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Community

Northwest Arkansas: 'Tis the Season for Giving!

Here are a number of opportunities to give back over the holidays.

During the holiday season, our social feeds fill with an array of charitable opportunities. We wanted to do our best at collecting and sharing requests for local donations. This is a running list, so if you are aware of others we should add, please drop an email to alicia@findingnwa.com, and we will update the post.

7hills Homeless Center

It's getting colder outside which means 7hills is starting to need those cold-weather items to help our neighbors experiencing homelessness to stay warm! Here's a short list of items currently needed.

Ranger's Food Pantry

If you would like to donate to Ranger's Pantry, individuals may drop off dog or cat food donations to the Community Resources Division office located at 125 W. Mountain St in Fayetteville, or at any one of the City of Fayetteville Fire Stations. Monetary donations are also accepted, and 100% of proceeds are used in the purchase of food.

Did you know? As of today, Ranger's Pantry has assisted 118 families (including 238 pets) and distributed over 8,000 pounds of food.

Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter

Every child in the care of the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter from mid-November to New Year's Day will receive Christmas gifts, whether they are residing with them on Christmas Day or not. Many of the kids have never had the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with yummy food, treats and gifts. With your help, they can make sure that all of the children in their care have a very happy holiday season. Questions? Email development@nwacs.org or call 479-795-2417.

Samaritan Community Center

Donate a sleeping bag to help keep our neighbors in need nice and warm. Donations can be dropped off at the Samaritan Community Center located at 1211 W. Hudson Road in Rogers.

Also, Walmart has selected the Samaritan Community Center to the be the first test site nationally for their new Registry for Good! Here's how it works: You can go HERE to connect to their current needs list. They are seeking personal care items as they are not covered by SNAP benefits. Select the items you would like to purchase on SCC's behalf. You can either have them delivered directly to the center (delivery charges apply on orders under $35) or you can pick the items up and drop them off at one of the SCC locations.

NWA Center for Sexual Assault

NWACSA is in need of your support. They need travel size toiletries and any size men's pants. You can bring your donations to the Center at 1670 W Sunset Ave., STE B, Springdale, AR, 72762. For more information, call 479-347-2304.

Northwest Arkansas Women's Shelter

As the holiday season approaches, some of you may want to give items to the local women's shelter and their clients. They have created three Amazon wish lists to help fill their needs. All you have to do is purchase the items and click ship.

  • Click HERE to go to their Administration wish list.
  • Click HERE to go to their children/family wish list.
  • Click HERE link to go to their shelter operations wish list.

Meals on Wheels

The Community Resources Division in Fayetteville is seeking holiday gifts for seniors to be distributed to our neighbors on the Meals on Wheels program! Donations will be accepted now through mid-December. If you would like to donate, give them a call at (479) 575-8260, and they'll be happy to get you started!

As in years past, great gift ideas include: crossword/sudoku/jigsaw puzzles, coffee/tea, mens & women's robes/nightgowns, socks/slippers/house shoes, emergency radios, first aid kits, gift cards—and more!

Cooperative Community Outreach

Fayetteville Public Library patrons can bring in canned goods and other non-perishable food items and get overdue fees waived during Food for Fees Week. The program begins Monday, Nov. 11 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 17.

Library patrons will get $1 in overdue fees waived for each can or box of food donated during the drive. Food for Fees will not cover replacement fees for lost or damaged materials. Unopened, unexpired, non-perishable, non-glass donations will be accepted.
Items needed include:

  • peanut butter
  • canned tuna fish or chicken
  • beans
  • canned soup or fruit
  • cereal
Participants should bring the food items to the checkout desk along with their library card. Food for Fees benefits Cooperative Emergency Outreach, an organization that provides emergency assistance to residents in parts of Washington County. Assistance includes food, vouchers for clothing and prescriptions, and assistance with rent and utilities. To learn more about CEO, visit their website at www.ceofayetteville.org. For more information about Food for Fees, please ask a FPL staff member or call the checkout desk at 479-856-7113.

Restoration Village

Restoration Village, a long-term facility for women and children in crisis, is in need of adult and child toothbrushes and male and female deodorant! Please reach out to them HERE if you are willing to assist with this need!

Marshallese Education Initiative

MEI is now accepting new or clean, gently used coats of all sizes for Marshallese youth and others in need now through Dec 20th. MEI is located at 614 E Emma Ave Suite 203, Springdale, AR 72764.

Happy Holidays!

Animals

Volunteer with a Local Animal Organization This Weekend

The Walmart Foundation is currently awarding grant dollars to area nonprofits for eligible volunteer hours by community members and associates. Here are some ways you can get involved.

This Week's Featured Projects

Below we've featured some of the upcoming volunteer opportunities that involve supporting animal organizations located in Northwest Arkansas.

Human Society for Animals: Feet for Paws (Rogers, AR)

Thursday, August 15th // Friday, August 16th // Sunday, August 18th

The Humane Society for Animals provides for the welfare of dogs and cats in Benton County through shelter and adoption services, spaying and neutering vouchers, and humane education.

If you care for animals and have a soft spot for dogs, this opportunity is for you. The shelter is looking for a few individuals that are willing to give their dogs some much needed exercise, emotional support, and unconditional love. Cat lovers are welcome too! They can use your talents to interact with their fabulous felines.

In addition, they could use some volunteers for the annual Clear the Shelters Adoption event on Saturday, August 18th. During this event, participating animal shelters waive adoption fees for all pets as part of the nationwide initiative that seeks to help families find and adopt homeless pets. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped 256,688 pets find forever homes.

Learn more and sign up for one of the upcoming volunteer opportunities HERE.

Humane Society of the Ozarks: Dog Handlers (Springdale, AR)

Saturday, August 17th

The Humane Society of the Ozarks promotes the wellbeing of animals in the region through education, advocacy and rescue. Since 1944 their organization has been on the forefront of animal welfare in Northwest Arkansas. They assist other shelters and rescues by taking custody of some of their dogs at times of high census, assist with rescue of abandoned, neglected and abused animals, and they take custody of animals in need of veterinary care.

They are currently looking for volunteers for their next adoption event at Brashears Furniture in Springdale. Volunteers will pick up dogs at DogWatch Doggie Daycare in Fayetteville and bring them to the event where they will hang out with them for a few pawsome hours. They allow the dogs inside and sometimes on the furniture, so expect this to be a very chill and fun volunteer opportunity. Once the event is over, volunteers will return the pups to DogWatch.

Learn more and sign up to volunteer HERE.

Autumns ReRide Youth Ranch: Ranch Maintenance

Saturday, August 17th

Autumn's ReRide Youth Ranch is a nonprofit horse rescue and ranch located in Bentonville. The ranch provides a safe and peaceful environment where broken children, horses and families can find hope and peace within the healing glow of unconditional love freeing them from their troubles and sadness.

Each Saturday, they need help with cleaning stalls, filling water troughs, feeding horses, and other ranch duties. All ages find their special place at the ranch; whether it is caring for horses, working with children, horseback riding, or simply, taking a walk on the property.

Learn more and sign up to volunteer HERE.

During the WalmartGivesNWA campaign, the Walmart Foundation will match volunteer hours by community members or associates equal to $10 in honor of each volunteer hour, up to a maximum total volunteer matching amount of $1,000,000. The campaign ends August 23rd!

If you sign up for an upcoming volunteer opportunity be sure to tag us on social @FindingNWA and use #ImpactNWA!

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

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.

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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