MALVERN, AR – We’ve all heard the saying two minds are better than one. When it comes to volunteering, two bodies mean twice the hours, twice the help, and twice the fun.
“I have lighter hair,” says Community Service Nominee Haley Birch.
“So we say she has an I in her name and light hair,” adds her sister Hannah Birch.
“If they call me Hannah, I’ll answer,” says Haley. “Everyone looks and they double take.”
“They are just like.. yea… there’s another one of you isn’t there?” says Hannah.
To the kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Malvern, they’re simply known as Hannah-Haley.
The club is a second home to the Birch twins. Both participated in afterschool activities and played soccer for the facility. Once in high school though, they decided to give back to the place that helped shape so much of their childhood.
“I knew that it was a big part of my childhood so I wanted to have an emphasis on other kids as well and become a role model in my community,” says Hannah. “We first started with the dance program.”
“We had a dance studio in Malvern whenever we were younger and then it closed down due to lack of interest,” says Haley.
“We don’t have that in Malvern so we thought we would be good teachers for the little kids even if it was just like basic stuff,” says Hannah. “We taught about four different dances throughout the year but then towards the end of the year, kids started coming in with their own dances. So one girl made up a dance to Party in the USA. She did the butterflies fly away.”
The twins taught dance twice a week for six weeks each summer and refereed and coached soccer during the school year.
“As far as us at the club, they have been like having an extra employee,” says club CPO Phil Clem.
Haley and Hannah are now freshmen at the University of Arkansas, but continue their philanthropic work through their sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
“It’s fun now that we are in college, to come back home and they still remember us,” says Hannah. “I had one girl just a second ago run up to me and say, I’ve been practicing my dance moves. I’m ready to show you.”
“Even though I am older than them and they may look up to me, I still feel like a kid,” says Haley. “Just being involved here keeps it going from my childhood. Keeps me staying a kid too.”
Haley and Hannah have also put in hundreds of hours volunteering at Camp Aldersgate and received the Governor’s Volunteer Award for their service there.
If you would like to nominate someone for a Community Service Award, click here to find our online forms.