The Women Behind our Work

March 22, 2017

March is National Social Work month, as we mentioned last week, and we want to take some time out to thank the women who keep our social services running! Our case workers, Jeri and Verna, serve the impoverished, homeless, and down on their luck each and every day. They work hard, love well, and give of themselves daily.

So “cheers!” to our case workers- and thank you for what you do!

Meet Jeri

She is our caseworker in Fayetteville and Springdale and has been serving with The Salvation Army for a year. She has worked in social services for 17 years in diverse disciplines, such as children with disabilities and corrections.

I was an education major and switched to Social Work because I realized I like working with the whole family and not just the child. What I want (in a job) and what I have here is coming to work and it not feeling like work.

Why do you do what you do day in and day out?

Because I have been on both sides (of social services). As a recovering addict myself, I can relate. I have been a single mother, and I have been on that side of the window many times. I know how it feels to be in that situation.

How has does being on “both sides of the window” inform your work each day?

I don’t want people to feel judged by their caseworker, or like they are less than. Everyone has their time of need. Maybe not this year, but you never know when that might happen: when it could be you. I’ve needed utility help, I have needed social services. I have needed rehab services. I have had all of those, and it makes me able to relate to my clients in a deeper way and with respect.

What do you want people to know about social services that they may not know or expect?

Caseloads are overwhelming. And people may think that social workers see their clients as a number or a stack of papers. But that’s not the case. It is hard to keep up sometimes, but they are not a number to me. They are a person, a family, a life. I listen to what they have to say to me… I hear it.

I don’t think the job is hard, because at the end of the day, I feel fulfilled. I try to steer [my clients] in the right direction to get services [they need]. Understanding them, having been in their shoes- that is what makes it easy for me.

and Meet Verna

Verna, our caseworker in Bentonville and Siloam Springs, is going on her 7th year with The Salvation Army. She began as a part-time caseworker and has since become full-time.

Why do you do what you do?

I love to help people and hear their stories. I meet all kinds of people coming through our social service office, and I really do love to do what I can to meet their needs.

I didn’t even really know about the great needs here in Northwest Arkansas until I started working here. And I’ve lived here!

So thank you from the bottom of our hearts to these two amazing women who make a difference in our community each day! Social Work would not be the same without you! Happy National Social Workers Month!

Are you in need of assistance?

  1. Call 479-521-2151
  2. Ask for social services in the city where you LIVE
  3. You will be transferred our relayed the direct line number for our offices across the region
  4. Make an appointment

We help with…

  • Electricity bills
  • Diapers
  • Food
  • Prescription Med Assistance
  • Furniture for house fires
  • Coats in the winter
  • Box fans in the summer

To see all of our Social Service Locations and numbers, read >>>> here.

National Social Work Month

March 15, 2017

The official definition of Social Work according to the International Federation of Social Work is as follows…

Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance well-being.

However, it is so much MORE than that! Social Work is defined by the amazing men and women sacrificing each and every day to serve the needs of others. It is filled with joy, exhaustion, sorrow, warmth, pain, commitment, discomfort, and contentment. But most importantly, it is PEOPLE giving to other people.

Social workers are everywhere. And they are changing our world.

The job is not glamorous. It does not pay generously or receive grand recognition in the media. Social Workers are not often in the limelight, in fact, they often go unthanked for the hard work they put into their job, both physically and emotionally.

So in honor of National Social Work Month, we want to take the opportunity to thank the caseworkers who serve the homeless and impoverished on our behalf here at The Salvation Army, along with the hundreds of other social workers in this community who are making hurting lives whole through their service.

Tune in the next few weeks to meet a few of the case workers on our staff who champion what they do and make a difference for our clients every day!




We Stand on Hope

January 23, 2017

In a world filled with sudden tragedy, certain loss, uncertain futures, sorrow, and despair, it can become easy to get lost in the hopelessness and negativity.

But there is HOPE. And The Salvation Army makes a stand on that truth.
For every tragedy there is restoration, for every loss, new life, in uncertainty there is peace, and in sorrow and despair- there is Hope.

The Salvation Army Manifesto speaks that hope into existence. While we don’t deny hurt, loss, poverty, addiction, tragedy or homelessness- we do believe that there is hope for tomorrow.

I am doing the most good.
I am hope.
I am compassion.
I am strength.
I am faith.

I am doing the most good.
I serve a community.
A region.
A nation.
A world.
I serve heroes.
I serve victims.
I serve a sovereign God.

I am doing the most good.
I am an Army.
Drafted by the Creator.
Commissioned by a man who defied death.
My enemies are despair and destruction.
My ammunition is grace and mercy.
My allies are generosity and benevolence.
I am an Army.
Helping others be all they can be.

I am doing the most good.
I feed empty stomachs and hungry souls.
I rebuild ruined homes and shattered lives.
I am a willing listener for a veteran with stories to tell.
I am a bottled water and an encouraging smile for a weary firefighter.
I am an answered prayer.
A silver lining.
A second chance.

I am doing the most good.
I am a humble steward of other people’s generosity.
I am a grateful courier of a stranger’s kindness.
I am the faithful executor of others’ goodwill.
I take my responsibility seriously.
I am blessed.
I am a blessing.

I am The Salvation Army.
I am doing the most good.

The Angel Tree and Red Kettle Round-Up

January 4, 2017


The Christmas Season has finally wrapped up and the New Year is underway!! And we think the best way to celebrate the New Year is by reflecting on all the joys of last year. 2016 was an incredible year for The Salvation Army, and it was only made possible by this community!! So for that, we thank you!

Now, we know you all have been wondering- just how much did the Kettles raise this year?? And how many angels were adopted through the Angel Tree program? Well, DRUMROLLLLL…. because we are thrilled to tell!


Because of your generosity (and some pretty awesome bell ringers^^^), we were able to raise $343,952 across Northwest Arkansas this year!! So thank you, thank YOU for giving. We are truly so grateful. Curious as to where the money goes after the Kettle? You can see how we use the money throughout the year >>> HERE!

Check out some of our favorite moments from the bell ringing season!

Selfie with a cop made its debut this year from the Benton County Sheriff Department!

Our very own bell ringer Gary Shipley had an article published on his banjo playing!

JB Hunt competed for a week to raise over $7,500 for The Salvation Army!!

Sometimes ringing is so fun, you have to bring 15 friends to one Kettle!


Many of you gave in a different way this Christmas Season- you gave to the Angel Tree!! And once again we had an AMAZING year!! Every single child was adopted by our community and corporate donors this year- Woo!! Way to go, Northwest Arkansas!

We were able to serve 2,113 children this year, because of your generosity! That’s over 750 families who had Christmas gifts under the tree and a Christmas meal on the table.

Here are some of our favorite Angel Tree moments of the season!!

We filled a warehouse as long as a football field with gifts you generously provided!

Jim’s Razorback Pizza provided some awesome food for our volunteers.

Tyson, The Pack Shack, Schmieding Produce, and Arkansas Egg Company provided meals for our angel families.

These cute kiddos donated over 400 pairs of socks at Folsom Elementary school to help those in need.


5 Places your Money Goes after the Red Kettle

December 19, 2016


Only FOUR MORE DAYS of Red Kettle ringing here in Northwest Arkansas, and it’s been an awesome season!!

BUT each year, as the change comes in, we are asked the same question: where exactly does that money go?? 32 days of ringing bells at over 50 locations adding up to (hopefully) $380,000- it is a lot of change!! Well, we would LOVE to tell you! Because your donations to the Red Kettle keep us operating all year long.

Your change, makes CHANGE!!



The Salvation Army raises funds at the ground level- and they stay here “on the ground”. That means our funds do not get funneled down to our many locations across the globe from headquarters or some central money making hub.

Instead, money is raised at the local level and then remains in that community! So Northwest Arkansas, your money is staying right here in this community. And we are proud of that!



There are an estimated 2,462 homeless in Northwest Arkansas, according to research done by the University of Arkansas in 2015.

We see the need every day here at The Salvation Army and desire to be a refuge for those who are hurting. That is why we offer free, emergency shelter to those experiencing crisis, tragedy, and loss. Last year, we

Last year, we served a combined total of over 18,000 nights of shelter at our Fayetteville and Bentonville Shelters and provided over 80,000 meals to those in need in our community.



This is Aaron; he graduated from our program in November of this year! His life has been completely changed through our drug rehab program, and we are so PROUD of him!!

When you give money to the Kettle, it provides freedom from addiction. Restoration of families. Hope for the future. Productive, community-minded citizens. And PEACE for those who were hurting and lost.



Every week, The Salvation Army busses in kids from the low-income areas of Northwest Arkansas to love on them, serve them, feed them and teach them about Jesus.

Many of these children would be going home to empty houses, finding food for themselves (if there is any that night), and likely never experiencing the simple joy of a safe, fun place to spend their time without this program.

When you give, these children are fed. They get to go to summer camp! They get respite from the place they call “house” that may never feel like home.



The mission of The Salvation Army is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. And we strive to do that every day.

Whether we are providing shelter, food, utility assistance, addiction recovery, clothing, furniture, disaster relief, Christmas gifts or simply a listening ear, we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in the most need. Daily, we strive to Do the Most Good.

To learn more about our services, click the links…

Addiction Recovery
Emergency Shelter
Social Services

To give to the Red Kettle Online…
Give Online


4 Largest Donations Found in the Red Kettle

December 8, 2016

Charley Brandt, dressed as Santa, rings the bell for the Salvation Army at the Byerly's store in Roseville. Brandt, a three year veteran of bell ringing is trying out the newly acquired Santa suit in hopes that increases donations. Tuesday, December 10, 2013. He a Byerly's customers laughs as Brandt compliments her on her smile and wishes her, "Merry Christmas". (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

We all know the feeling of reaching for spare change in our pockets– trying to find a few coins here or there to give to the chilly bell ringer standing outside of Walmart. Though most often, spare change and $1 bills are what finds their way to the kettle, there are a few bigger donations that come in each year. 

Want to know some of the largest donations (on record) ever given to the Red Kettle?! We have a compilation of some of the most generous gifts ever seen by The Salvation Army at Christmastime! 


The $10K Piggy Bank

Your child’s piggy bank mayyyy not be worth much, but for rare coin collectors, their little assemblage can be rather valuable! An anonymous donor finally revealed their identity after 15 years of donating parts of their rare coin collection to the Kettles.

“Dick and Ruth Jean Unger, who had long asked to remain nameless, finally went public because so many people wanted to know who was behind the kind-hearted deed.”

After all was said and done, their coins amounted to a grand total of $10,000!!!


Five $10K Checks from Secret Santa Wrapped in a $1 Bill

At a Joplin, Mo. Walmart on Black Friday, as the shoppers were waiting in line, one shopper wasn’t there to buy a big screen TV!! As the officers counted the Red Kettle totals that evening, 5 checks for $10,000 each were found inside the Kettle- all wrapped inside of a $1 dollar bill!!

“The person or persons behind the $50,000 donation remain anonymous, as she or he (or they) has been for the past decade. Salvation Army officials have nicknamed the anonymous donor(s) “Secret Santa” for the tradition of donating large sums in the kettle each Christmas season.”


Bank matches $100,000 in donations

The Citizens Bank Foundation announced that it would donate $100,000 to The Salvation Army’s 2007 Kettle Campaign in New Hampshire as a match to the local’s giving. Green Kettles marked as Citizen’s Bank “match kettles” were put out throughout the state.

This helped “successfully complete a partnership developed in response to the growing need for emergency food, shelter and assistance with fuel expenses throughout the state.”


The $500,000 Family Legacy

A check for $500,000 was dropped into The Salvation Army kettle at a Club Foods in Rosemount, Minnesota.

The family chose this gift to honor their family legacy.
One of their fathers served in World War 1 and especially loved The Salvation Army Donut Lassies, who brought coffee and donuts to the soldiers on the front lines. Want to learn more about the Donut Lassies?? Check out the story HERE:

Story Sources:

1) $10,000 Coins  2) Checks from Santa  3) Bank Match  4) The Minnesota $500K

5 Easy Steps to Adopting a Christmas Angel

November 21, 2016

Christmas has already begun at The Salvation Army and we look forward to another great season!! The Angel Trees are officially up in Walmarts all over NWA with sweet angels ready to be adopted by YOU, our amazing community.

Every year, we get lots of questions about how to adopt an angel, where to find a tree and when the gifts are due. So here are the 5 easy steps you can take to adopting a child in need and making a difference in Northwest Arkansas this Christmas!


First thing is first- you have to find our trees! This year we have 9 trees in Walmarts near you. Most often, the tree is located near the customer service desk accompanied by a giant wrapped box for your gift deposits! Here are our locations:

3919 N Mall Ave. 2110 W Walnut
2875 W MLK Blvd. 4208 Pleasant Crossing
2004 S Pleasant 406 S Walton
4870 Elm Springs Rd
2901 Hwy 412 E 157 Gary Hatfield Way

We have thousands of angels that need to be filled in NWA! Grab a tag or two off the tree to fill. Consider picking a tag that is the same age as your kids and shopping as a family!


This is by far the most FUN step! Look over your list and pick out items that match the list (or are as close as possible). Buying the toys is a blast, but don’t forget shoes and coats too! Shoes are the most forgotten item on the angel’s list EVERY year and it is often one of the greatest NEEDS.

One of our most asked questions is… “Do I need to wrap the gifts?” The answer is no! Please do NOT wrap the gifts. We want the parents to be able to see what their children are receiving and feel a sense of ownership during the process by wrapping the gifts themselves. Simply follow the bagging AND TAGGING instructions and you will be good to go!


Now that you have shopped, bagged, and tagged- we need your gifts back!! This year, the due date for gifts is December 9th. If we receive your bag after that date, we will not be able to use it this year. We will save the gifts inside to give out next year, but our staff will have to fill your angel for you with extra gifts that were given. So PLEASE bring them back on time!!

Bonus Step: Think on the Impact
I know I said there were only 5 steps- but this final step is really important! Remember that you are making a child’s Christmas this year by providing gifts and clothing for them. 1 in 4 children in Arkansas is food insecure. 30% of household incomes in NWA are a combined total of $25,000 or less.

So when you are adopting a child, you are truly making a difference! Not only will they receive your gifts, but each angel family will receive several nights worth of food from our partners like Tyson, The Pack Shack and Schmieding H C Produce! So from our team here at The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas, we say thank you!


Ruffles, Corduroy and Maxis

October 31, 2016

Hello, friends! Your Family Store fashion guru- back again!

Fall is on its way (slowly, but surely). Is anyone else ready for its arrival?! Since I can’t be with you as you’re reading this, I will take your silence as a resounding “Yes!”. Not only am I excited about fall candles, comfort foods, and colder weather- I’m excited about fall fashion!


Styles that I am most excited about this season?? Dresses and skirts, a fashion move a bit outside of my comfort zone! But with an abnormally warm fall this year, pulling out jeans and the sweater collection has not been an option. To bring about a fall fashion feel (while staying cool), I’m diving into maxi dresses!

Dresses can feel somewhat formal to some as they are typically the staple for important events. Fall, for me, certainly has a taste of formality to it as the temperatures drop and the steady flow of major holidays, aka, holiday parties, come and go. But I want to make dresses an everyday wear kind of fashion this fall! It may seem odd or uncomfortable at first, regardless, I’m doing it. And I’ll tell you how to do it to!

>> OUTFIT 1 <<

Here, we have a super incredible, vintage dress made of corduroy. I have a tank underneath because it’s still criminally hot, BUT, as cold comes, I’m throwing mock turtlenecks underneath. Keep your eyes peeled for this fabric!! I say grab dresses, pants, jackets, anything in corduroy because it can be dressed up or dressed down.

It partners wonderfully with silk for an elevated look or with cotton / knit for a cozy casual.

Corduroy Outfit Total: Dress $4, Tank $2, Clutch $8, Shoes $9

>>OUTFIT 2<<


Another style I am LOVING this season is ruffles. Check your local mall and you’ll find ruffles in every store. They are making a come back!! Luckily, ruffles are a vintage classic aka thrift store specialty. I found this awesome ruffle shirt at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store– and there are more ruffles to go around! The detailing on top can really enhance a simple outfit. It’s also a great transition piece- perfect for work and your after-hours activities! Ruffles for the win.


Maxi skirts are another staple that I can always count on The Salvation Army thrift stores to have. Last year, I was in the market for cotton maxi skirts to knot at the bottom (thus, creating the high/low silhouette that rose to popularity). But this year, I think I’m going after different fabrics and fun patterns! This skirt is denim, a fabric that is never wrong in fashion.

**Sidenote: many people are dedicated to wearing black clothes for the sake of comfort and easy matching. A great way to add color to your closet is through skirts! They come in all sorts of patterns, but their simple shapes make the patterns way more approachable.

kristie-fall-4Incorporating unique fabrics and fun patterns can be a challenge! Hopefully, you now have a blueprint for success in these fashion challenges, and in no time, you’ll feel comfortable in things you never used to wear!

Until next time, HAPPY FALL!
XOXO -The Family Store Fashonista

Arkansas Officers on the front lines for Matthew

October 10, 2016

Northwest Arkansas had the honor of deploying two Corps Officers to the front lines of Hurricane Matthew for disaster aid work this past week.

Lt. Nic Arroqui and Cpt. John Robbins were called upon to prepare the area for the coming storm, and ultimately, serve those affected by the extreme winds and flooding. The storm was not as devastating as potentially predicted (Praise the Lord!), but our team is still serving the thousands without power and those with flooded homes.

“We are still serving this community. There are still a lot of houses with the power out… we are sending out trucks packed with food and supplies. We are still here working and we have not stopped just because the storm has gone by. We will do this as long as we are needed.”

-Lt Nic. Arroqui, Fayetteville, AR Corps


Lieutenant Nic Arroqui, Fayetteville Corps Officer, deployed to Tampa to serve with the Florida Emergency Disaster Team. The Salvation Army Florida Division has already served approximately 54,000 meals and will continue to serve food to those in need.

Captain John Robbins, Springdale Corps Officer, deployed to the Incident Command Center in Brunswick, Georgia where he is serving as the Safety Officer for The Salvation Army operations on the Georgia coast line.  As the Safety Officer, Captain Robbins is responsible for identifying potential safety hazards during the disaster operation and recommending corrective actions.

Cpt. John Robbins working with the team in Georgia

Cpt. John Robbins working with the team in Georgia


Lt. Nic Arroqui working in the supplies warehouse in Tampa, Florida

Want to know how you can help with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew?

  • Donate Online:
  • Donate By Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301 (Please designate ‘Hurricane Matthew’ 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

Finding Serenity

October 6, 2016

My addiction was fine for a while.
But it’s like everything else. Every other addiction progresses and gets worse and worse and then it finally catches up with you.


The Journey

I lost a great friend, a guy I had known for a long time, grew up with, in a car wreck in October 2014. Then lost my mother in January 2015. Lost Nanna in February 2015. And an oldest brother to suicide in March 2015. And I put on a fine face during the whole time but it was eating me up. I was mad at God. Mad at the world. I ended up in the hospital and called my Reverend.

I knew The Salvation Army was the place I needed to be. I jumped into the spiritual side of it, not just the AA side of it. I needed God in my life. I needed him back in my life. I had lost all faith and all hope. 

It was a pretty big burden, but it just depends on your perspective of it. It was bad at the time but brought me back to where I am today. It’s what it took to get me back.


Can you describe how you felt before the program and how you feel now?
Lost. Empty. I had lost all faith and hope.

And now how do you feel?
Serene. I just kind of go with the flow with whatever God has got in store for me. And, I mean, it’s all glory to God.


What is the greatest joy that you have now?

The opportunity that Major gave me [to be employed by The Salvation Army]. Being able to stick around and be able to be a vital part of the Salvation Army. To be a part of the team. The reason that I am strong is the reason the Salvation Army does what it does. To be just even a small part of that, is a great feeling. It’s a great cause. Helping burdened families that have lost everything. Being able to show them that we do care. To be a part of that, it is a pretty neat feeling.


“He is doing something for a reason and I don’t know. I will eventually know the answers but today I don’t and all I can do is trust. And that is what I’ll do.”