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Community

5 NW Arkansas Stories That Will Brighten Your Day

These local moments evoke all the good feels.

1. Pet Philanthropists: Easton and Paisley

Easton and Paisley recently celebrated their birthday. Instead of requesting gifts, they charged guests $5 to join them on their special day. What did they do with the money? Go on a shopping spree for toys? No. Buy a bunch of candy and ice cream? Nope. The two collected $320 and donated it to the Humane Society for Animals.

The Humane Society for Animals has held over 90,000 animals since it originally opened in 1963. The facility continuously houses a total of around 85 dogs and 20 cats.

2. A Passion for Pedaling

Twice a week, volunteers gather at the Pedal It Forward locations in Bentonville and Rogers to help repair and build bikes for those who can't afford them. This past week, over 100 bikes were distributed to families and a local children's shelter.

Since 2014, the volunteers at Pedal It Forward NWA have worked to distribute over 2,300 bicycles throughout Northwest Arkansas to veterans, kids, and others who can't afford a bike.

3. Filled the Bus

Annually, the United Way of Northwest Arkansas launches the "Fill the Bus" campaign to collect school supplies for local children in need. This year, nearly 500 volunteers came together over two days to fill 10 buses located throughout Northwest Arkansas. The supplies will help send over 35,000 children back to school with the tools they need to succeed.

4. Fresh Veggies Brigade

Pictured above is a collection of fresh vegetables donated by three organizations addressing local food insecurity: Seeds That Feed, Cobblestone Farms, NWA Food Bank, and friends to the Second Street Pantry in Bentonville, AR.

Are you a gardener with an overflow of vegetables? Second Street asks that you consider donating any extras from your garden to their pantry. They would love to be able to distribute them to families in the community. Drop them off on Monday morning or on Tuesdays at your convenience!

The mission of Second Street Pantry Missions, Inc. is to help make a difference in the lives of those experiencing situational or generational poverty by providing food, personal care goods, financial assistance, and education. They offer basic groceries and personal care items, limited financial assistance, and a community meal on Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church in Bentonville, AR.

5. Marshallese Got Talent

Lastly, we have a highlight video from the First Annual Marshallese Got Talent Show at the Jones Center hosted by the Marshallese Educational Initiative. We promise that if nothing else, the first 10-seconds of this video are guaranteed to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face!

Cover photo from the Marshallese Educational Initiative photo album on Facebook

Did you witness a heartwarming moment we missed? Let us know! Send your stories to alicia@findingnwa.com

Education

90 Single Parents Awarded Fall Scholarships | Now Accepting Spring Applications

Founded in 1984, Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas (SPSF NWA) creates a network of support that empowers determined single parent families through access to education in Carroll, Madison and Washington County.

The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA (SPSF NWA) is proud to announce traditional scholarship allocation for the Fall 2019 semester. A total of 90 single parents from Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties have been awarded scholarships to create better, brighter futures for their families through higher education. The total value of the fall scholarships is $154,000.

Students can use their scholarship awards to cover personal and educational expenses, allowing them to overcome barriers to pursuing their degree, without having to worry about day-to-day expenses. These scholarship disbursements allow students to focus on achieving success for themselves and their families.

"As the fall semester begins, we are excited that we can offer this opportunity to hard-working, determined single moms and dads," said Executive Director, Tyler B. Clark. "The scholarship was established to offer a hand up to families who want to build a pathway to prosperity by completing their education journey. Helping our graduates secure good jobs with benefits is our ultimate goal," Clark continued.

Since 1984, SPSF NWA has awarded thousands of scholarships worth $6.5 million to 9,500 residents of Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties. The next scholarship deadline to apply for the scholarship is October 15th, for the spring 2020 semester. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, visit www.SingleParentScholarshipFund.org.

Traditional scholarships include Associate's, Bachelor's, and the M.A.T degree program. Full-time students receive $2,000 per scholarship, part-time students receive $1,000 per scholarship and have semester-based deadlines.

SPSF NWA scholarships are funded entirely by community support, which includes grants, donations and fundraising events. A private foundation has funded the organization's administrative costs, which means that community support goes directly toward scholarships and supportive programs which turn poverty into prosperity for low-income single parent headed households.

CONNECT WITH SPSF

Community

Local Internships Where the "I" Stands for Impact

These local Northwest Arkansas-based nonprofits are seeking interns for the fall semester.

Nonprofit internships can be some of the most fulfilling and meaningful work experiences one can have during their time in college. With the fall semester fast-approaching, we are happy to share that three local nonprofits have put out a final call for interns. From art education to refugee resettlement to land conservation—the opportunities to make an impact as an intern in Northwest Arkansas don't get much better than these.

Mellow Yellow Photography

Art Feeds Interns for Fall 2019

Art Feeds is looking for a self starter, creative, continuous learner who can manage messes and enjoys making the world a little brighter + more fun. If you are unfamiliar with Art Feeds, they work with schools and children's organizations to implement creative and expressive curriculum with the primary aim of feeding the creative development and facilitating emotional expression in children. They strive to cultivate an environment where students are empowered to express themselves. Students are exposed to all forms of art: painting, drawing, dancing, sculpting, writing, music, photography, performing arts, mural making and more. They use these forms of expression to help the students explore, express and integrate emotional expression through visual, performing and creative arts. Their programs and processes are created to facilitate healing as well as cognitive and developmental growth.

Art Feeds is interested in who you are, not the awards you have received. Internships are on a semester basis and require a generous time commitment. These internships are unpaid and are located in Fayetteville, AR. No housing provided, but they are happy to work with institutions to arrange academic credit where available. Their fall internship will begin in late August and end the first week of December. Following your intern application, they may request an interview in their downtown Fayetteville office.

Interested applicants can apply HERE.

Learn more about the organization at artfeeds.org

Canopy NWA Interns for Fall 2019

Next up is Canopy NWA, who recently shared that they still have a few remaining internships available for the fall semester! If you are unfamiliar with Canopy NWA, they work to welcome refugees to Northwest Arkansas. They work to provide refugees with resettlement assistance and support, employment and integration programming, and a strong sense of community. Currently, they are looking for interns in the following areas: Volunteer Management, Refugee Employment, Health Promotion, and Refugee Child Education.

To find the full description and point of contact for each internship opportunity, visit their website at canopynwa.org/about and scroll down to the very bottom of the page or click on the position you are interested in above.

To qualify for this internship you must be enrolled in college courses.


Northwest Arkansas Land Trust Interns for Fall 2019

Lastly, we are sharing opportunities with Northwest Arkansas Land Trust. Did you know that the Land Trust permanently protects more than 3,500 acres of natural lands in Northwest Arkansas?! Check out all of the protected properties HERE. In addition, they actively manage 700 acres for wildlife habitat and program the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center.

This semester, the Land Trust is seeking three interns to join their team. The posted positions are for an Environmental Education Intern, a Land Stewardship Intern, and a Communications and Development Intern. You can learn more about each internship opportunity at nwalandtrust.org/internships.

Applications close on August 12th, 2019

Technology

GiveCamp NWA: A Weekend Where Tech and Creative Pros Unite to Help Local Nonprofits

GiveCamp Northwest Arkansas is an annual event that provides free tech solutions for local nonprofits.

Applications open for GiveCamp NWA 2019

Local nonprofits can now apply for free tech solutions from GiveCamp NWA, a Northwest Arkansas organization that serves fellow nonprofits. Applications for GiveCamp NWA 2019 will close on Monday, August 5th.

GiveCamp NWA is an organization that hosts an annual, weekend-long event of the same name where technology and creative professionals volunteer to provide free technology solutions to approved nonprofits. Nonprofits can apply at givecampnwa.org. Only 501(c)(3) organizations that are both located in Arkansas and serve Northwest Arkansas in some way will be considered. The project that is requested must also deemed feasible to be completed over the weekend. GiveCamp NWA 2019 is October 4-6 in Rogers. An average of 10 nonprofits are usually selected each year.

"Usually what nonprofits ask for is a new website, but we have been able to branch out into other technology and creative assets including coding for a virtual 'waiting room' and logo design," said Chris Whittle, GiveCamp NWA board president. "We look forward to possibly branching out into more projects for local nonprofits."

One of 2018 nonprofits was the Arkansas Early Childhood Association, which needed an updated website.

"The Arkansas Early Childhood Education has benefited tremendously from our complete website renovation. The membership database plug-in alone has increased our membership renewals 10-fold per month since its launch," said AECA President Debbie Mays. "Our beautiful new website is a great representation of amazing educators we represent. We are forever grateful to (our GiveCamp team)."


Brian Miller, president of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Ozark Roundtable, shared about the website and logo their GiveCamp team developed.

"Our local roundtable struggled with its identity for decades and with the help of these professionals, we were able to not only create our individual identity, we now have an amazing website! This tool has impacted our ability to grow our membership base by 12 percent," he said.

The I'll Fly Away Foundation was another 2018 nonprofit recipient.

"The team of professionals at GiveCamp NWA helped to modernize the I'll Fly Away Foundation website and make it more user-friendly," said Kevin, Bernier, co-founder. "They also taught us how to update the website on our own so we can continually add new information."

Jamie Smith, GiveCamp NWA board member, said that applications for volunteers will open in August, once the organizing committee has a better feel for the project needs. Organizers are also actively recruiting sponsors for the event. Information about volunteering and sponsoring is also available on the GiveCampNWA website. Writers, web designers, developers, and project managers are all needed to make this event a success. Sponsors can donate in-kind items or make a financial donation.

Check out Jamie's recent interview on Ozarks at Large HERE.

For more information email info@givecampnwa.org or visit their website at givecampnwa.org.

Community

Support Survivors: Executive Director Opening at NWA Center for Sexual Assault

The NWA Center for Sexual Assault is a 37-year old nonprofit serving adult survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones - with comprehensive free services - while tirelessly working toward a safer future for all through education and awareness.

Job Description:

The Executive Director is responsible for oversight and management of all aspects of the NWA Center for Sexual Assault operations, in accordance with Center policies and best-practices. This person also works in partnership with the Board of Directors as a steward of the Center's organizational health, strategic plan and mission-driven work.

Primary Qualifications:

  • Commitment and belief in victim advocacy, social justice and the mission of the Center.
  • A demonstrated leadership commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and an understanding of the importance of this commitment for an agency serving sexual assault survivors.
  • Working knowledge of both victim-services and effective, culturally-humble community outreach efforts.
  • A demonstrated leadership commitment to collaborative partnerships, staff development, and staff relations (including an "open-door" approach to leading and a commitment to staff self-care).
A full job description including the application can be found HERE. Applications close on August 12, 2019.

NWA Center for Sexual Assault Services

The Center provides comprehensive services - in English and Spanish - for anyone in Northwest Arkansas who has been affected by rape or sexual assault. These serves include:

  • Forensic Rape Kit Exam Services. They offer free forensic rape kit exams in a compassionate, non-hospital setting. Rape kit exams gather DNA and other evidence from the survivor's body and can be performed any time within 96 hours of a rape or sexual assault. They have forensic exam clinics in both Washington and Benton counties and they utilize only trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. In addition to collecting evidence, their nurses offer preventative antibiotics for sexually transmitted infections. For more info, visit HERE.
  • Individual Advocacy. Compassionate support, referrals and resources for the survivor and/or their loved ones to assist through every step of the healing process: from reporting to exam to court process - if the survivors chooses to report - or in whatever way the survivor needs support.
  • Therapeutic Counseling. In-depth talk therapy to assist survivors and/or their loved ones in exploring their long term healing needs. The Center provides individual, couples and family therapy for anyone dealing with the emotional impact of sexual violence, no matter when it occurred.
  • Support Groups. Their support groups give sexual assault survivors a safe place to find strength and healing in the company of other survivors. Groups meet weekly at the Center. In addition to the in-house support groups, they can come to your agency, organization or institution to provide support and educational groups for your clients who may be survivors.
  • 24-Hour Crisis Help Line. Crisis intervention, referral information and emotional support to anyone dealing with the aftermath of rape and sexual assault.

Impact Snapshot:

Other Ways to Get Involved:

For more information vist nwasexualassault.org

Education

Tyson Makes $1 Million in Funding Available for Teacher Projects in Local School Districts

Tyson Foods has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to support teachers with $1 million investment.

As part of Tyson Foods' commitment to support its plant communities, the company announced today it will fund $1 million in DonorsChoose.org projects for 46 school districts in 37 Tyson communities. The investment will bring much-needed resources to schools in Tyson communities and introduce teachers to a source of potential support for future projects.

Between August 1, 2019 and January 29, 2020, Tyson will fully fund projects posted by teachers in qualifying Tyson school districts who request up to $1,000 in classroom resources. Funding will be applied towards projects the first Monday of every month, up to $26,388 for each plant community. $50,000 has been allocated for the Springdale, Arkansas, school district, where the company's headquarters is located.

"We have a responsibility to support our communities in a variety of ways, including equipping our teachers with the resources they need as an effective way to support education," said Debra Vernon, senior director, corporate social responsibility, Tyson Foods. "Through the DonorsChoose.org model teachers can focus on the individual needs of their classrooms and students can experience new or better ways to learn."

To qualify for full funding, projects will need to be $1,000 or less, for Pre-K-12 and in Tyson districts*.

"We're so grateful for the generosity of Tyson Foods," said DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best. "As teachers across Tyson communities gear up for the school year ahead and use DonorsChoose.org to request resources for their classroom, this support will help bring those classroom dreams to life."

School districts in the following Tyson foods communities are eligible to request funding for projects through DonorsChoose.org beginning August 1:

For more information contact: Derek Burleson, Tyson Foods, derek.burleson@tyson.com



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