“Helping Others Is a Way of Life” is the motto of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA), an Arkansas-based non-profit organization whose main focus is on helping people affected by disasters, like the hurricanes that have hit the South in the past month. When a natural disaster strikes, teams of skilled “Sheep Dogs” – military, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and EMS professionals – are deployed to provide immediate “impact assistance” to devastated communities. SgtMaj Lance Nutt (Kappa Alpha Order at Arkansas-Monticello ’92) is the founder and president of SDIA, and is currently supervising teams of volunteers helping those who have lost everything in the areas hard-hit by Hurricane Michael in Florida and surrounding states.
“I’ve been in war zones that don’t look as bad as some of these areas,” he said by phone from southern Alabama. “What we’re doing with these types of disasters at SDIA has a lot more to do with than just pulling the tree off a house, or helping someone start to find their belongings out of a destroyed home. It’s about giving people hope, and reminding them that there are others out there who care about them, and that as a community, or sometimes the country as a whole, you have to put your differences aside and come together to support one another.”
While SDIA’s membership is made up of some 5,000 current or former military, veterans, and first responders, SgtMaj Nutt, himself a 30-year Marine Corps veteran, said that civilian volunteers are also important to the group’s efforts. “I would really like to reach out to my KA brothers and let them know of the opportunity to volunteer with us,” he said. “A lot of the work we do is in the South where there are a lot of KA chapters, and I know there are probably KAs wondering how they can get involved, who they can link up with and volunteer with. If KA members have that servant heart or they want to give back, we’ll throw a Sheep Dog shirt on their backs and they can get out there and start helping with recovery efforts. I want to encourage our brothers to help out in any way they can, especially our undergrads still in college. I want to make sure that, as KAs, we don’t forget about the importance of serving others in their times of need.”
For information about volunteering with or supporting Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, visit sheepdogia.org.