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!
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!
“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change.”
(Bentonville, AR) 20 years ago, there was a need. Northwest Arkansas was growing, as companies like Walmart, Tyson and J.B. Hunt pushed the economy forward. Bentonville, AR, a once small community, began to see unparalleled growth.
But not all felt this swell of positive change. As the general population increased, so did homelessness. And there was no refuge for them. The community saw this need, and through the work of The Salvation Army and local partners, a plan was born to build an emergency crisis shelter in Benton County. In September of 1997, the shelter was officially opened to the public, dedicated in honor of Pat and Willard Walker, visionary philanthropists in Northwest Arkansas and strong supporters of The Salvation Army’s work.
20 years later, the community comes together to celebrate the immense impact made in the lives of the hurting and broken through the work of The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter in Bentonville. In the past decade alone, the shelter has provided 75,982 nights of housing to over 7,600 guests, and it continues to meet needs in the community each day.
Mayor Bob McCaslin of Bentonville opened the ceremony Wednesday, September 6th with an invocation, giving thanks to God for the refuge The Salvation Army provides to those in need in Northwest Arkansas. Mayor of Bentonville, since 2006, Bob McCaslin has seen the work of the Bentonville Emergency Shelter in action in his community for over a decade.
Following the invocation, the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony as Captain Joshua Robinett rededicated the Bentonville Shelter to the work of the Lord in Northwest Arkansas.
Attendees were then taken on a tour of the building. They saw where the men congregate to play games and watch TV before heading to their assigned bunks in the dorm room. They toured each family room, walls lined with beds and cribs, that have lulled so many children experiencing trauma to sleep. They got to touch the books, toys, and desks where students work on their homework and play with their siblings, trying to forget the hardships they have endured. Each shelter guest who comes through the doors holds a unique story, but all are seeking refuge. Providing the community with the opportunity to see, hear, and feel those hardships personally as they walk room to room cultivates compassion. And compassion is a catalyst that begs one not just watch need pass by, but rather, inspires action and compels change.
20 years ago, a need was met in the community of Northwest Arkansas. And needs continue to be met every day. Therefore, “we rededicate this Salvation Army Emergency Shelter for the service of God, the communities of Northwest Arkansas, and those in the greatest need. May it continue to be a beacon of hope and healing to the vulnerable and hurting for many years to come.” -Captain Joshua Robinett. May it always be a place that sparks empathy to act, and action to make a difference.
This hurricane is going to potentially cause the largest flooding disaster the US has ever seen. And in our service to those in need, this is likely going to be the one of the most extensive feeding operation The Salvation Army has undertaken.
Divisional Director, Emergency Disaster Services
The Salvation Army Arkansas & Oklahoma Division
NWA DEPLOYING THREE LOCAL OFFICERS
The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas’ three local Corps Officers will be deployed today to serve those affected by Hurricane Harvey. All three officers will be deployed for a minimum of 14 days to provide logistical, physical and spiritual care on the front lines.
Captain John Robbins, Springdale Corps Officer, will deploy to the Incident Command Center in Corpus Christi, Texas to serve as the Safety Officer for The Salvation Army’s ongoing disaster response operations. The Safety Officer ensures, as much as possible, that disaster workers and those The Salvation Army serves are not hurt or otherwise endangered.
Lieutenant Nic Arroqui, Fayetteville Corps Officer, will also be deployed to serve at the Incident Command Center in Corpus Christi, Texas to serve in Logistics Support. He will be responsible for obtaining and managing all resources and equipment necessary to run the disaster relief operation.
Captain David Leonard, Rogers Corps Officer, has been deployed to help with canteen service and Emotional and Spiritual Care in San Antonio, TX. The Emotional & Spiritual Care Specialist is responsible for meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of disaster survivors and rescue workers and for providing pastoral support to Salvation Army disaster workers, including officers, employees and volunteers.
(Top: Robbins, Middle: Arroqui, Bottom: Leonard)
HOW CAN YOU HELP??
The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Cash is flexible, can be used immediately in response to a crisis, and allows disaster relief organizations to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed. Cash gives relief organizations the means to procure supplies near the affected area, which cuts down on transportation time and cost.
It’s easy to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief program:
- Donate Online: helpsalvationarmy.org
- Donate by Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301 ****Please designate ‘Hurricane Harvey’ on all checks.
- Donate by Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
- Donate by Text: Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving
It’s 80 degrees outside…. we just watched the summer Solar Eclipse! But it’s true- our Red Kettle Ringing volunteerism calendar is OPEN for scheduling!
Want to volunteer together as a company? You can! Need a Christmas outreach project for your social club? Do it with us! Have a church group looking for an opportunity? Join our team!!
I mean, how cute are these little bell ringers?? You can bring the whole family and give back together this holiday season.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
GREAT QUESTION! There are three easy ways to sign up to ring.
- You can sign yourself up online! Just follow the instructions on our Red Kettle Volunteer site to pick a city, date and shift to serve.
- Email us! Having tech problems or just don’t want to go through the website? We will do it for you! Email email@example.com. **If you are signing up for a group, emailing is the best option.
- Really, really don’t love technology? You can call us! 479-521-2151.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
Another great question!! We ask for one 3-hour shift. That’s it!! Now, if you want to do more, PLEASE DO! We love returners. But the minimum commitment is one shift (11-2, 2-5, or 5-8) Monday-Saturday. You can always ring for longer than 3 hours or can sign up for multiple 3-hours shifts over multiple days.
WHEN DOES THE RINGING SEASON START?
We will start November 10th this year and ring right up until Christmas! That’s lots of days. I bet you can find 3 hours in there to ring a bell and spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear! Or… you can just ring. Totally your preference.
WHY BELL RINGING?
The Red Kettle Campaign is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Like galas or dinners, red kettle ringing supports our services year-round and has a deep tradition.
Curious about what happens to all the money in the Kettles? Learn more about how we use that money here in Northwest Arkansas in our article 5 Places Your Money Goes After the Red Kettle.
Want to see lots of people having SO MUCH FUN ringing the bell last year?? Check out our 2016 Red Kettle Round-Up!
We hope to see you out in your Christmas sweaters ringing the bell with us this year!
Please consider joining us for our fall series: Shelter Tours.
We will be hosting several meet and greet tours this fall to share about homelessness in our community and The Salvation Army’s work to aid those in need.
A Few Facts:
- As of 2017, there are approximately 2,951 homeless in Northwest Arkansas. Over HALF of that number is represented by children in K-12th grades.++
- The homeless population in NWA has increased by 152% since 2007, whereas, the general population has only grown by 12%.++
- In 2016, we provided over 24,217 nights of shelter between our two Emergency Shelters.
- Additionally, we provided 93,590 meals to men, women, and children who experienced food insecurity.
++Statistics from the 2017 Point-In-Time survey conducted in Northwest Arkansas.
Join us on one of our shelter tours this fall to learn more, ask questions, and better understand the experience of the homeless in Northwest Arkansas. RSVP is not required.
We are so excited to roll out the photos of our updated lobby at Area Command. The 80’s paint is out and a fresh, modern look now takes its place! Check out the before and after below!
A little paint in progress- sprucing up the place with Salvation Army colors!
TA-DA!!! The completed look!
Come visit us soon!
The truth is, we need you. And that is not something we say lightly.
Each year, we give out over 90,000 meals in this community to men, women, and children in need. Some of those meals are hot meals at our shelter, others food bags, and still others are special meals at Thanksgiving or Christmas. We serve meals 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
But right now, our food pantry is incredibly low. While many think to give food around the holiday season, summer often goes forgotten.
And yet, children are out of school resulting in extra mouths to feed. Families are in transition as they move to a new area to start over. And the heat is bringing more and more homeless to our doors.
So what can you do?
Buy an extra case of peanut butter or cereal when you go to the store and drop it off.
Run a food drive with your church, social group, child’s sports team or workplace. We even have a toolkit to help you through the entire process.
Donate money designated for our food pantry.
What do we need most?
- peanut butter
- canned meat
- baby food
- boxed foods (mac & cheese, hamburger helper, etc.)
- green beans
Where can you drop off?
- FAYETTEVILLE: 219 W 15th St. | Mon-Fri 8 to 7 (or by appt. 479-521-2151)
- SPRINGDALE: 329 Holcomb St. | Mon-Sat 10 AM – 7 PM
- BENTONVILLE: 3305 SW I St. | Mon-Fri 9 AM – 8 PM (or by appt. 479-271-9545)
Thanks for your help! Let’s #feedNWA together.
As children, many of us looked forward to summer break with great excitement and anticipation for vacations and beach trips, camps, our favorite snacks and NO SCHOOL!!
But for some kids, summer is not a time to anticipate.
It brings instability: home life is tumultuous at best with absent parents and no connection with friends. It brings uncertainty: many wonder if there will be food on the table for their next meal. It brings insecurity: attention is not readily given, care not automatically provided, and love not frequently spoken.
So for these kids in our community, suffering from hunger, grieving from inattention, and fearing their unpredictable lifestyle- camp is more than a fun summer activity. It is a refuge.
Camp is an experience unlike many of them have ever had!! Ropes course, swimming EVERY DAY (and yes, that is almost every camper’s favorite part of camp!), 3 meals a day, yummy snacks, new activities and fun ways of learning. They grow and change, rest and play, learn and are loved.
And even better than all of that? These kids get to hear about a love so fierce that will always be with them- even when they return home. It is a privilege to share the love of Jesus with our sweet campers.
Finally, our camp offers a really neat experience- Music Conservatory. It is a 5-week camp that teaches music theory and different types of instruments. Kids can choose their majors and are even given the chance to be leaders one day and conduct their own worship service. Interested in learning more about the amazing opportunities offered these children in their schools, homes, and futures (think college scholarships) through this program?
Read our blog on Music Programs in NWA!
So thank you for supporting our kids in their adventures at camp- it is truly life-changing for them! Want to learn more about sponsoring a child?? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(**All pictures from this post are local Northwest Arkansas campers from summer 2017!)
The Salvation Army in Northwest Arkansas is pleased to welcome new Area Commanders, Cpts. Josh and Ashley Robinett and their family. The Robinetts are replacing Majors Dan and Mary Matthews who have been reassigned to the Area Command in Oklahoma City.
Salvation Army Officers are periodically transferred to different locations, typically every 3-4 years. The Captains are enthusiastic leaders and come to Northwest Arkansas from Hot Springs, where for the last 2 years, they were responsible for the Hot Springs Salvation Army Corps.
Captain Josh Robinett was born and raised in Odessa, Texas. He has a deep appreciation and compassion for single-parent families, since he along with two younger siblings, were raised by a single mother. He joined The Salvation Army at the age of 8. Before answering the call to full-time ministry, he spent time in the oil field, a short time as a correctional officer and five years as a sales consultant for Quality Document Solutions in Texas. He and his wife, Ashley, were married in 2005 and answered the call to serve as officers in The Salvation Army shortly after by entering the training college in 2008. In 2010, the Robinetts finished their time at the training college with an Associates of Arts in Practical Ministries.
Captain Ashley Robinett has deep roots in Arkansas. She was born in Pine Bluff and has family residing in White Hall, Perryville and Hector. Ashley is a fourth-generation Salvationist; her parents are retired Salvation Army Majors. As a child of Officers and now one herself, Captain Ashley brings with her a well-rounded experience. The Robinetts have four children, Joshua, 11, Elizabeth, 8, Danielle, 5, and Cody, 1. As Officers, the Robinetts, have served in Russellville, AR, Fayetteville, AR, and Hot Springs, AR. They and their children look forward to returning to Northwest Arkansas to serve this great community again.
The couple will be responsible for overseeing the work done throughout Northwest Arkansas at The Salvation Army including the emergency shelters, Family Stores, the addiction recovery program, social services, churches (Corps) and Christmas efforts.