A Happy Heart & a Warm Home

February 14, 2018

“I am back on my feet now, February 2018” were the opening lines of a Valentine’s Day card we received at the Salvation Army offices just a few days before the holiday. Our hearts filled with joy seeing these words from a woman who spent time at the Salvation Army shelter during the summer of 2017. “I so appreciate your wonderful staff and ministry. You gave me shelter, food and encouragement when I was homeless for eight days in July. You were a God-send,” our guest shared.

It is moments like these that remind us of the why behind what we do. By providing a shelter bed, a warm meal, and encouragement to people in immediate need, we can be a resource and a place to where people discovery hope. This guest is just one of many during the past year who have been able to move from emergency shelter to a permanent home. During 2017, in Fayetteville alone, we were able to help 183 people find housing.

This Valentine’s Day as you sit down to enjoy an evening meal, we hope you will take a moment to think about and pray for people who might be waiting for a place to call home. Today our hearts are full as we continue to see the hope that our emergency shelters can provide.

 

 

Local Elementary Students Bake for Good!

January 17, 2018

Learning to cook is a life skill that truly makes a difference. And this month, local elementary students not only learned about the science, math, and details that go into baking bread but they also learned about helping others who might be hungry, thanks to the King Arthur Flour Bake for Good project.

This month, both the Fayetteville and Bentonville Salvation Army shelters received freshly baked bread made by students and families in Northwest Arkansas. In all, five local elementary schools participated in the “Bake for Good” program that teaches kids about baking by providing flour, materials, and instructions on how to make bread of various sizes and shapes.

Fourth and fifth-graders are given a kit to take home over the weekend and encouraged to bake a loaf for their family and make an extra one to bring back and give away to a local organization. Lowell and Tucker Elementary in the Rogers School District, and also Lincoln Elementary, donated bread to the Salvation Army. This freshly baked bread is quite the treat to people staying in our warming centers (on extra cold days) and also to guests staying in our emergency shelters overnight.

“We are encouraged when we hear about projects like this, where families and teachers work together to help meet the needs of hungry people in Northwest Arkansas,” said Captain Joshua Robinett, Area Commander, Northwest Arkansas. Both the teachers and students at the school said they “had fun” making the bread and were excited about helping people in need here in Northwest Arkansas.

Not only did the Salvation Army benefit from these young chefs but several other local food pantries also benefited. Mathias and Grimes Elementary donated bread to the food pantry at Grace United Church in Rogers. Tucker Elementary also donated bread to the food pantry at First Baptist Church in Lowell.

 

 

 

Red Kettle Wrap Up for 2017

January 5, 2018

For the 2017 giving season, The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas raised $361,829 as part of its annual Red Kettle campaign. Donations collected at Kettle locations in Northwest Arkansas equaled $352,161 with an additional $9,668 coming in through online gifts for this campaign. We concluded our Kettle season at 86.1% of our goal of $420,000.

“We want to thank each community in Northwest Arkansas for their generosity this year. As the kettle season came to an end, we asked for your continued support and many people stepped up to help make a difference. Your financial support will allow us to continue to provide for people when they need it most. This means providing shelter from the cold, food for the hungry, clothing and utility assistance for families, and hope for men seeking to break free from the bondage of addiction. We enter 2018 with much anticipation as we look for new ways to meet the needs of people here in Northwest Arkansas,” said Captain Joshua Robinett, Area Commander, Northwest Arkansas

Not only did people give generously this season as part of our Red Kettle campaign by many companies, churches, groups and families gave their time as bell ringers to make a difference. Thank you to everyone who joined us this Christmas season.

 

Angel Tree Volunteers & Supporters Who Made Christmas Possible

January 3, 2018

We cannot stop thinking about what a great Christmas season we had at The Salvation Army. This year, more than 21 companies (and various teams and departments) took the challenge to collect gifts in their offices and even volunteer for hours in our chilly warehouse.

Below are a few of the photos we captured of teams helping make Christmas possible. If you have a photo of your team you’d like to add to our gallery, please email these to us here.

Thank you to these companies and teams that went above and beyond to make Christmas possible for 2,200 kids and senior adults: Walmart (area stores, Home Office, Global Business Services, Relocation, Auditing, IT & Marketing teams), Sam’s Club, JB Hunt, Tyson Foods, Oakley Chapel United Methodist, Hewlett Packard, Holy Trinity Church, UArk – Greek Life, Student Support SVC, Pinnacle Country Club, Fastlane Entertainment, Transplace, Heritage High School, Mondelēz International, Rogers High School, SERCO, Behrents Endodontic Specialists, McClelland Engineers, Procter & Gamble, Flake & Kelley, Black Hills Energy and The Mars Agency.

In addition to some incredible gifts, Schmieding Produce donated thousands of bags of potatoes and Tyson Foods gave 7,680 whole frozen chickens and also Schmieding Produce that provided 20,000 lbs of potatoes.

 

Angel Tree 2017

December 26, 2017

This Angel Tree recipient took a moment to hug everyone around to say thanks for making Christmas possible for her family

“Thank you so much! God bless you!” were phrases that rang out on distribution day as hundreds of families came to pick up their Angel Tree gifts for this Christmas season. This year, The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas distributed 2,200 Angel Tree gifts to children and senior adults in our community. A majority of the gifts, (2,000) were designated for kids 12 and under, with 200 gifts going to senior adults at 16 senior living facilities in the area.

It truly was an incredible Angel Tree season as both people in the community gave generously along with many corporate sponsors. Tyson Foods helped make Christmas extra special this season by donating 120 bicycles and 7,680 whole chickens that were given out to families along with the gifts on distribution days, December 14 and 15.

As you expect it takes a lot of coordination to organize the Angel Tree tags. Each Angel Tree tag has multiple items including toys and clothing. Between November 27 and December 13, volunteers from the community and area businesses helped sort, tag and organize the items. In all this year, we calculated 675 volunteers worked alongside the Salvation Army team to make Christmas possible. Thank you to the many people who gave time, gifts and their support for this year’s Angel Tree project. We are especially thankful for the Walmart Stores in the area that graciously allow us to place collection bins and Angel Trees in the stores. None of this would be possible with you.

A Heart for the Salvation Army

December 25, 2017

In November, one of our faithful volunteers, and a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of NWA, Twyla Burt, took on a challenge at her workplace to highlight why she volunteers with The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas. This video was entered into an international competition for DHL’s Got Heart. Although we didn’t win the big prize, this video gave us great exposure and showed people around the country and world how we are making a difference here in Northwest Arkansas. The child in this video is an example of a family who benefited from receiving food, clothing, and diapers provided by our social service office. When we tell our story, it makes a difference!! Thanks Twyla!

Twyla Burt DHL’s Got Heart Video from Salvation Army of NWA on Vimeo.

Our Volunteers Are Awesome!

October 3, 2017

In case, you haven’t heard… we have some of THE BEST volunteers ever!!!

We have had rooms in both of our shelters renovated, thousands of meals served at the hands of volunteers, work done in our thrift stores, and soon thousands of hours of help with our Thanksgiving Meals, Angel Tree and Red Kettle programs.

We can’t say it enough- THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all you do for The Salvation Army in Northwest Arkansas.

Take a peek at just a FEW of the amazing people behind our services and projects this year!!

Want to be one of these awesome people this Christmas Season?? Call 479-521-2151 for more info! We have many spots still open for Thanksgiving Day Meal, Red Kettle Ringing, and Angel Tree! To check out some of our ongoing opportunities that are available year-round, visit us HERE!

Bentonville Shelter 20th Anniversary Celebration

September 14, 2017

“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change.”

-Max Carver

(Bentonville, AR) 20 years ago, there was a need. Northwest Arkansas was growing, as companies like Walmart, Tyson and J.B. Hunt pushed the economy forward. Bentonville, AR, a once small community, began to see unparalleled growth.

But not all felt this swell of positive change. As the general population increased, so did homelessness. And there was no refuge for them. The community saw this need, and through the work of The Salvation Army and local partners, a plan was born to build an emergency crisis shelter in Benton County. In September of 1997, the shelter was officially opened to the public, dedicated in honor of Pat and Willard Walker, visionary philanthropists in Northwest Arkansas and strong supporters of The Salvation Army’s work.

20 years later, the community comes together to celebrate the immense impact made in the lives of the hurting and broken through the work of The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter in Bentonville. In the past decade alone, the shelter has provided 75,982 nights of housing to over 7,600 guests, and it continues to meet needs in the community each day.

Mayor Bob McCaslin of Bentonville opened the ceremony Wednesday, September 6th with an invocation, giving thanks to God for the refuge The Salvation Army provides to those in need in Northwest Arkansas. Mayor of Bentonville, since 2006, Bob McCaslin has seen the work of the Bentonville Emergency Shelter in action in his community for over a decade.

Following the invocation, the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony as Captain Joshua Robinett rededicated the Bentonville Shelter to the work of the Lord in Northwest Arkansas.

Attendees were then taken on a tour of the building. They saw where the men congregate to play games and watch TV before heading to their assigned bunks in the dorm room. They toured each family room, walls lined with beds and cribs, that have lulled so many children experiencing trauma to sleep. They got to touch the books, toys, and desks where students work on their homework and play with their siblings, trying to forget the hardships they have endured. Each shelter guest who comes through the doors holds a unique story, but all are seeking refuge. Providing the community with the opportunity to see, hear, and feel those hardships personally as they walk room to room cultivates compassion. And compassion is a catalyst that begs one not just watch need pass by, but rather, inspires action and compels change.

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20 years ago, a need was met in the community of Northwest Arkansas. And needs continue to be met every day. Therefore, “we rededicate this Salvation Army Emergency Shelter for the service of God, the communities of Northwest Arkansas, and those in the greatest need.  May it continue to be a beacon of hope and healing to the vulnerable and hurting for many years to come.” -Captain Joshua Robinett. May it always be a place that sparks empathy to act, and action to make a difference.

NWA On Front Lines for Hurricane Harvey

August 27, 2017

This hurricane is going to potentially cause the largest flooding disaster the US has ever seen. And in our service to those in need, this is likely going to be the one of the most extensive feeding operation The Salvation Army has undertaken.

-Steven Hartsook
Divisional Director, Emergency Disaster Services 
The Salvation Army Arkansas & Oklahoma Division

  

NWA DEPLOYING THREE LOCAL OFFICERS

The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas’ three local Corps Officers will be deployed today to serve those affected by Hurricane Harvey. All three officers will be deployed for a minimum of 14 days to provide logistical, physical and spiritual care on the front lines.

Captain John Robbins, Springdale Corps Officer, will deploy to the Incident Command Center in Corpus Christi, Texas to serve as the Safety Officer for The Salvation Army’s ongoing disaster response operations.  The Safety Officer ensures, as much as possible, that disaster workers and those The Salvation Army serves are not hurt or otherwise endangered.

Lieutenant Nic Arroqui, Fayetteville Corps Officer, will also be deployed to serve at the Incident Command Center in Corpus Christi, Texas to serve in Logistics Support. He will be responsible for obtaining and managing all resources and equipment necessary to run the disaster relief operation.

Captain David Leonard, Rogers Corps Officer, has been deployed to help with canteen service and Emotional and Spiritual Care in San Antonio, TX.  The Emotional & Spiritual Care Specialist is responsible for meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of disaster survivors and rescue workers and for providing pastoral support to Salvation Army disaster workers, including officers, employees and volunteers.

John Robbins
Arroqui
Photo Aug 01, 9 55 43 AM

(Top: Robbins, Middle: Arroqui, Bottom: Leonard)

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP??

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Cash is flexible, can be used immediately in response to a crisis, and allows disaster relief organizations to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed. Cash gives relief organizations the means to procure supplies near the affected area, which cuts down on transportation time and cost.

It’s easy to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief program:

  • Donate Online: helpsalvationarmy.org
  • Donate by Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301 ****Please designate ‘Hurricane Harvey’ on all checks.
  • Donate by Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
  • Donate by Text: Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving

+++FOLLOW @SALARMYNWA@SALARMYEDS@SALARMYTX on Twitter for regular updates, prayer requests and urgent needs lists.

Kettle Calendar is Open!

August 22, 2017

It’s 80 degrees outside…. we just watched the summer Solar Eclipse! But it’s true- our Red Kettle Ringing volunteerism calendar is OPEN for scheduling!

Want to volunteer together as a company? You can! Need a Christmas outreach project for your social club? Do it with us! Have a church group looking for an opportunity? Join our team!!

I mean, how cute are these little bell ringers?? You can bring the whole family and give back together this holiday season.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

GREAT QUESTION! There are three easy ways to sign up to ring.

  1. You can sign yourself up online! Just follow the instructions on our Red Kettle Volunteer site to pick a city, date and shift to serve.
  2. Email us! Having tech problems or just don’t want to go through the website? We will do it for you! Email lindsey.strong@uss.salvationarmy.org. **If you are signing up for a group, emailing is the best option.
  3. Really, really don’t love technology? You can call us! 479-521-2151.

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?

Another great question!! We ask for one 3-hour shift. That’s it!! Now, if you want to do more, PLEASE DO! We love returners. But the minimum commitment is one shift (11-2, 2-5, or 5-8) Monday-Saturday. You can always ring for longer than 3 hours or can sign up for multiple 3-hours shifts over multiple days.

WHEN DOES THE RINGING SEASON START?

We will start November 10th this year and ring right up until Christmas! That’s lots of days. I bet you can find 3 hours in there to ring a bell and spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear! Or… you can just ring. Totally your preference.

WHY BELL RINGING?

The Red Kettle Campaign is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Like galas or dinners, red kettle ringing supports our services year-round and has a deep tradition.

Curious about what happens to all the money in the Kettles? Learn more about how we use that money here in Northwest Arkansas in our article 5 Places Your Money Goes After the Red Kettle.

Want to see lots of people having SO MUCH FUN ringing the bell last year?? Check out our 2016 Red Kettle Round-Up!

We hope to see you out in your Christmas sweaters ringing the bell with us this year!