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Chris Whittle: From Volunteer to Board Member

By Beth-Ann Frankum, volunteer

Man with glasses taking a selfie of  himself and a large crowd surrounding him.

When Chris Whittle, our board president first joined GiveCamp in 2014, little did he know the impact he would have on the organization and the community of Northwest Arkansas. We are going to start featuring our various volunteers on our blog and today, we would like to reflect upon the experiences of Chris Whittle, from volunteer to board member.

Chris first heard about GiveCamp from a coworker who explained the event as “an opportunity to eat free food, a good chance to help some nonprofits, and maybe code some cool stuff.” When Chris arrived at the event in 2014 as a volunteer, GiveCamp was held at NWACC (Northwest Arkansas Community College) with around nine nonprofits in attendance. This was to be his first taste of this wonderful event, and also where he discovered that GiveCamp is so much more than just eating good food while huddled around a computer screen. 

He was introduced to his team of fellow volunteers and the nonprofit he was going to help that weekend.

“Very quickly I realized that this nonprofit needed so much help with everything –a new logo, a website, fresh content—everything.”

Over the course of a weekend, Chris and his team created a sharp new logo and completely transformed their web presence (he was also key in getting our new site up that was developed in 2019).

“It was so much cooler than I expected! The satisfying feeling of accomplishment and making a difference, it was a high! I spent a weekend and I made a huge positive impact on this non-profit—which is more than I could have ever donated monetarily.”

Chris went on to explain, “Our volunteer technologists know the true cost of these services and how unaffordable they can be to a nonprofit. GiveCamp volunteers see this as a really great way to give back locally and reap the rewards of watching these nonprofits flourish right here in Northwest Arkansas.”

The realization of how badly the nonprofit he helped that year needed him was the inspiration that set his heart aflame for this annual event. The following year, Chris found himself joining as a GiveCamp Northwest Arkansas organizer. Over time, he has watched the event grow and evolve into the much larger event we host each year. He was also instrumental in us achieving our nonprofit status in 2018.

“Every year we learn so many new lessons, gain insight on how to improve, network with some of the smartest people around and are given the chance to truly benefit local nonprofits of Northwest Arkansas who desperately need our help.”

One of the biggest goals this year will be to grow the volunteer base for year-round support. Last year’s GiveCamp was by far the largest yet, and there is much anticipation that GiveCamp Northwest Arkansas 2020 will be even bigger!

 “I don’t think people understand how much of an impact they can have on our community by sharing our talents with these local nonprofits.”

Chris has been a proud volunteer for GiveCamp Northwest Arkansas for the last five years in various capacities. His passion and drive for GiveCamp are contagious, to say the least. The positive impact he is making in our community has been an inspiration for many returning volunteers and will continue to be in the years to come.