Community Service Awards Honoree Jan Alman
LITTLE ROCK, AR – Helping the homeless in Arkansas’s largest city has become a labor of love for a local volunteer.
Jan Alman, who has been helping out at Our House for years, gets credit for a big part of its success in giving families a temporary home while they get back on their feet.
It’s one reason why she’s a Community Service Awards honoree this year.
“Our House serves the working homeless. We empower each resident to give them the tools that they need to live a very, very productive life and get out of homelessness,” Jan explains.
The Little Rock woman has devoted most of her adult life to nonprofit organizations, but none closer to her heart than Our House.
“We asked Jan if she would chair our Children’s Center capital campaign and she said ‘yes, but only if you find me a co-chair,” says Georgia Mjartens, Executive Director of Our House. “2 ½ years and five million dollars later we had a chair, Jan, and no co-chair.”
And a building. And there’s more to come.
“We are about to renovate our learning center for adults, and the Adult Learning Center is where people can get their GED’s, they have job training, they can do computer classes,” Jan adds.
Jan brought her aura of excellence to Little Rock Central High School (LRCHS) when her daughter Sidney was a freshman.
“Not only did she volunteer and do a lot of things both academically and socially, she’s a great cook. But she has really supported our school and our programs,” says Nancy Rousseau, LRCHS Principal.
Jan is still a Central supporter and she finds time for the Junior League, Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, and the Temple B’Nai Israel Board. She also brings her many talents to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
“Jan has been an integral part of making The Rep what it is, helping The Rep make a positive contribution to our community, to the cultural and civic life of our state,” says Robert Hupp, The Rep’s Artistic Director. “Jan has been instrumental, invaluable, indispensable in making everything happen here, and it’s the behind the scenes identity where Jan really thrives.”
She thrives in all of her volunteer venues, but her first love is helping those who want to help themselves at Our House.
“She is a leader on our board, she headed up our five million-dollar capital campaign, and she’s also here in our kitchen teaching our children and their parents how to cook,” adds Mjartens.
And appropriately, the kitchen in the new children’s center at Our House is named for Jan and her family.
“I love to cook for large groups. I love to teach about healthy cooking, which I’m starting to do more of myself. But I really got involved in Our House because it was a place that I knew I could make a difference,” says Jan.
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