Be in the know, you know

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

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

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



Arts & Culture

Iakwe, NW Arkansas! Experience the Culture and Traditions of the Marshall Islands in Springdale

On Friday, July 26th, take a fun stroll at the Murphy Park and immerse yourself in Marshallese culture and history.

The Republic of Marshall Islands consists of 34 coral atolls and 5 islands, which can be divided into two island chains, Ralik Chain and Ratak Chain (meaning "sunrise" and "sunset" chains). On July 26th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Murphy Park in Springdale you'll be able to join the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese (ACOM) in celebrating the culture of these islands and immerse yourself in an amazing cultural experience at the Stroll the Atolls event. Learn more about this unique event organized by ACOM and made possible with the help of Crystal Bridges Museum, the Walton Family Foundation, the House of Songs, Ozark Sound, the Shiloh Museum, and the Beaver Water District.

The idea behind this event is to get both Marshallese and non-Marshallese members of the Northwest Arkansas community to come and experience culture: to "enjoy Marshallese food, enjoy Marshallese performances, dancers, music." Besides hosting the main activity—where people will walk from one Atoll to the next learning about each small island and its unique characteristics—folks will also be able to enjoy several other activities: "People will get the chance to see the building of a Marshallese hut. We will have Marshallese men out there building a hut from scratch." Also, there will be a demonstration of a ball game called "Anideb" and canoe rides on the kōrkōr, a traditional Marshallese wooden canoe that was constructed by master boat-builder Liton Beasa last year. "We are known for cultural projects, but this is really pushing beyond the realm of the work that we've done thus far." The event will also feature a celebrity guest: they can't say who, but we were told it is a food critic, journalist, and host of a television series.

Photo by Gomez Zackious

Laelan hopes that this event will leave a lasting impression on the community: "I think it will elevate the visibility of the Marshallese community and create more awareness ... many people don't know about the Marshallese community. They don't know its history. I'm hopeful that the Northwest Arkansas community will come out to learn more about us because a lot of people don't know the the issues we're facing. We'll get a chance to talk about climate change, how that has become a threat to the Marshall Islands, and also the history ... like when the Americans dropped sixty seven [nuclear] bombs on the islands. We'll have all of that there." She believes that Stroll the Atolls will be a great opportunity to talk about these issues, addressing and solidifying the bond between the Marshallese and American communities: "Where do we begin? We begin from when the relationship of the Marshallese and Americans became initiated. I think that's the story: put everything together in one place and one event." Even more, Stroll the Atolls will be an amazing learning opportunity for the younger generation descended from first-generation of Marshallese who came to America; they will also get a chance to learn about this culture to which they hold a special connection.

Stroll the Atolls Dance Practice

Stroll the Atolls is open to the general public. Everyone is invited to come and participate in the many activities to learn about the Marshallese community while having a great time. Learn more and RSVP HERE.

The Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese (ACOM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of the Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas, a population of about 4,500 to 6,500 people in the region.

CONNECT WITH ACOM

© IMPACT NWAR. All Rights Reserved