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Volunteering

Volunteer Spotlight: Maggie Berry

July 2, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Maggie Berry, Rogers, Arkansas

When Maggie Berry retired after 40 years as a medical professional, she wasn’t exactly sure how she would use her free time to make a difference, but she had a few ideas. With a love for arts and crafts and a desire to restore forgotten or used items, Maggie said that God laid it on her heart to share her time with The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas.

It didn’t take long for store manager Kari Luff to find the perfect place for Maggie to begin creating – the extra stock room at the Rogers Family Thrift store. This room is a gathering place for donated wreaths, ribbon spools, floral arrangements, and various odds and ends. Often, it is where items that need a little TLC or some extra glue end up. For Maggie, this space has become a sanctuary where she can create, restore and find a way to share kindness through creative design.

During the past three months, Maggie has volunteered more than 100 hours. If you stop by our store, it won’t take long for you to find an item that she has fixed, designed or restored.  From custom-painted shutters to refurbished tables and chairs, to carefully designed wreaths, gift baskets, and windows, there seems to be no limit to what she can do, much to her surprise. “I didn’t even know I could do all this stuff,” Maggie shared with a laugh. “Sometimes you get so stuck in a rut and think you can do only one thing, but you can do so much more.” For Maggie, retirement has allowed her to reconnect with her creative side, and she is enjoying every moment.

When asked why she volunteers Maggie’s answer is simple, “I volunteer because God gave me these wonderful gifts and skills that I can use to help people. For me, it is about spreading kindness, and our world needs a little more kindness.”

Volunteering with The Salvation Army helps Maggie get to know her community better. Each week, she talks with customers, staff and the men who are in part of The Salvation Army’s rehabilitation program.   In many ways, Maggie’s work represents the transformation that is happening in the lives of so many people but especially for the men in our recovery program who came to The Salvation Army to find hope and healing.

“Our society is such a throwaway world. We want to throw away things that are used or broken – even if they might still be useful. For me, it is wonderful to see how you can repurpose or reuse something and shared kindness at the same time,” Maggie shared.

Proceeds the pieces Maggie restores, and other items purchased at The Salvation Army stores, help provide food, shelter, and resources to support our free drug and alcohol recovery program. If you have an interest in volunteering, let us know, we’d love to get you connected with our team. Learn more about volunteering with The Salvation Army of NWA at www.nwasalvationarmy.org/volunteering.

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!

Volunteer Luncheon 2017

April 10, 2017

Once again, we had an incredible time thanking our amazing volunteers and honoring them for their work with us this past year!!

Whether bell ringing, serving meals, putting on a food drive, helping with Angel Tree, working in our thrift store or giving back in a myriad of other ways- we are grateful for their service. Our volunteers truly do MULTIPLY our services in NWA- we could not do our work without them.

Check out pictures from the event below along with this year’s award recipients!

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KETTLE AWARDS

Top Individual Bell Ringer, Fayetteville Amy Bain
Top Group Bell Ringer, Fayetteville Holiday Island Community Church
Top Individual Bell Ringer, Springdale John Tackel
Top Group Bell Ringer, Springdale J.B Hunt Transport, Inc.
Top Individual Bell Ringer, Rogers Aubrey Patterson
Top Group Bell Ringer, Rogers J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.


COMMUNITY AWARDS

Angel Tree Partner of the Year | Legacy National Bank

Angel Tree Partner of the Year is awarded to an individual or group who goes above and beyond during the Christmas Season to ensure that the Angel Tree Program is a success. Whether through volunteerism, donation of resources, or angel adoption, this award recipient is caring for the under-served children in our community. This year’s Angel Tree Partner of the Year award goes to Legacy National Bank. Their team gave extensive hours to aiding with the application process, volunteered at the warehouse, and have begun creating a curriculum for financial classes to be offered for our Angel Tree families. Their partnership has blessed our program, and we know it will continue to do so.

Community Resource Award | Razorback Food Recovery

The Community Resource Award is presented to an individual or group who chooses to support The Salvation Army with a unique resource necessary to the success of our programs. Last year alone, our varying programs and services provided 88,000 meals in Northwest Arkansas, which would not be possible without generous donors. However, this past year, we had the blessing of connecting with a very special organization dedicated to reducing food waste and ending hunger in Northwest Arkansas, Last year alone, they rescued and donated 10,471 pounds of food to our Fayetteville Shelter. We are so grateful for Razorback Food Recovery and are thrilled to present them with this year’s Community Resource Award.

Community Partner Award | Kevin Fitzpatrick

The Community Partner Award is presented to an individual or group that has shown great support through volunteerism, financial gifts, and the unique meeting of needs throughout the year. This year, we are thrilled to present the Community Partner Award to Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick. Dr. Fitzpatrick in an incredible mobilizer to others in our community, desiring that Northwest Arkansas better understand the issues of homelessness and poverty. His research provides much-needed data to help non-profits like us more effectively serve our clients. He is constantly finding groups to come serve with us and spreading our message. We are grateful for his work in this community and his support!

Volunteer Individual of the Year | The VanSlooten Family

The Volunteer Individual of the Year Award is presented each year to one individual or family who has shone in their commitment and service to The Salvation Army. This year, we are proud to honor the VanSlooten Family. They are a wonderful family, committed to service and always willing to go above and beyond. They serve meals consistently: we know we can count on them to be there. They encouraged their church to adopt one of the family rooms in our shelter, and their son Andrew painted the men’s dorm for his scout project. Andrew gathered his family, school friends, and church to help with the project, and the Scouts purchased all the supplies for painting including the paint. We are so grateful for all the ways they have served our Bentonville Shelter this year.

Volunteer Group of the Year | First Christian Church and Waterway

Our final award will be presented to the Volunteer Group of the Year. This award is given 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 have continually reached out, asking to serve us and fulfill needs that arise.  They have served meals, brought much-needed supplies like food, coffee, laundry detergent and more. They have been a welcome part of our serving family and so committed to helping the homeless in Benton County. A huge thank you and congratulations to First Christian Church & Waterway for your commitment and service this past year!

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.

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!

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

Vai Talau

December 16, 2015

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Vai is a senior at Fayetteville High School. He is a member of the FHS wrestling team and works hard in school! He loves to hang out with his friends and wants to make a big difference for the hurting and broken in his community.

If you were one of Santa’s reindeer, which would you be?
I would definitely want to be Rudolph. Because one, that’s the only reindeer I know. And because he is different; he’s an exception in the group of reindeer. Everyone made fun of him, but he is the difference maker!

Does your family have a traditional holiday food that is unique?
We cook duck instead of turkey. Duck to me is like a finer chicken- it’s amazing! Once I ate it, I was hooked. We roast it, just like a turkey, but it’s a duck.

How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?
Compassionate: It’s how I was raised. I have a lot of sympathy for people- my heart really goes out to them. I really do enjoy helping others.
Reckless: Cause I am young! I don’t really make dumb decisions but I think [being reckless] is a part of being a teenager.
Funny: Not to be cliché, but I think I’m funny!

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Who is your role model and why?
Definitely my mother, because she perseveres through everything. She motivates me every day. Even though she drives me crazy sometimes, I still love her to death. She’s made it through it all, really. Through impossible [situations], she made it possible. I really look up to her for what she has come through, what she is doing for our family, and for raising me to be the man I am today.

How did you get involved with The Salvation Army?
During the summer, I always drive past it going to my friend’s house. I’ve always had a calling to go help the homeless and get involved in the community. I got my friend Kelson and asked him if he wanted to embark on a new adventure with me. So we went out and signed up to do volunteer work at The Salvation Army.

My heart brought me to The Salvation Army: I got a call and I can feel it in my soul. This is what I want to do in life. This is an avenue that I want to pursue. I want to get into helping the community and then I want to be a voice for the people.

I would love to go to school to be a Human Right’s Attorney and a Psychologist. Put that together and I can help folks and defend them. I want to be someone they can go to.

The first time I served there we worked for a little bit alongside a staff member and then took a break. During that break, he told me his life story: how he was an alcoholic, how bad his childhood and family were, and how the program worked for him. He gave me a fresh perspective. He had it rough, and he makes me want to help. Every time I serve, we end up talking about our life stories, and every time it’s like a new light bulb in my head. It’s a humbling experience. It changes my perspective because I always talk to someone new.

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What is your #redkettlereason?

I want to make a difference in a corrupt society. I want to help give people a hand up, give them a hand that no one ever gives them. I have a call, and I want to be the hand that picks them up.

I love helping others! Giving someone hope they’ve never had before is great, because you know you helped that person feel better that day. You make a difference in people’s lives; that’s why I do it.

What advice would you give to another student who wants to make a difference in NWA?
Step out of yourself and consider [taking on] a fresh perspective. It’s hard in high school because the notion is that everyone is trying to jump-start their lives. They are wrapped up in themselves and are wrapped up in their lives. My advice is to really think about how you can help someone else. You can donate money. Or think about your skills: what can you do, build, or create to help another person? You can give people hope and purpose.

My role is to influence others, not force, but influence them.

You can create a spark in someone’s mind. The best way is to [serve] together with someone. It’s not about ‘you’ or ‘I’, it’s about us. It’s hard to get a revolution going, but my role is to demonstrate [service] so that they can join. I know a lot of kids that do want to help. It’s not conventional, but we want to make a change.

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