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Environment

Get Outside and Give Back: Land Conservation, Farming, and Food Recovery

Internships at the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, unique volunteer opportunities with Seeds That Feed, board vacancies at Tri Cycle Farms, and a job opening at Cobblestone Farms.

Cover photo by Mallory Lane Photography

We recently came across several opportunities to get involved with some our favorite local nonprofits, and you'll recognize a common thread—all are about spending some quality time outdoors.

Three Internship Positions at the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

Do you know of or are you a college student working in education, environmental studies, communications, or nonprofit management? The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is looking for 3 individuals to join their team as an Environmental Education Intern, Land Stewardship Intern, and Communications & Development Intern.

From giving field trips at the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center to helping monitor over 3,500 acres of conservation lands to helping spread the word about this work—the Fall internships run from August 26th to November 29th.

Now in its 16th year, NWALT is the region's only local and accredited land trust, dedicated to enhancing quality of life through the permanent protection of land. By holding and managing donated land and providing conservation easement services, the land trust protects water quality, local farms, wildlife habitat, and places for outdoor recreation while enhancing quality of life for today and future generations. The service area of the land trust includes 13 counties in Northwest Arkansas, with a core focus on Benton and Washington counties.

Learn more about the internships HERE.

CareCropping with Seeds That Feed

At the end of the farmers' market in both Fayetteville and Bentonville, local farmers donate their extra veggies to Seeds That Feed to be distributed to those in need throughout Northwest Arkansas. The team weighs, logs, and categorizes all of the donations on the square. Several organizations then meet them on the square to pick up veggies for their pantries and community meals and the rest of the produce is then delivered out to lower income communities and other pantries around Benton County and Washington County.

As part of the WalmartGivesNWA campaign, if you choose to do some "carecropping" (volunteering) with Seeds That Feed at either farmers' market the organization will earn $10 for each hour of service. To get involved in Bentonville visit HERE. To get involved in Fayetteville visit HERE.

Seeds That Feed's mission is to help grow healthier communities by providing access to healthier foods. Through the collection and distribution of surplus fresh produce ─ from area farmers directly to local hunger relief efforts ─ they are able to both increase access to under resourced populations, as well as help to eliminate waste.

Board of Directors at Tri Cycle Farms

Are you passionate about food waste and food security? Have you wanted to get involved with an urban farm or food recovery but not known how? Tri Cycle Farms is actively seeking a community member to become their board treasurer. If you or someone you know is interested, shoot an email to volunteer@tricyclefarms.org. General board members are needed as well, so spread the word!

If you are interested in learning more about what they do and how to get involved, they are hosting a Summer Open House on Saturday, July 20th! This open house is FREE and open to the public. Food and snacks will be available as you stroll through the gardens, lounge in the shade and enjoy the delights of their farm-park atmosphere! Their staff and board members will be available to answer questions.

Tri Cycle Farms is a community urban farm working to address food insecurity by growing food and teaching others to grow food. They have a beautiful, productive garden on 2 acres of land in the heart of Fayetteville.

Hiring: Farm Specialist at Cobblestone Farms

Did you know Cobblestone Farms, located in Fayetteville, donates 50% of fresh grown produce on their farm to hunger relief efforts in Northwest Arkansas? Their mission is to grow fresh food locally so they can support and teach the community the role fresh food has on health, wellness and a sustainable future.

They are currently seeking a Farm Specialist to assist in all farm production goals. This position requires knowledge in farming, high tunnel production, pest management, orchard management, plant production, fertilization management and vegetable production practices. Daily tasks include harvesting, pruning, cleaning tools, recording data, planting, seeding, fertilizing, weeding, mulching and composting. To learn more and apply visit HERE.

Active Lifestyle

Beyond the Board: An Interview with the NW Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation

The Northwest Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation mission is to grow and support the regional skateboarding community.

The Northwest Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation was founded in late 2018 by skateboarders for skateboarders. The founding team includes Roy Rodezno, Wesley McDonald (owner of Stash Skate Supply), Brandon Herbert (co-founder of Gnarkansas.com), and Jonathan Camacho. We recently sat down with Roy to learn more about the organization. Check out the interview below.

Founder Roy Rodezno, President/Design & Marketing

Q: Ok Roy, let's take it from the top, why did you create the organization and what is the mission?

I've been skateboarding for 17 years. Brandon, Jonathan, and I grew up skateboarding in Northwest Arkansas; Jonathan and I used to skateboard on the same block in Rogers. We were primarily street skating because during those days the closest skatepark was in Bentonville and we didn't have a car.

Brandon Herbert, Audio Visual Director/Events Coordinator

Later on, a skate shop came to Rogers, and that is where all of the local skateboarders would go hang out. I remember when we started attending city meetings when they were considering adding the Rogers skatepark and saying, 'We want this park; we need it.' And it worked, we got it.

We had a lot of skaters back in the day. You'd go to the skatepark, and it would be crowded. Now, not so much. Compared to my generation, it seems like the number of skaters has diminished quite a bit.

Local Competition in 2012

Recently, I've been seeing and hearing from other skaters that there isn't support for skateboarding; it's all going toward biking. But that's because people are pushing for that. For years now, I've been hearing things like 'Man, I wish we had a new park' from people in Fayetteville. If you go there, there are cracks. In Bentonville, skateboarders are expressing the same frustrations. If we had an organized voice for skateboarding, we could probably achieve the same thing as the cycling community.

All that together kinda just brewed in my head and popped up as: 'We need an organization that can represent skateboarders as a whole.' We want to represent current and future skaters.

The mission is to grow and support skateboarding in Northwest Arkansas. To organize and to show people that we're serious. This is who we are, and we are here for the long run.

Q: In the short-term, what are your plans?

One of the first things we wanted to do is launch a skateboarding competition. Every now and then there are competitions, but once they are over, everyone is left wondering what's next. We thought: 'What if, instead, we did multiple stops and a final for the crown?' That's when we landed on the idea for the Arkansas Crown, Arkansas' first skateboarding championship competition. There were a lot of skaters I talked to who believed that that would be cool, that they would be interested in it.

Anthony Dezaldivar Longest Ollie at Bentonville Crown Stop

So, we planned six stops: five competitions and then the final. Four of the stops are located within the region, one in Fort Smith and one in Little Rock. We had the first one on May 25th, 2019 at the Bentonville Skatepark. It was an excellent turnout, a lot of people came out. The next stop in Northwest Arkansas will be on August 11th in Fayetteville, you all should come check it out.

NWASF Arkansas Crown Skateboarding Championship // Stop 1: Bentonville // Highlights

There was this guy that competed in Bentonville, 19 years old named Niccy. I believe he just started skating last year. It was his first competition ever, and he got first place in the beginner's competition. He was like: 'Man, this was the first one; I've never done this before.' That's skateboarding: it makes you try things you have never tried before. It pushes you to go outside your limits. And if you fail, you fail. But then you get back up and try it again⁠—the same goes in life. This is what it is all about.

Niccy's boardslide at Bentonville Crown Stop

Q: Skateboarding for life?

Yes. Look, we all have things going on in our lives. Whether it's family problems, addiction issues, or things like that. A lot of us skateboard to vent that—redirect and channel that energy. I know I did. I made skateboarding my life, and during any negative times I would tell myself: "Skate for life," and that would help me refocus and overcome.

Q: Can you share more about that personal experience?

When I was younger, I got in trouble. Just dumb stuff. I fell into depression, and it took me a while to figure out what the problem was. In truth, it was a lot of things. Around that same time, my parents got divorced. It was tough, and I had a lot of anger built up, but skateboarding was always there. I would go skate, and I would feel better. Ultimately, the skateboarding mentality just kicked in, and I said: 'OK, what's the problem?' That's what you do in skateboarding. You're not accomplishing a particular thing; it's not going right over and over. So you think to yourself, what are you doing that's wrong? Why isn't my board doing what I want it to do? It may take a few times to figure it out, but eventually, you figure it out. And that's how I started getting back on track. It's because of skateboarding. That problem-solving, motivation, self-discipline, and persistence that skateboarding requires helped me get back on the right path.

Yes, we are grinding, jumping off stairs and stuff, but we are focused. Once a skateboarder sets their mind on a trick, they'll try anything to pull it off. And that keeps their mind off of other things, other patterns that may get them in trouble. That is the underlying thing about skateboarding not many people consider, the impact it has on a person. It really makes you self-disciplined and self-motivated, goal-oriented and a creative problem-solver 'cause you're fighting against physics: 'Maybe I can pull my foot back; less pressure this way.'

Wesley McDonald, Events Director/Content Curator

We know there are kids out there going through some of the same things we, as an older generation, have been through. So, definitely mentoring is part of what we'd like to do. As an organization, we want to be there to tell them: 'Keep skating, dude. I've been there. It gets better. Just keep your mind positive'. Programs like that are gonna help us all stay connected.

Q: Other than events and mentorship, are there other ways you want to get people engaged?

Yes. This was just our way to get our foot in the door and show who we are. Our most ambitious goal is our campaign to raise $500,000 for a new, state-of-the-art skatepark, located near the Razorback Greenway, with unique modern obstacle levels of street/transition to not only challenge skaters but also upgrade from our older existing parks that are falling apart. It would be cool, you know, you walk on the trail and see this natural skate garden. Right now, our parks are outdated in terms of the obstacles. But imagine if you had more creative obstacles—if you had something that challenged skaters more. Skateboarding is now included in the Olympics, Tokyo 2020. We believe with the proper facility, we could have one of Northwest Arkansas' own compete in the Olympics.

Ultimately, we would also like to have back-to-school and Christmas drives to collect donations of gear and shoes for youth. With skateboarding, you go through your shoes, clothes, and boards a lot. We don't just want to inspire kids, we want to keep them skating.

Q: Anything else you want to say about skateboarding or skateboarders in the region?

Jonathan Camacho (Construction Director/Content Editor) and son

Beyond the board, I would point out two things. One, there is a strong case to be made that skate parks are a good economic development tool for cities. Skateboarders are travelers at heart. Nice skate parks would bring in folks from beyond the region. Many of us from Northwest Arkansas head to neighboring states like Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas to skate their parks and now, when I go there, I take my twins and wife, so we usually shop, buy food and gas, and get a hotel. And two, skaters tend to have an entrepreneurial/self-starter mindset, which also has an economic impact on the community with many of us having started or starting local businesses.

Bentonville Crown Winners

There are so many different types of skateboarders out there. Overall, it's a socially diverse and accepting group of people. Whenever I first brought my wife to skating, one of the first things she said she noticed is that we're all supportive of each other. You may not know me, and I may not know you, but if you're trying a tough trick or any trick and you're struggling to do it and need that motivation, it's just like automatic—you just cheer them on. All skaters seem to have similar traits: they have an open mind, they are self-motivated and goal-oriented. So you'll see people of different races, backgrounds, ages because it really doesn't matter. Once you're there at the skatepark with your board, eventually you just become like family.

Learn more at nwaskateboarding.org

Arts & Culture

Three Nonprofits Enlivening the 'Arts' in NW Arkansas

From the Indian arts to the media arts and fashion design—check out these pretty unique NW Arkansas nonprofits.

Cover photo by Emily McArthur Photography

When it comes to the arts in Northwest Arkansas, it's hard to see beyond the incredible programming of those such as Crystal Bridges, Walton Arts Center, and TheatreSquared. However, if you take a moment and look closer, you'll quickly discover a rich tapestry of smaller nonprofits contributing to the broader regional arts and culture ecosystem. Below, we'll introduce you to a few you may not have been aware of.

Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation

Photo credit: Emily McArthur Photography

The Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation was established in April 2018 by a group of performing arts enthusiasts. Their mission is to bring Indian Performing Arts, with an emphasis on the classical genre, to the forefront in Northwest Arkansas. To do this, they envision a threefold approach to increasing the exposure and opportunities for performing artists in the community – education, inspiration and sustenance of Indian Performing Arts.

The year-round programming includes two sets of 'community showcases' a year featuring local dancers and musicians and a 'master series' of concerts featuring established artists from India.

Read more about RVCF HERE.

Connect with Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation HERE.

PIXEL™: A School for Media Arts

PIXEL™ is teaching children and adults how to become successful digital artists one pixel at a time. Their programs are designed to help people of all ages identify their passion, develop their skills, and set them on a path to having a successful career in the creative arts. From summer camps to high school digital art classes to post-secondary programming and training for design careers—PIXEL™ is a hub for innovators and creatives of all ages.

PIXEL's instructors, advisors, directors, and leadership come from a wide variety of creative fields such as filmmaking, web and graphic design, jewelry design, programming, and animation. Combined, they have over 200 years of experience working for internationally-known companies and organizations including HBO, Walt Disney, and Sony. There is even an Academy Award winner among them.

Learn more HERE.

Connect with PIXEL HERE.

The Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum

The Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum was founded in 2017 to help creative producers in Arkansas find professional development resources, creative inspiration, and a community of support.

The mission of the Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum is to provide educational opportunities and professional support for aspiring avant-garde fashion designers, artists, and other creative professionals. They specifically seek to serve those who are committed to building a vibrant and inspired creative fashion community in Arkansas.

To date, educational workshops provided by The Forum have touched on everything from runway modeling to makeup artistry to beginners sewing to product development and more. Many of these have taken place throughout Northwest Arkansas, engaging groups like the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese and Stitches (a Latinx youth artist collective) in Springdale. In addition to workshops, the Forum has hosted multiple student designer showcases during Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week and several panel discussions to deepen regional understanding of the art of fashion.

Read more about The Forum HERE.

RSVP to their upcoming Pop-Up Shop and Designer Panel HERE.

Connect with AAFF HERE.

Know of other nonprofits we could feature? Feel free to reach out and let us know at alicia@findingnwa.com.

Children & Youth

NW Arkansas Teens Launch National Platform for Social Change

#DearAdultWorld is a platform launched by a cohort of devoted young activists, artists, and creatives working towards amplifying teen voices and enacting change.

#DearAdultWorld, a project sponsored by the Teen Action and Support Center, was born from the hearts and minds of young, passionate people longing for a platform to amplify their voices. It's simple: they want teens to be heard and adults to listen. What began as a short film written by teens and produced by actress and director Joey Lauren Adams in Northwest Arkansas has evolved into a digital publication that curates the voices of young people on an international scale and a public panel series.

#DearAdultWorld Short Film

#DearAdultWorld is broken up by societal issues that these teens feel their generation is uniquely qualified to speak to, for example, mental health, climate change, and identity. This generation feels they are more connected, informed, and much louder than those of the past. They were raised with smartphones in hand, eyes, and ears open to struggles far beyond their own worlds.

$1,000 Scholarship Attracts National Attention


Google Analytics of DearAdultWorld.com

An educational award sponsored by the TASC earlier this year has helped generate awareness of the platform both nationally and internationally. So far, DearAdultWorld.com has seen website visitors from 42 countries, including all 50 states in the US, and received over 50 submissions, with new ones coming in daily, from teens that are expressing their experiences through art, prose, poetry, and articles. The editing staff located at TASC is in the process of sorting through these submissions and will award the scholarship by the end of the summer.

#DearAdultWorld is still actively accepting submissions for the scholarship until July 31st. Any submission past this date will still be considered for publication.

Public Speaking Engagements

Arkansas Parent Teacher Association Panel

Also, in partnership with TASC, the staff of #DearAdultWorld have started to host panel discussions with adults throughout the region and beyond. The first panel discussion was hosted at the Arkansas Parent Teacher Association conference in Eureka Springs on April 5th, 2019. These discussions are designed to invoke open and honest intergenerational dialogue, something that both teens and adults feel is lacking in today's society. For those interested, panels can be booked through Calvin Ryerse at calvin@dearadultworld.com.

The Future

Art Submission by Gemma Rose, 18

As many on the editing staff look forward to college, they are looking for other driven artists and entrepreneurs that share their passions for change and social justice to take over the publication as they age out of their teen years. If you are a teen looking to get involved or an adult looking to support these efforts, feel free to contact them through social media or email. The teens encourage you to read through their site, and interact with what they are saying, and ask that you allow yourself to be challenged.

You can learn more at the website: dearadultworld.com

Community

NW Arkansas Set On Becoming The Most Generous Place on the Planet

NWA Gives is a region-wide campaign focused on helping nonprofits raise the resources and support they need in order to accomplish their purpose and their vision.

Cover Photo by Scott C. Wood

Earlier this year, the NWA Gives team helped nearly 200 nonprofits and the NW Arkansas community come together for 12 hours of "epic giving" and raise a little over $715,000. However, the ultimate goal is to see the region become the most generous community on Earth. Why are they doing it? How are they doing it? Who is benefitting and in what ways are these funds being utilized? And lastly, what's next? These are the questions we had in mind as we approached the NWA Gives team and some of the local nonprofits that participated in this year's campaign, below we present some excerpts from our interviews with them.

The "WHY" by NWA Gives Co-Founder, Chris Haas

"The whole hope behind NWA Gives is that we would inspire generosity. Our vision statement is that Northwest Arkansas will become the most generous community on earth. And we really believe that that's possible. Already, the two counties of Northwest Arkansas [Benton county and Washington county] are the number one and three [respectively] most generous [counties] in Arkansas, and Arkansas ranks fifth nationally in terms of giving per capita. What that means is that Arkansas already ranks up there pretty high in terms of the way people give to the things they care about. We don't think it's a goal we can't reach or a vision we can't reach—that we truly can become the most generous region in Arkansas and also in the nation.

We can begin to identify ourselves as a generous people: that when you think of Northwest Arkansas you think: 'That is a generous community. They really give and take care of their community.' That is a vision that we want to go out and pursue. And so, Northwest Arkansas Gives is the vehicle for us to do that."

The "HOW" by NWA Gives Steering Member, Jesse Lane

Photo by Scott C. Wood

"The success of NWA Gives 2019 can be attributed to training, collaboration and community engagement. The NWA Gives team hosted monthly training events and published several resources to help nonprofits optimize the big day on April 4th. The training content equipped nonprofits to effectively invite board member participation, communicate with existing donors, and spread the word to the broader community. The event would not have been possible without collaboration across the community, including businesses, chambers, creatives and local influencers. NWA Gives partnered with dozens of local social media influencers to amplify the reach of their message and the impact of the day. But, ultimately, it was the generosity of this community that was so impressive."

The "WHO" and "WHAT" by Ability Tree, Prism Education Center, and Freedom 5:One

For this next section, we spent some time interviewing a few of the nonprofits that successfully raised money during NWA Gives. We wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the work they do for the community, how they went about leveraging the platform, and what the funds they raised are being used for.

Editor's note: Serve NWA raised $325,115, which was the highest amount raised during NWA Gives 2019. The money went toward the New Beginnings Bridge Housing Community for area homeless, a project we covered in a previous post which can be found HERE."

Ability Tree: $79,922 Raised During NWA Gives

Ability Tree on Facebook

NWA Gives really wants to make Northwest Arkansas the most generous place on the planet. I think it was very successful and impactful [...] We're still at the elementary age, so it was great to get that awareness out,"—Joe Butler, Founder and CEO of Ability Tree.

Ability Tree is a non-profit organization that provides support to families impacted by disabilities. Joe Butler, Founder and CEO of Ability Tree, explains that this organization is "like a boys and girls club for families with kids with special needs in the sense that we provide essential aftercare services, after school, and on weekends." Ability Tree is focused on recreational events and programs for kids with special needs so that everyone can participate and feel included in activities such as sports leagues. During these activities, kids get to interact with their peers who have special needs and connect with someone who understands what they are going through. Ability Tree also offers support to parents, caregivers, and siblings of children with special needs, so they can "get some rest, go shopping, take a nap, go to dinner and a movie."

There is also a "training and awareness component" to Ability Tree's programs: "[w]e do training and awareness—how to interact with participants" with special needs. This training is available all across the board: from businesses to non-profits, to churches, to high schools. Their purpose in these training sessions is to enforce "the value that people with disabilities are people first." Ability Tree has also partnered with Arkansas Support Network to talk to families with kids with special needs about the Medicaid waiver, empowering families with as many resources as possible so that they can become the best caregivers that they can be.

Ability Tree on Facebook

With the help of NWA Gives, Ability Tree was able to raise money to expand their infrastructure: "We've outgrown our current facility [...] [so] we started building a new facility. Our goal with NWA Gives was to raise $100,000 towards our new Rest and Recreation Center. It's going to be a one of a kind, state-of-the-art facility," says Butler. And they were extremely successful: Ability Tree was able to raise $79,922, all of which has gone towards building the new facility.

None of this would have be possible without people who deeply care about this cause and want to chip in with whatever they can to improve the lives of people with special needs in their community. Butler underlines that the support of generous donors is what has made Ability Tree's efforts a success: "One of our families has a teenage son with down-syndrome. The father came in and wrote out a check. It was for $1,000. It was a lot for that family; this is the family that pays $50 per month for our services (about $600 a year). It was very inspiring to see. They weren't the only family that did that; but to see a family step up and to give above and beyond…The generosity from families, people, churches, businesses, local state farm agents... It was really neat to see the community come together to be so involved and follow along throughout the [NWA Gives] day."

However, the work is not done yet! Ability Tree is still missing $40,000 to finish their new facility, so you have time to add your impact! If you'd like to contribute to their 'Building Campaign', you can make a donation HERE.

Prism Education Center: $13,726 Raised During NWA Gives

Prism on Facebook

"We are committed to helping kids have access to this program and we are going to do what it takes."—Misty Newcomb, Executive Director of Prism Education Center

Prism Education Center is a private school and educational non-profit serving pre-K to 12th grade students. They also offer after-school, summer, and teacher-licensing programs for the state of Arkansas. Misty Newcomb, Executive Director of Prism Education Center, says that what makes this school unique is that, "although we are a private school, about half of our students receive some financial assistance. We work hard to make sure that our programs accept everyone regardless of their ability to pay." Newcomb explains that Prism "was founded by a Christian church, so the school is based on these values. Every single aspect of our education [...] is done through the lens of a set of Christian and universal values. We are focused on helping build leaders in our society, and we want to make sure that they are leading from a place of values [...] It's important not just to equip [students] with mathematical skills and literacy knowledge but also [to ensure] that they are able to apply values on a day-to-day basis to whatever they are doing."

Prism was very strategic with their campaign on NWA Gives day, as they won over $4k in prize money. With these funds, they'll be able to continue supporting families who cannot pay tuition: "We have a large number of students coming that cannot afford full tuition, and so it was our hope that we could raise funds to help provide scholarships to work with kids all day long." Since Prism doesn't count on any one person or institution to fund the school, their strategy was to contact a large number of people who supported the school strongly enough to give a relatively small amount of money: "we thought that the best strategy for us was to reach large families and say: 'Hey, there's prize money for the most number of givers', and thought that everybody could give a little bit as the first thing in the morning [of the NWA Gives day], so we would be eligible for that first hour of prize money. And they did. Everybody was passionate and willing to support. They might not have a lot of money, but what they do, they'll give, so we were grateful for that." With these funds, Prism will also be able to accommodate a large number of incoming students by moving to a larger facility.

Newcomb says that the key to their success was the parents that got behind their initiative: "I would say that the parents worked as hard as anyone in our staff did—just getting the word out. Several parents texted other parents to give the funds in the morning [of the NWA Gives day]. Our key to success were the partnerships as well as the community that support us. It really was the generosity of the families that are here with their time and energy to get other people to give that made it a success to us. That's truly what NWA Gives was all about: being generous. We have lot of people here who worked their heart to get the word out and to do what it takes to keep this place accessible to students."

To build on the success from the NWA Gives campaign, Prism will be launching a scholarship contribution program next month through which folks will be able to commit to giving a small donation every month: "we are just looking for 50 people to give $25 a month. That would go a long way for us. We are committed to helping kids have access to this program and we are going to do what it takes." If you'd like to help provide a values-based education to students at the Prism Education Center, you can make a donation HERE.

Freedom 5:One: $15,934 Raised During NWA Gives

Freedom 5:One on Facebook

We believe that generosity is just part of who we are as an organization. We are trying to inspire generosity."— Chris Haas, Executive Director at Freedom 5:one

Freedom 5:one is an education and coaching ministry focused on helping families learn how to successfully manage their personal finances. Chris Haas, Executive Director at Freedom 5:one, explains that the ministry typically meets individually with families to create a budget or "spending plan" to get their finances going in the right direction. Freedom 5:one mostly works with young couples who are just getting started in life and need a plan, as they help them straighten out their finances: "our premise is that, if you have a plan that you are following, you're going get much more out of personal finances. When it comes to your personal, financial goals, knowing what those are—what destination you're trying to reach—and then putting a plan to get there is going to help you be more successful."

There's also an educational aspect to these activities: "[w]e also have our clients read a number of books to help them become financially educated. [...] We speak in various businesses around Northwest Arkansas. We spoke at DaySpring, which is a business in Siloam Springs. Basically, we provide education to employees, speaking in the community, educating it about financial literacy and what it looks like to have a [...] financial plan that's going to work."

Freedom 5:One on Facebook

Freedom 5:one is a faith-based financial non-profit, so faith plays a huge role in their core values. Haas says that the "relationships of the people" they serve are also a core value of the organization: "you really get to know people deeply. We get to know their dreams. If they're married, we get to know how their marriage is going and whether or not there's different issues they're trying to work through as a married couple or as a family." The folks at Freedom 5:one feel particularly passionate about helping families deal with money issues because being on the same page on finances is one of the cornerstones of any happy relationship: "[p]art of the heart and soul of this group is that we want to help families," says Hass. "We want to strengthen marriages, want to have great families in the community, and one of the reasons why that's so important in this area is that the number one cause of the breakup of the family is conflict over finances. It is the number one reason why couples get divorced—about 58% of families getting a divorce say that trouble in finances was the reason for the breakup. So knowing that, we want to make that change."

NWA Gives has been an incredible help for Freedom 5:one in reaching their goals. Through the money they raised on NWA Gives day, Freedom 5:one will be able to improve their coaching and training infrastructure, allowing this ministry to help many more families: "[a]t this point we charge a minimal fee when people come in, but the rest of the cost of meeting with that family is money that we raised." Haas believes that a key to their success that day was the nonprofits' outreach "to their people and sphere of influence," inviting them to be part of NWA Gives. Freedom 5:one has also been able to inspire great generosity in the community, which is what has helped this organization reach more couples, and serve more community members.

Giving back to the community and the causes that we want to see through can be highly rewarding. Everyone could use a helping hand in managing their finances if they are just starting out and raising a family, so the work of Freedom 5:one is going to continue to leave a positive impact on countless people who might otherwise feel lost in bills and unexpected expenses. If you would like to be a part of the solution, you can contribute to Freedom 5:one by donating HERE or by helping them pay their coaching fees HERE.

"What's Next?" by NWA Gives Co-Founder, Chris Haas

We took about a month off and celebrated, and come June we'll get back to work. In terms of planning for next year's event, we'll launch a series of trainings that will start in August and September to begin building towards next year's event. We are gathering key people, influencers, social media influencers, business leaders, and others who will be part of next year's effort to make it a success. We feel like the momentum will pick up back again and it'll grow from there. But we would invite anybody, any of your readers who want to be a part of seeing this thing become even more successful, we would love anybody that wants to volunteer their time, their influence, their resources to be able to make that happen.

If you are interested in attending the trainings or connecting with NWA Gives, you can email Jesse Lane at jesse@nwagives.org or follow NWA Gives online here: nwagives.org / instagram.com/nwagives / or facebook.com/nwagives

Community

Impact Jobs Alert: 3 Opportunities to Become a Gamechanger for Good

The Endeavor Foundation, Teen Action and Support Center, and the University of Arkansas Center for Community Engagement are seeking candidates for some pretty epic open positions.

Are you interested in increasing the amount of social connectedness in our community, inspiring youth through arts and entrepreneurship, or enlisting students on the UA campus in the fight against food insecurity? If so, we recommend you update your resume, type a compelling cover letter, and throw your heart in the ring for one of the following opportunities.

I. Director of Diverse Social Networks, Endeavor Foundation

The Endeavor Foundation is seeking a Director of Diverse Social Networks to work with the community to expand the number of people in NW Arkansas with diverse social networks (or personal relationships across socioeconomic lines). The ideal candidate will display a knowledge and awareness of health and human services in NW Arkansas, an ability to develop in-depth community relationships and partnerships, an understanding of community resources, and an understanding of economic, cultural, and racial diversity.

Check out the full job description and learn how to apply HERE.

II. Director of Arts & Entrepreneurship, Teen Action and Support Center

TASC is seeking to hire a visionary leader as the Director of Arts & Entrepreneurship. The Director of Arts and Entrepreneurship will work to provide an environment for teens in NW Arkansas that fosters creativity, innovation, and connection to the community and will office out of The Station, TASC's collaborative teen center in downtown Springdale. Some of the primary duties include: 1) developing strategic partnerships with local organizations to offer a variety of workshops in art, theater, social entrepreneurship, community service, and civic engagement, 2) working closely with public schools, juvenile courts, local teen leadership programs, and colleges and universities, and 3) overseeing the implementation of arts and entrepreneurship initiatives in both Washington and Benton County.

Check out the full job description and learn how to apply HERE.

III. Food Program Coordinator, UA Full Circle Pantry and Razorback Food Recovery

Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry on Facebook

The Center for Community Engagement of The University of Arkansas is looking to hire a Food Program Coordinator for Full Circle Pantry and Razorback Food Recovery. This position will be responsible for cultivating student development and leadership programs regarding food insecurity. The program coordinator will advise the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry (student-led emergency food assistance program) as well as the Razorback Food Recovery program (a student-led program that works to recover surplus food and redistribute it to those in need), which will include supervising interns, advising student leaders, managing budgets, overseeing work plans for new and existing programs, and driving student success.

This position closes on May 31st, 2019! Check out the full job description and learn how to apply HERE.

If you end up landing one of these gigs, please reach out! We'd love to meet you.

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