Check out this list of upcoming nontraditional volunteer opportunities!

Northwest Arkansas as a region is one of a kind. Seriously, in what other region could one's volunteer experiences unfold like so; from attending a refugee camp experience to volunteering to help refugees resettle to the area, from helping preserve a Civil War battlefield to erecting a replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, or from freely attending 5-day film festival to a 3-day food festival? See below.

From a Refugee Camp Experience

Students for Refugees

With the help of Student for Refugees at the University of Arkansas, Canopy Northwest Arkansas has organized a 'Refugee Camp Experience'—an interactive event meant to educate the public by offering them an experience of what it is to be a refugee fleeing places like El Salvador, Syria, and Myanmar. As you arrive, organizers will assign you a national identity that you'll bear as you make your 'journey' to a resettlement camp. "We hope when you experience this event, you will leave with a better understanding of what today looks like for millions of people around the world," reads the Facebook site created for this event.

The Refugee Camp Experience will take place on April 27 from 12 pm to 6 pm at 2828 North Crossover Road, Fayetteville. For more information, you can email your questions at uarkstudentsforrefugees@gmai.com. You can support this initiative by donating HERE.

To a Refugee Mentorship Program

Would you like volunteer as a 'good neighbor' mentor? Canopy Northwest Arkansas—a non-profit organization focused on helping refugees resettle in the area—will be launching their Good Neighbors Mentorship Program with help of Tyson Foods and Engage NWA. They are looking for established community members to help refugees successfully resettle in the area. The program will run from the beginning of May through the end of July. "This program will pair 25 newcomers in our community to 25 well established community members to help them increase their sense of connectedness to the community and help them achieve 1-2 focused objectives for themselves or their families," reads the Facebook site created for this event.

If you'd like to apply to this program, you can fill out a SURVEY that will help organizers pair you up with a mentee based on common interests. For more information, you can contact Ms. Jessica Garross at jessica.garross@canopynwa.org. To be considered please apply by April 29th at 5PM.

From the Preservation of a Civil War Battlefield

Friends of Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

Are you able to lend a hand for preservation? On May 4th, 2019, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park will be participating in Park Day, the American Battlefield Trust's annual event where history lovers and preservationists volunteer to help their local parks with maintenance projects large and small. This year's event will aim to clear vegetation from the Borden Hillside in order to restore the terrain to a more accurate representation of what the soldiers saw during the Battle of Prairie Grove. You can sign up for these activities by emailing Park Interpreter Matt Mulheran at matt.mulheran@arkansas.gov or calling him at (479) 846-2990.

To Erecting a Replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial


"Like the original Memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors [will be] able to do name rubbings of individual service members' names on The Wall." — Downtown Bentonville, Inc.

If you'd like to commemorate veterans' sacrifices, you can do so by volunteering over Memorial Day Weekend at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art and helping install a replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial. The wall will be erected near the museum at 600 Museum Way. Volunteering training will start on May 22 at 6 pm. You can apply to this opportunity HERE. For more information, you can reach Andrew Heath at andrew@downtownbentonville.org or call him at (717) 824-2281.

From a 5-Day Film Festival

BFF volunteers pictured here with Geena DavisBentonville Film Festival

The Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) is calling for volunteers for their 5th annual festival, which will take place from May 7 to 11. Volunteers are needed for the week before and during the festival. Volunteer shifts last between 4 and 6 hours, and they usually are held from Tuesday to Friday during the day with a number of evening events happening over the weekend.

The BFF will be giving volunteers official shirts, hats, and free access to screenings and discussion panels that are not sold out. You can sign up for this opportunity HERE. For more information, you can email volunteer@bentonvillefilfestival.com.

To a 3-Day Food Festival

"BITE NW Arkansas is a three-day food festival as part of #NWAChampionship Week in Northwest Arkansas. The festival celebrates the region's best cuisines, ingredients, restaurants and chefs, giving attendees an unparalleled culinary experience in their own backyard." — Bite NW Arkansas


Bite NW Arkansas returns on June 26 and they're going to need some help! In this three-day event, people get to taste the best food and craft beer in the region while enjoying live music. Bite NW Arkansas is calling for more than 80 volunteers for this year's event, who will receive a Volunteer Package filled with gear for the event. You can register for this opportunity HERE. If you have questions, you can contact Justine Yu at justine.yu@octagon.com or call her at (646) 406-1657.

Join us in furthering this region's volunteering spirit as it continues to shape Northwest Arkansas into such an unique place to live in!

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