Volunteer Luncheon 2016

May 13, 2016

Volunteers are an integral part of who we are here at The Salvation Army!! We absolutely could not carry on without the generosity and sacrifice of each individual and group that has walked alongside of us this past year. That is why honoring them is such a blessing for us!

This year we had over 9,000 volunteer hours served in our various programs. Whether that be serving meals, ringing bells, deep cleaning shelters, or organizing in the thrift store, each and every hour given has changed this community!

It was such an honor to celebrate our amazing supporters this week!
Here’s a peek into the afternoon.

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We had the privilege of honoring a few individuals and groups who really went above and beyond! Check out the recipients!!

KETTLE AWARDS 2015

Top Individual Bell Ringer for Fayetteville: Laura Bennett
Top Group Bell Ringer for Fayetteville: Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville

Fayetteville
Top Individual Bell Ringer for Rogers/Bentonville Area: Wayne Cooper
Top Group Bell Ringer for Rogers/Bentonville Area: Benton County Sheriff’s Department

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Top Group Bell Ringer for Springdale: J.B. Hunt Transportation Inc. Services
Top Individual Bell Ringer for the Springdale: John Tackel

Springdale

Community Resource Award- Edwards Children’s Trust
The Community Resource Award is presented to an individual or group that chooses to support The Salvation Army with a unique resource necessary to the success of our programs. Each year, a warehouse for Angel Tree gift sorting and distribution must be obtained, and this year’s recipient graciously provided that space free of charge (and has done so for three years)!!

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Community Partner Award- SamsClub.com
The Community Partner Award is presented to a business or corporation that has shown great support through volunteerism, financial gifts, and the unique meeting of needs throughout the year. This year, we were thrilled to present the Community Partner Award to the team at Samsclub.com! They provided our shelter guests with Christmas gifts, deep cleaned our shelter, supported us financially and spread awareness of our mission throughout their community.

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Volunteer Individual of the Year- Sharon Gregory
The Volunteer Individual of the Year Award is presented each year to one individual who exemplifies commitment and service to The Salvation Army. This year, we proudly honored a woman who faithfully serves at our Bentonville Shelter each and every Monday, cooking and serving the dinner meal for our residents.

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Volunteer Group of the Year- Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville
This award is presented to a group that has given an incredible number of hours to The Salvation Army, enabling us to better serve this community because of their continued commitment. This year’s recipients continually reached out, asking to serve us with any and every need that arose. They rang bells for four weekends, painted our Fayetteville Shelter, did maintenance around our property and are still asking for ways to serve. A huge thank you and congratulations to Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville for their commitment and service this past year!

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A final recognition that we could not go without mentioning! To Bart Sego and the team at Fellowship Bible Church of NWA, a HUGE thank you for the use of your facilities! You guys made the event a breeze!

We hope to see you at our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon next year!!
Want to know how to get involved? Check out our volunteer webpage.

Life Cycle, Upcycle

May 2, 2016

Guest Post | Keisha McKinney of Big Pitt Stop
keisha
Clean up and clean out. We all have to do it at one time or another.

My recent marriage brought with it a big move across the state. While excited about combining my life with my love, I was a little overwhelmed at all the “stuff” in my life. You see when you’re a single gal, it’s pretty easy to justify why you have everything you have.

But, when you have to tell a guy why you need 3 different sizes of kitchen spatulas or the difference between “pretty” baskets and “utility” baskets, words begin to fail you.

And then to justify it to the people loading boxes into a moving truck…you start thinking about all the things it might be time to get rid of. And, since I’m surrounded by loads of generous people in my life, my “things” I had collected while living on my own as an adult for 12 years were being replaced with new wedding gifts. Since I don’t really like waste in any part of my life, I wanted to do something beneficial with the items I was purging from my place.

Enter The Salvation Army Thrift Store!
The perfect opportunity to clean out my good things and give them to a good place.

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I had recently read this article about Opportunity on The NWA Salvation Army blog and it was such a good reminder of the “new” life my “used” things could find. And, when I did a little research and found out that The Salvation Army Stores in Northwest Arkansas fund a free Alcohol Addiction Recovery Program in the area and that $.82 of every dollar sold in their stores are reinvested into the programs provided by The Salvation Army, I WAS SOLD.

As I cleaned out closets, emptied drawers and finally looked in those boxes in my garage, I found myself more motivated as I thought about the stories of the lives that would be changed.

Hope. Opportunity. Championing. Support.

Those were the words that went through my mind as I built the mound of donated items in my living room. And, these were good items too. I started thinking that this was not the opportunity to get rid of my junk (that’s what the trash bin was for) but this was my chance to get rid of good things, usable things that people need to find at a thrift store and that I don’t have space for.

And, with several locations across NWA, I knew there was opportunity that anyone in any community might find something useful. Heck, this lady even found a way to spruce up her place for spring. Imagine what kind of summer party she could throw with some new dishes!

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Donating my items was super easy. Because I had big furniture to include in my donation, I called the main office and talked to the nicest woman to schedule a pick up. The guys who came to pick up my items were great. They called before they arrived to let me know they were en-route.

Calling, Branding

When they arrived, they added my furniture and donation boxes to the other things they had collected and were quickly on their way.  It was really nice when I called to set up the pick up because I got to choose the day and it made moving day that much smoother with the list of things we had to accomplish before we could call it quits.

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Weird or not, I like to think about the tables my cobalt blue dishes will now adorn.  Or the closet hangers my work clothes, the ones I had been saving to fit into someday, will hang on and help someone walk confidently through their office.  I think about the woman who will walk in those pumps, the ones I used to prance around Rogers in making sales calls.  Will she find the community I found here?  Will she build a business in a town that loves to keep it local?  Will her life flourish in ways only Northwest Arkansas can make your heart soar?


Want more from Keisha?!
You can catch up with all her latest at…
keisha

http://www.bigpittstop.com/
@bigpittstop

***Keisha McKinney is a giver by nature. She was raised by people who loved others and learned early on the power of investing in people and giving back. These days she is enjoying her new life as a married woman, finding a place for all her “treasures” in her new house, and settling in to a new town she is learning to call home. Ever committed to the non-profit community in Northwest Arkansas, you can follow her adventures at her own blog, www.bigpittstop.com or her daily crazy on social media, @bigpittstop. She is passionate about connecting people, needs and resources.

Chain Reaction Bike Ministry

April 27, 2016

It was such a blast having First Christian Church & Waterway out to our Bentonville Shelter earlier this month! They are doing some awesome things in the community, and I am going to let Peggy Hicks, Outreach Coordinator, give a little insight into who they are and why they serve!

Tell me a little bit about First Christian Church & Waterway!

First Christian Church & WaterWay are focused on being Disciples of Christ’s love – exemplifying that love to ALL within our walls, our community and our world. We are an inclusive place of worship where everyone is welcome at our table wherever they may be in their journey of life and faith. Reaching out to our community and world with tangible expressions of Christ’s love is a huge part of our calling and identity as followers of Jesus. Our Outreach Ministries play a central role in the life of our church, giving us ways to live into our faith, as well as a means of showing the world what Christ’s love looks like.

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How did you guys get started serving in the community?

Plan Be Sunday was created in 2006 as an opportunity to express that tangible love to our neighbors in need within our community. Each year on the Sunday after Easter, we have an abbreviated time of worship and then go out to Be the church. Over the years, teams of folks have picked up trash in parks, power washed homes in assisted living communities, completed outside lawn work , cleaned the inside of homes, worked at local food pantries and entertained the elderly at local nursing facilities – just to name a few Plan Be acts of service.

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What made you guys choose The Salvation Army?

The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter is one of a very few facilities in Benton County assisting the homeless in offering food, a place to sleep, counseling and referral services. It is a perfect fit for one of our Plan Be team projects this year.

We’re excited to spruce up the outside of the facility. After all, this is a place our neighbors are calling home for a short time while they find their feet again and work toward self-sustainability. Having a home that keeps us safe from the environment, fills our bellies and gives us a place to rest our head is the most important aspect of what that home provides. However, a home that is neat, clean and well taken care of inside and outside also provides us with a sense of peace and contentment; two qualities of living that are often missing from the day to day life of the homeless and qualities those of us not struggling with sustainability often take for granted.

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Tell me a little bit about your bicycle ministry!

Chain Reaction, our Bicycle Outreach Project, began at FCC & WaterWay in June 2015 as part of a larger organization started in Houston, Texas in 2009. Transportation is imperative to those seeking employment, maintaining employment or attending school. Unfortunately, owning a vehicle is costly and public transportation in Northwest Arkansas, although available, isn’t easily accessible or inexpensive. A bicycle not only cuts transportation costs to almost nothing but can cut transportation times to and from work or school by more than 50%.

Simply put, a bicycle can be the difference between working and not working, education or no education.

Our vision for the future of Chain Reaction is that we are able to provide a bike to anyone in need in Northwest Arkansas anytime they need it, as well as providing riding education, safety tips and bicycle repair and replacement.

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Live United Day

April 21, 2016

LU Thank You

Live United Day was such a huge success thanks to the amazing volunteers we had out from Samsclub.com and Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville this past weekend! It is such a joy to see people from all walks of life, careers, and cities come together to serve a greater purpose!!

Samsclub.com Bentonville
Our Samsclub.com team deep cleaned our Bentonville Shelter- what champions! They scrubbed baseboards fearlessly, cleaned out greasy ovens cheerfully, and even put some elbow grease into the dorms and bathrooms!

Live United

Fellowship Bible Church Fayetteville
On Saturday we had an amazing team out from Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville! Their team never gave up on that massive expanse of fence we had to paint. They stayed 1.5 hours longer than scheduled so that they could finish painting almost 800 feet of fence!! We are so grateful for their hard-work and commitment to making our facility a welcoming place in the community!

Live United Fell

We love this community and we loved the opportunity to serve alongside you guys!!

1 Million Meals Campaign

April 11, 2016

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We are so thrilled to be partnering with Arvest Bank in Fayetteville, Arkansas for
the 6th annual 1 Million Meals Campaign!

The 1 Million Meals Campaign is Arvest’s community development initiative to fight local hunger in the more than 120 communities where they serve! This initiative began in 2011 as an effort to invest in the community.  Each year, Arvest raises money and collects non-perishable food donations that they then give back to partner organizations in the community!
In five years, Arvest has raised 2,566,609 meals in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley and 7,857,676 meals across all of their communities!!

This year, donations will be accepted from Monday, April 4, through Saturday, May 28.  You can also check out the list of every partner agency in Arkansas and beyond here!

Photo Mar 10, 10 05 47 AM
Pictured Above: Josh Lansdell (Marketing Assistant), Karen Gray (VP Marketing), and Donny Story (CEO & President).

Why this campaign?

When asked why Arvest Bank chooses this initiative each year, Fayetteville, AR Marketing Director Karen Gray explained, “We chose hunger because it’s something that touches each of the more than 120 communities we serve.

Not a single community in our network is immune from families struggling to put food on the table.

The good news is that while such challenges exist, there are local organizations on the ground to help in the fight against hunger!”

And she’s right: hunger is a pervasive issue in our communities.

  • According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), in 2014, 17% of American households surveyed reported food hardship, or not having adequate funds to provide enough food for their family.
  • Looking at the USDA’s food insecurity list, the national average for household food insecurity is 14.3%. All four states Arvest serves have considerably higher percentages.  Arkansas (19.9%), Missouri (16.8%), Oklahoma (16.5%), and Kansas (15.9%).  Food insecurity is defined as lacking consistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food.
  • You can find some more statistics on hunger in our communities –> here.

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Are you particularly passionate about this issue and why?

“I grew up very poor. We didn’t have running water until I was eleven years old. I didn’t realize that was low-income. We were healthy because we had an acre garden and we ate. I was never food deprived, but I had a lot of friends in school that I knew were going hungry.

We didn’t have a whole lot, but my dad would give you the shirt off his back. That’s how it was for my family: you gave to everyone. I was able to overcome it, and I want to help other people to be able to overcome it as well. ”

How can citizens in NW Arkansas give to the 1 Million Meals Campaign?

All Arvest branches will have information on the campaign and will be taking donations of money and non-perishable food!

  • You are able to purchase a pin-up can for $1 at any Arvest branch location. For every one dollar donated, Arvest is able to provide their partner agencies with five meals!
  • Non-perishable food items will be collected at any branch location. Food items will be distributed to local food partners in June!

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Here are some ways you can follow along with the campaign!

Get all the info and updates

  • Check out the 1MM website for information about the campaign, a list of the local food partners and weekly updates on the number of meals raised so far. The Arvest Blog will also be updated frequently with community events and updates!

Like a Post, Donate a Meal

Retweet for Meals

  • On April 15. 2016, and May 13, 2016, @ArvestBank will have a retweet promo: For every retweet on these days, Arvest will donate five meals to support local hunger. Don’t forget to follow @ArvestBank and retweet!

Skip Your Lunch, Give a Meal 

  • Friday, May 13, 2016, will be an awareness day as Arvest encourage associates, customers and citizens of NW Arkansas to skip their lunch and donate the money they would have spent on lunch to the 1 Million Meals campaign.

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Arkansas Gives Day

April 1, 2016

What is ArkansasGive Day-

This year, we have an exciting opportunity to participate in ArkansasGives Day!! This state-wide day of giving, sponsored by the Arkansas Community Foundation, seeks to spread awareness of all the amazing things that non-profits are doing across the state of Arkansas! Though we may focus on different needs and work with different populations, each non-profit participating in this giving day gives lots to their individual communities.

Arkansans (and I suppose residents of any other state!) will be able to unite together and Do the Most Good in Arkansas by supporting the non-profit(s) of their choice. And if that isn’t exciting enough, every donation provides an opportunity for the participating non-profits to receive bonus dollars from a pool of $400,000 donated by First Security Bank!!

Why is ArkansasGive Day-

  1. It is all online and easy to do! Just head over to Arkansasgives.org the day of the event to give!
  2. It supports the great work being done in our state!
  3. Your donation gives us the chance to win BONUS PRIZES! Give more when you give April 7th!
  4. And whether you are giving a little or a lot doesn’t matter! Gifts of all sizes are welcome!!

In fact, it doesn’t take much to make a big difference!

Diagram AR Gives (1)

Where donations AR Gives

To families who need shelter, and men recovering from crippling addictions. To helping those in crisis and reaching hearts that are hurting! The people pictured here are true stories of change! Click on the pictures to read more about their incredible transformations!

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Help  Briand 5

How on ArkansasGive Day-

  • Mark your calendar for April 7th!!
  • Visit their website from 8am-8pm the day of the event.
  • Give to your heart’s content!

We truly cannot serve the community of NW Arkansas without you! So jump on board for ArkansasGives Day! Good things are happening in Arkansas, and you can help the good grow!

Give Here!!

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Easter through the Eyes of an Addict

March 21, 2016

In planning and anticipation for Easter, I often forget to sit back and truly reflect on the tragedy, loss, exhilaration and restoration that mark Holy Week. Rather than being invested in the story of redemption, I seem to focus on the events going on in my world: the candlelight service, the yummy lunch or the Easter egg hunt that will shortly follow.

This year, I don’t want to let the week go by unnoticed. I want to remember the beautiful story of Easter, an event that happened several thousand years ago and yet is more relevant to today than any other story. This story brings freedom, light, belonging: it brings life.

People have remarkable stories if we will simply ask, if we will simply listen. I thought who better to tell the story of freedom and light than those who recognize their bondage and have found a way out! So I asked several of the men in our addiction recovery program….

Why is Easter special to you-

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“It represents Jesus and his rising after 3 days. It’s a very special day. It’s special for me because he rose, so I am saved. And this Easter is more special because I am free of a lot of things: free of my addictions and everything else. And knowing that my twin daughters can see that is very special.” -Larry

“Easter is when Jesus was resurrected, and that’s where my faith is: in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. And this Easter is more special, because I am surrounded by Christian people.
For the past few Easters, it was just another drunk day. But not this year, it’s more of a celebration. It’s back to the basics!” -Michael

“It means freedom. Freedom from sin. I used to be in bondage and I don’t have to be anymore because of our great Savior, Jesus Christ. I can be confident and full of hope.” -Brett

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William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army said, “I will tell you the secret: God has had all that there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, even with greater opportunities, but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart and caught a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with me and them, on that day I made up my mind that God should have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in The Salvation Army, it is because God has had all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.”

Now, that is something to celebrate this Easter: the lost, the broken, the hurting and the poor being given hope and life though the Gospel of Christ and through his church. Not through the efforts of man, but through grace.

Sunday best, Easter dress

March 17, 2016

Easter Sunday is coming up, and it’s fun to see little kiddos looking pretty and dapper in their new pastel church clothes! But for some, buying new Easter Sunday clothes may not be an affordable option. Check out these super cute outfits put together at our Fayetteville Thrift Store! Take the pressure off your purse and focus on the true meaning of the season!

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This bright, fun floral classic dress is just right for a beautiful spring day! The price tag? $2!! And why not add a fun little pair of sandals for only $1! It’s cute, comfortable, affordable and perfect for Easter morning!

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Want to give floral patterns a little break this year? This cute little plaid number from Faded Glory is only $2! It’s in great condition and is super practical! It will look great on Easter Sunday and be a great wear throughout the Spring season!

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We can’t forget the little fellas! I love this Old Navy button-up top for only $2! And why not add a little edge with some black skinny pants- also only $2! You’ll have him looking neat, clean and ready for a day of family fun!

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We also have some accessories if you need a last minute Easter basket stuffer or some extra eggs (because last year’s were never found)! Ranging from $.50 to $3, you will be sure to get see some great finds for less.

Check out our Easter Deals at any of our 4 thrift stores:
Fayetteville: 1645 S West Ave.
Springdale: 329 Holcomb St.
Rogers: 2223 W. Walnut St.
Siloam Springs: 1971 Hwy. 412 E

Spring Sprucing on a Dime

March 7, 2016

Guest Post | Laurie Marshall of Junque Rethunque
Junque Rethunque

Spring has sprung! At my local Salvation Army store in downtown Springdale, I recently found a great little selection of items to use to spruce up my house for the season. For a whopping $9.70 I filled a bag with a bamboo picnic basket, an assortment of plastic-handled knives, a roll of fabric, a Fiesta Ware butter dish, two silk floral stems, and a brand new paper flower kit.

I really thought I’d use that great fabric, but ended up putting it aside for another project. The paper flowers were also put aside, but I’ll be making them with my granddaughter next time she’s visiting. The butter dish replaced an ugly plastic one I use on my kitchen counter every day, and the rest were turned into some fun things for my home. Here are the simple projects I came up with!

salvation army finds

When I decided not to use the green fabric I pulled these pieces out instead. I actually found them at the same store, but on a different day. They are samples out of a vintage fabric book like an interior decorator would use. There are at least a dozen different pieces of various sizes, and the whole pile was $3.00. I LOVE the colors and graphics I find on vintage fabrics.

salvation army vintage fabric

My original idea was to make a hanging for the front door, but the pieces of fabric were too small, so I pulled out a few small embroidery hoops I had in my sewing room “just in case” (I have a lot of “just in case” supplies). I decided I would spruce up my window-less laundry room instead.

I might want to use these pieces of fabric later on for other projects, so I really didn’t want to cut them up. Of course, cutting them to fit would have made this step a little easier, but after some brainstorming I was able to fold the fabric in the back and tape it down with painter’s tape. Not beautiful, but effective. I used simple thumb tacks to hang them on the wall.

Fabric

Next, I took the basket and knives outside to spruce them up. Who loves warm sunny days in February? This girl! The knives, which were $.25 cents each, were pretty grimy. I wanted to turn them into plant markers, so I could have left them as-is since they’ll be used outside, but I thought a quick coat of paint would dress them up a little and give them some texture that would be easier to write on than the slick plastic. I just taped off the metal before I painted, a step you could skip since the metal part will be mostly in the dirt. I used a satin-finish paint for this project.

salvation army repurposed knives

The basket was cute enough in its natural state, but I wasn’t in love with the color. I pulled out some acrylic paint and a sponge brush and quickly covered the main areas. I wasn’t worried about brush strokes showing, since I don’t mind a “casual” paint job. Some people may call this style “shabby”. Or “sloppy” if you’re my husband. If you prefer a solid color and cleaner finish, you can simply use spray paint. Be sure to move the handles as you go to get underneath.

salvation army basket paint job

When the paint was dry on the knives, I used a permanent marker to write the names of some of my favorite herbs. If you’re more patient than I am you could use a stencil to make your letters neater. Small vinyl stick-on letters would work too.

I loved the way they turned out so I ran right out to put them in the herb bed. You can’t tell in this photo, but the white really pops out amongst the green when the sun is shining on them. Disregard the brown leaves and old stems… I haven’t cleaned out the bed for spring yet!

Garden

Finally, I got the basket set up on our entry table. We have a 4-month old puppy we are training, so a flashlight and training treats need to stay available near the front door, but they aren’t the most attractive, right? The basket makes a perfect hiding place. It could also hold a leash and plastic bags for walks, pet toys for use outside, or take-out coupons for nights you order in.

salvation army basket interior

The ivy stems were added to a small jar that I filled with golden yellow pom-pom trim I found at The Salvation Army a few weeks ago. I like the pop of color they add, along with the daffodils from the backyard. Brass deer stand guard, and a quartz cluster we dug in Mt. Ida on a family road trip a few years ago rounds out the vignette.

salvation army spring freshen entryway

Isn’t this great? For less than $10 at my local store and a few things I had around my house, I was able to dress up my home for spring. You might be surprised what you can find at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store. With just a little imagination (or fifteen minutes on Pinterest), you can use your thrifty finds to dress up your home too. Happy thrifting!


 

Want more from Laurie?!
You can find more fabulous ideas at…
Junque Rethunque
Junque Rethunque
junquerethunque.com
@junquerethunque
aaNEW_SOCIAL_BUTTONS EdITED

***Laurie Marshall is the maker behind Junque Rethunque. You may have seen her handmade goods featuring vintage paper ephemera at The Little Craft Show or Shindig Paperie. She’s also a writer, with regular features in AY Magazine, NWA Entertainment Magazine, and online at OnlyinArk.com. She is passionate about supporting other writers and makers in her community and creating a “vintage, repurposed life”.

Transformation

February 22, 2016

One of the most incredible things The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas is able to offer is a free Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Program. Here’s a little info on our program:

  • It is a 6 month, faith-based work therapy program.
  • We currently offer 16 beds.
  • It is totally free of charge to the men who attend.

Brian is going to tell you his story. But before he does, will you just take a moment to celebrate with us?! In the last two weeks, we have had two men graduate from our program, and we have another FIVE up for graduation over the course of the next four weeks! We are beating the odds! For a quick look at drug abuse statistics in America, check here.

Now, for a story about a life changed that is guaranteed to change your life.

Brian 1

How did you find The Salvation Army?
I was in my third drug and alcohol treatment program. They had all been thirty day programs before this one [at The Salvation Army]. I called a man named Jim Reeves, a good, good man. He helped save my life. I told him they wouldn’t let me leave my program unless I had a sponsor to talk to when I got back to Northwest Arkansas.

He told me to come see him as soon as I got back in town and we’d talk. He owns Razorback Pizza, so we met at the one on 6th Street, and he told me about the [Salvation Army] recovery program. That was in 2000.

But between 2000 and 2002, I had to do what we like to call “research”. I was stealing stuff, lying, cheating; I was a pretty vile character. I had been down that path before but not to this extent. And that was after I had already gone through three recovery programs.

In 2002, I hit rock bottom.
I snuck into my daughter’s bedroom and stole money out of her piggy bank so I could buy alcohol or drugs or whatever I was longing for at the time. It was heart-breaking but it wasn’t enough to curb me. Addiction is pretty strong.

Finally, I went through the program and graduated December 26th of 2002. And I have been here since that day!

Brian 4

Did you want to be in the program when you started in 2002?
To be honest with you, when I came here to stay my four months for the program, I was not there to get sober. I thought, “Ok, I’ll go through the program and do what I need to do to make people think I am getting sober”.

But this is what proves to me that God is gonna come find you wherever you’re at.
I was lying in my bunk one day thinking about how I could get away with [my addiction] better the next time rather than latching onto a cure. If I could just hold on a little longer, and get away with it a little better where I don’t get caught next time, things will be Ok.

But God came to me, and he said, “No, I have better plans for you.”
He said, “We are building an army out of the sick, out of the oppressed, the lonely and broken-hearted. There are other people out there going through the same situation as you are. They have gone down the same roads that you’ve gone down, and they are going to learn something from the pain that you’ve gone through.”

What makes this program work?
The first thing that has to go is all the junk [in your heart]. Once the confession was there, the healing began. Once I met Jesus at the foot of the Cross, then healing came. And real, genuine love- I could finally understand it. It was a life changing event.

Then there is the absolute love that the men in the Corps (church) have for the people in the program. They took care of my family while I was in the program. They paid bills. They pretty much put themselves out there to help me and my family be successful. Their love made me want to come back. It really stuck strong with me.

Also, the comradery of the men that I went to the program with was way different than anything I had ever experienced before. We were all actually invested in changing our lives and the lives of people around us. It’s amazing how beautiful it is when everyone around you is of a like mind. There is no judgment. All we were trying to do was please God.

Briand 5

What do you currently do with The Salvation Army?
I head maintenance for Northwest Arkansas Area Command.

By trade, I am a master electrician. I prayed to God that if The Salvation Army was where He wanted me to serve, then He would open a door for me. I was in between jobs when the new Major came in and they presented me with a job.

It is such a blessing that I never thought would come true. I am around the program guys every single day. I actually get to work with one of them! I get to tell them what the Lord did for me and what he can do for them. I spend time with them, because that’s what was done for me.

What would you say to addicts who are struggling?

You have never gone too far, to not be brought back.
There is absolutely no distance that you can go, which you can’t come back from. There is no depth too deep that God won’t bring you back from if you seek him. And that’s the truest thing I’ve ever said.

Living sober is absolutely attainable; it’s not impossible. Once you move from one side of the fence to the other, life is so much better. The worries are less, the stress is less. There are so many benefits to living a sober lifestyle. It is indescribable.

Brian 6

What would you like to tell our community about The Salvation Army?
God is moving in this place. People are being helped; lives are being changed. There are a million things I could say, but I think the most important is that lives are being changed for the good.

I saw a picture one time.
It’s simple but it blew my mind.

You see the sea of despair. There are ten foot waves and people all in it. Up the valley there is a line of people, hand-in-hand, all the way to the edge of the water. The people who just came out of the water are dripping water, and they are reaching their hands down into the sea to pull the drowning up this hill.

And that’s the way it is here. Exactly how it is here.

The love that these guys showed me when I was a horrible, horrible person and didn’t deserve anything was amazing. For them to love and accept me for who I was, to try and lead me in a different direction, that meant everything in the world to me.

That’s why I keep hanging out with the guys here.
Cause I love them, and I am one of them.


Is someone you love in need of transformation?
Please give us a call at 479-521-2151.

Want to give back to men in recovery?
You can donate online here.