, we care about helping the community.”
The Staff Senate puts together food baskets for staff members at UALR for the holidays, and the Arkansas Food Bank similarly distributes food and other items to underprivileged families in the community. CLC students are also encouraged to volunteer at the Arkansas food bank to help organize and distribute the items.
Reach 13,000 is the largest service project taken on by the UALR community. Reach 13,000 is called so because there are 13,000 students at UALR, and all of whom are encouraged to participate.
“I think it helps build unity and create involvement and engagement within the university,” said Nick Steele, coordinator of CLC.
The Reach 13,000 project has already collected more than 7,000 items, according to Standridge. Many of the contributors have been departments and organizations within the school, including many Greek organizations, the EIT Scholars, EAST Scholars, TRiO, and Housing Staff. The department and the organization that donates the most nonperishable items will win a pizza party.
So far, CLC has organized a kickball tournament Aug. 21, which brought in 3,000 items, and on Constitution Day Sept. 17, where they collected about 2,000 items. On Oct. 1, Sodexo partnered with the Helping Hands Across America initiative, offering free lunch to those who donated five nonperishable items.
“I would love to be able to see us reach 20,000 items… [But] we need help. We need involvement from our community and from the student body,” Standridge said.
Opportunities to contribute include the online auction through the Staff Senate Helping Hands project, which began Sept. 25 and will end on Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. To participate in this auction, visit 32auctions.com/ualrhelpinghands, create an account, and start bidding. Items up for bid include a Dell Latitude St Tablet, paintings, gift cards, and tickets to the Little Rock Zoo.
The UALR fall open house on Oct. 25 will include a teacup auction. All proceeds and donations will be used to buy food or Kroger gift cards to be donated to needy families, according to Steele. Staff and students can also help by dropping items off in the boxes located around campus.
The last day to make contributions to the food drive is Nov. 13. The same day, CLC will host the Battle of the Talents competition, where Yesterday’s Tomorrow, a band featuring three UALR students, will compete to defend their title as champions. This will take place in the DSC Field House from 7 to 9 p.m. It is free to participate, but has a fee of five non-perishable items to come out and watch the show.