Local & Regional News
4:20 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Mayors Honor Those Who Have Served Their Communities

People who volunteer to help their communities in central Arkansas were honored on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.

Hear Kezia Nanda's report above.

The ceremony took place in front of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

Beau Cooper and Sherice Loftin are with GardenCorps.
Credit Kezia Nanda/KUAR News

North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith saluted Beau Cooper and Sherice Loftin from his city.

Cooper is a volunteer with GardenCorps, which cares for 19 gardens in the city.

He said he is happy to be giving back to his community by weeding and planning the gardens in North Little Rock.

After the service, Cooper said, “This was an extra special day.”

“(it) was good to get a little recognition. (It was) much appreciated and surprising too. We were a little nervous to get up there, but, it was okay. It was great. Mayor Smith has been great for us,” Cooper said.

Loftin, another volunteer, said she follows her passion of planting good, healthy food.

She encourages people to volunteer in whatever way they can.

“A lot of times, people just like ‘where do I start?’  But I’m glad we have appreciation days like this where they can see like there are groups out there that you get involved with. So, just don’t think about it, just do it. It’s that simple,” Loftin said.

Different volunteer groups in central Arkansas
Credit Kezia Nanda/KUAR News

 During the program, Skip Rutherford, dean of Clinton School of Public Service, said this kind of volunteerism benefits communities.

“There are many issues that divide us,” Rutherford said, "many issues that cause us to differ, but there is one thing that brings us together that has nothing to do with partisanship. It has nothing to do with where you live or who you are. It is the desire to serve and to help others.”

The Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service is a bipartisan effort to recognize and thank volunteers for the positive impact they provide to their communities. Thousands of similar events were also held around the nation on Tuesday.