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.”

Women’s Auxiliary Provides Shelter Renovation Funds

September 28, 2016

It’s been an exciting month at the Fayetteville Shelter- renovation day finally arrived!! The Women’s Auxiliary chose the shelter as their first project and used the funds raised from the NWA Boutique Show last fall to provide the space with a whole new look!


“The Women’s Auxiliary functions as a fundraising and volunteer service group, assisting The Salvation Army in meeting the needs of others at their point of need,” says Major Mary Matthews, Associate Area Commander and director of the group. “This Chapter was established in March of 2014 and since then has already made a significant impact in the lives of thousands through programs provided by The Salvation Army.  

Their most current project, just completed, was the renovation of the Fayetteville Emergency Shelter intake and day room.  This was the first large project taken on be the Auxiliary women and was a much needed update!”  


The women have been looking forward to this renovation day for months and are excited to finally see the room put together.

What’s up next for this amazing group of ladies?

“We are currently in the development stages for our 1st annual fundraising event (May 2017)  which will support a new program called Pathway of Hope.  This program addresses the root causes of poverty through individualized services to families hoping to break generational cycles of crisis and vulnerability. This program fits the missional purpose of this Auxiliary which desires to make a generational impact in the lives of families (women & children). -Major Mary Matthews



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We are so grateful to the women who helped make this happen and look forward to more great things out of the Women’s Auxiliary! To learn more about the organization and how to join, check out our webpage



Celebrate Fall with Thrifty Finds

September 22, 2016

GUEST POST | Talya Boerner of Grace, Grits and Gardening


Fall has arrived bringing all my favorite things—turning leaves, harvest on the farm, and the promise of cooler weather.  I like to celebrate it, too, by enjoying supper outside. Something as easy as a change of scenery can feel cathartic after a long summer!


Spiff up your tablescape up with a few “new to you” thrifty finds from your local Salvation Army store, and you’ll swear you’re on vacation.

Thrifting is a treasure hunt for me, and I can spend hours (okay, days) on the prowl for that next fun find. Come along with me as I share a few of my thrifting tips and recap my recent trip to the Salvation Army store in Rogers.

Go with a plan and a budget.
I knew I wanted to freshen up my fall dining decor so I focused on kitchenware and knickknacks with an autumn flair. And I limited myself to a $25 dollar budget.


Keep a creative, open mind.
Channel your craftiest self. Can you paint it, clean it, or repurpose it in a unique way?

Take your time and leave no stone unturned.
Go when you have lots of time to browse. Make several passes through the store. Be sure to hit the craft area. Look under tables and in boxes. Jewels have a tendency to hide.

Research items.
If you find something you want to know more about, Google it. You have your smartphone with you, right? You never know when you may uncover a valuable antique.


So what did I buy??

2 stoneware dinner plates $1.00 each

2 green salad plates $1.00 each

2 mismatched saucers (Homer Laughlin) $0.80 each

Small pitcher $1.00

Vintage glass mug $1.00

Large round platter with flower patterned motif $3.00

Ceramic owl bank (unpainted) $1.00

Turkey (made from feathers and leaves) $2.00

2 candlesticks $1.00

Fabric scrap (great colors!) $1.00

Small piece of granite $2.00 (cheeseboard or candle base?)

Bag of brown leather-ish flowers $1.00

Roll of ribbon $1.00

Heavy acorn $2.00


I wasn’t sure what I would do with the flowers or ribbon, but I decided to make garland with it. The bag contained LOTS of flowers, and when I ran out of my new ribbon, I dug into my own stash. Stringing garland makes any party more festive, don’t you think?

I’m a sucker for mismatched plates, and I love these!!!


The ceramic owl? He’s technically a piggy bank with a slot in the back. I spray painted him using leftover paint I had in the garage, placed him on my $3.00 platter, added a little cotton (from our farm), and topped the vignette with a glass cloche. Instant centerpiece!


My before table on our side porch looked plain and boring after a serious case of end-of-summer neglect…


Afterwards, I’m ready to ring in fall!



I’m always surprised at how far my money will go when I buy second-chance items.
Happy Fall, y’all!


Want more from Talya?
You can catch up with her on…


Talya draws inspiration from nature and appreciates the history behind food, family, places and vintage things. She blogs at Grace, Grits and Gardening and has been published in Arkansas Review, Front Porch Magazine, Delta Crossroads and several on-line publications including Deep South Magazine. Talya believes most any dish can be improved with a side of collard greens. Her award-winning debut novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, is available at Barnes & Noble, via Amazon, and at certain indie bookstores.

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8th Annual Golf Tournament Drives it Home!

September 14, 2016

No trouble in paradise at the Paradise Valley Golf Course last week! The Salvation Army’s 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament was a huge success! Some great teams and sponsors came out for the afternoon flight to support the event put on by the Advisory Board.

20 teams played in the tournament which raised a total of $7,000 for The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas. 


“Most participants in a weekday golf tournament have been afforded a life that allows them to be able to participate in an event like this. So many in our community do not have the opportunity to take a day off of work for golf, take a day off at all, or even have a job to take off from,” says Tim Cotton, President of the Advisory Board of Northwest Arkansas and owner of Northwest Electric.

“I personally have been blessed to have not only what I need, but also influences that have shown me the importance of giving back to this community.

Few organizations operate in the manner that The Salvation Army does, helping people in need regain their footing not only financially, but spiritually as well. I look forward to seeing the growth of The Salvation Army, volunteer support, and community awareness and involvement as we move forward.”


How far does $7,000 go??

According to USA Today, the cost of dinner for a low-income family of four averages to $191 per week. With the money raised from the tournament, The Salvation Army will be able to feed approximately 260 families (of four) for a day or 36 families each night for a week.

Additionally, a night of shelter costs roughly $12.50 per person, shows research from EFSP. That’s 560 nights of shelter we can offer because of the proceeds from the tournament.

So thank you, to everyone who participated for helping us to Do The Most Good in Northwest Arkansas! Keep scrolling to see pictures from the event, meet our 2016 champions, and thank the sponsors that helped make it happen!


Drumrolllllll, please!! We are thrilled to announce the winner of the tournament- this year’s champions: Lindsey Management!!


Lindsey Management: 2016 CHAMPIONS!


Many teams competed for the honor of being the 2016 Putting Competition Champions (and owner of a brand new SEGWAY Mini Pro!!), but only one was victorious! Congratulations to Tarek Taha with the Fellowship Fayetteville Team!!


Some additional contributors include: Gary Howard, Mike Lyman, Upchurch Electrical, Tom McDonald, and Eric McGee. And we want to give a special thanks to our Food and Hole Sponsors- we truly could not have done it without them!


And a big thank you to all the teams that came out and participated. Mark your calendars for 2017– we will see ya next year!!

To learn more about the Advisory Board at The Salvation Army and get information on joining, check out our webpage!


Free Haircuts for Doing Good

September 8, 2016

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Mrs. Joann is a beautiful lady with lots of spunk and plenty of love for her neighbors in South Fayetteville. She is the owner of Joann’s Barber Shop, and she has chosen to give back in a unique way to this community.

She gives free haircuts to the men going through our addiction recovery program!

She encourages them to keep doing good in their lives- that’s all the payment she needs for her hair-cutting services.

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“If everyone would choose to be kind, there’d be a lot more good in the world”, says Mrs. Joann.

And she is choosing to make good with her gifts! Each and every guy going through our 6 month alcohol and drug recovery program is able to walk over to her shop anytime for a free cut. Mrs. Joann attended Barber School in Oklahoma City when she was 17 years old and has been cutting hair ever since!

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Gary met Mrs. Joann for the first time when he walked over from the shelter to get his haircut. After getting his cut, he asked her how much he owed. “Nothing for you was her answer”, says Gary. “She just wanted me to keep doing good in the program.”

A big thanks to Mrs. Joanna for using her gift to make a difference!! You can visit her and her beautician Adam on S School in Fayetteville for an awesome haircut and a friendly hello!

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Hosting Tips and Lemonade Sips

August 25, 2016

GUEST POST | Blake Reynolds of The Colour Journal


One of my favorite things to do has always been to host gatherings or get togethers with friends. Schedules can get so busy that it really takes intentionality and effort to have time with the people you love.

Dinner Party 2
A few hosting tips

When I plan gatherings, I have three things in mind: Bring people together, make it memorable, and keep it affordable. Today I want to share with you how The Salvation Army can help you with all three!

One of my favorite ways to make a night special is by having a signature drink for the evening. With summer temps getting higher and higher, I thought I’d show you a fun, affordable way to elevate your next gathering by serving up a blueberry lemonade to keep your guests cool!


A little presentation goes a lonnngg way!

The easy route most people go when serving refreshments is straight out of the container, but an easy way to elevate your presentation at a gathering is to have nice glassware to serve it in. The Salvation Army Thrift Stores have so much glassware to choose from at such an affordable price. Each of these items were only 50 cents a piece!


The Salvation Army had such a big selection that I decided to choose a couple different styles of glasses. The bigger glass would be perfect for a kids back to school bash, while the fancier glass would be great for an adult dinner party! Grab some garnishes, and you’ve got yourself a good-looking summer lemonade to elevate any party you host!


Are you a party-planner? What are some of your favorite budget-friendly hosting tips?

Want to find a Salvation Army Thrift Store near you?? Get all locations in Northwest Arkansas –> HERE!

Want more from Blake?
You can catch up with her at…
Instagram: @blazzle

***Blake Reynolds is a creative living in Fayetteville, AR with hands in design, photography, blogging, and marketing. She spends her weekdays working as a Graphic Designer at Collective Bias HQ, and her weekends curating content for her own personal blog, The Colour Journal. Her passion lies in using creativity to inspire others around her to become more of their truest selves, walking out confidently in their own unique purpose and ability.

Fabulous Food Partners

August 15, 2016

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We have been so blessed to find friends in Whole Foods Market!! The company is committed to community and their desire to make Northwest Arkansas a better place is so evident!!

Whole Foods Market donates their food waste to The Salvation Army several times a week, providing our shelter with healthy necessities! Over the summer months alone, their dairy and coffee donations have saved us over $1200! We’ve also been able to provide top-of-the-line snacks like nuts and protein bars at no cost to us, items that would otherwise not be available to our guests due to cost. Whole Foods Market is providing healthy, high quality food options to a community that would otherwise not have access.

I caught up with the champions of our partnership, Allison Chilcote (Marketing Team Leader) and Chamisa Wheeler (Team Member), to chat about saving food waste, being a conscientious shopper, and making a difference for the impoverished in our community. Read on, friends!

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The Heart of Whole Foods Market

“Community is extremely important to Whole Foods Market. It is the foundation of the company and important to its team members who work toward increasing access to fresh, healthy food!

In 1980, Whole Foods Market started out as one small store in Austin, Texas with a variety of local and regional products on the shelves. Less than a year later, a massive flood destroyed the store inventory and damaged equipment. Community vendors, creditors and partners joined forces to help get Whole Foods Market operational again. It was the pivotal point when Whole Foods Market recognized it takes a team and a community and the company’s core values were developed and transformed. You can see that in the way Whole Foods Market approaches business today as a company and community partner.” (See their core values –> here!)

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Importance of Rescuing Food (before it becomes waste)

“The needs in our community are always growing. We can make change, impact people and inspire them to reach others by teaching them to think about their food and be more conscious about what they buy, creating a trickle effect. It is our job in the community to work together to scale back food waste, help more where we can, and be more conscientious consumers.”

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What are some ways that individuals and families can recover food and be cautious of food waste in their own homes?

“Know your resources. What is my Plan B for food? Change your mindset to think of where food can go if you cannot eat or cook it.

Whether it be taking your food scraps to a compost, reaching out to a local shelter or food bank, going to your church or non-profit recipient, or thinking of your neighbor who may not have dinner, and inviting them over!

These actions give you the freedom to cook something delicious and healthy and not have the guilt of potentially wasting it.”

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The Heart of the Whole Foods Team

(Chamisa) “When I realized we work with food banks, I got really excited. I understand the depth of the problems that we face in Northwest Arkansas. Now, I go home at night and I think about families who have a little more tonight than what they started off with.”

I go home with a less heavy heart knowing that this company is giving back so much. Whole Foods gave me that opportunity. I love that Whole Foods embraces community and has so much compassion, and that we are making a difference.

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Catch up with Whole Foods Fayetteville:
Social: @wholefoodsfay
#fayfresh #wfmteam

New Corps Officers in Northwest Arkansas!

August 8, 2016

New Officers Blog Cover

We are thrilled to welcome our new Corps Officers (church leaders), Major Geraldine and Captain David Leonard (Rogers) and Lieutenants Nic and Emily Arroqui (Fayetteville). The Leonards are replacing Lieutenants Curtis and Angela Sadler who have been reassigned to the Jonesboro, AR Salvation Army Corps. The Arroquis, recent graduates of The Salvation Army training college in Atlanta, GA, will be serving the church in Fayetteville.

The Arroquis Cover Final


Lt. Nicolas Arroqui was born in Uruguay and moved to Georgia at the age of 10. He became a Christian in his teenage years and met The Salvation Army through their outreach programs at a soccer park.

Lt. Emily Arroqui comes from the beautiful state of North Carolina. She is a fifth generation Salvationist and has attended The Salvation Army church all of her life.

This is their first appointment since completing studies at The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth College, and they are thrilled to be here! They love the people, scenery, nature, climate, food, and just about everything else in NW Arkansas.

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“We praise God for this privilege and calling to ministry in the Fayetteville Corps (Church)”, says Lt. Nic Arroqui. “We are most excited about building new relationships and sharing the love of Christ with the people in our community. Please join us for Worship on Sunday at 11am!”


The Leonards Cover


Major Geraldine Leonard was born August 20, 1952 in San Antonio, Texas. She is a second generation Salvationist and served in the United States Army fourteen years before becoming a Salvation Army Officer.

Captain David Leonard is a third generation Salvationist. He attended The Salvation Army Crestmont College (Seminary) in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA from September 2002 through June 2004.

The Leonards have served all over the nation and are currently serving The Salvation Army as Corps Officers in Rogers, AR.

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Family Room Adopted by Local Church

August 1, 2016

The Neighborhood Church in Bentonville seeks to make an impact in their community and in their neighborhood everyday. And what better way to reach the neighborhood than to connect with the homeless shelter right down the street from your new building location!? That’s how we got connected to this amazing group of people-they reached out, they asked to be a part, and then they came!

“At the end of the service, we often say ‘the worship is over, but the service is not’. We want to be present in our community and to impact lives.” Cheryl and Colleen, The Neighborhood Church

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The Neighborhood Church adopted one of our three family rooms at the Bentonville Shelter. All decorations, furniture, and linens were provided by them! The room truly has a whole new feel. It’s like walking into an updated apartment rather than a room an emergency shelter.

“Giving back like this makes a bigger impact than you’ll ever know. When people come in and see a nice room it calms anxiety and helps them move from a state of chaos to stability, from despair to hope.”
Danny Camarillo, The Salvation Army, Bentonville Shelter Director

Take a look at the before and after shots! And a huge thank you to The Neighborhood Church for taking that first step and making a difference for your neighbors!

Neighborhood Church Before and AfterTNC Update 2

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