Browsing Tag


The Gift of a Shoebox

June 15, 2021

How much good can a shoebox do?
Answer: The Most Good.

MaryAnn, with the help of St. Bernard in Bella Vista, Bella Vista First United Methodist, and Bella Vista Presbyterian Church, has been helping The Salvation Army shelters in Fayetteville and Bentonville for years by packing shoeboxes with daily essentials for men, women, and special needs shelter guests.

The Shoebox Program in Northwest Arkansas began in 1989 in the home of Bud and Dorothy. The program was used to assist the homeless and those in great need. MaryAnn took over the program and moved it to her church, where she then started packing shoeboxes out of a closet.

“We ran out of space in a hurry because we added more programs,” said MaryAnn, “at first, the churches were just used for packing the boxes.” In these boxes, church members and donors packed toiletries, razors, shaving cream, band-aids, books, combs, deodorant, soap, shampoo, tissues, women’s personal products, and much more.

MaryAnn didn’t stop with The Salvation Army; she went on to distribute these boxes of supplies to elementary schools, 7Hills, Peace at Home, NWA Children’s Shelter, NWA Women’s Shelter, and anywhere she saw the need in Benton and Washington Counties.

MaryAnn described the help of Karen, Diane, and Cheryl to be intricate in the success of the Shoebox Ministry. With a program reaching so many, a strong support system goes a long way.

With the help of MaryAnn, Karen, Diane, Cheryl, First United Methodist, St. Bernard, and Bella Vista Presbyterian Church, The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas’ shelter guests never go without basic necessities. Together, we are Doing The Most Good and fighting homelessness in NWA.

If you would like more information about homelessness in Northwest Arkansas and what The Salvation Army is doing to combat it, call our office at (479) 521-2151.

A Place to Call Home

May 18, 2021

Addiction. How is there so much power behind one word? How can one word control someone’s life to the point where it takes years to overcome this one word? The road to recovery is never easy. There are often many obstacles standing in the way between addiction and recovery, including homelessness.

When COVID-19 hit and businesses began closing in March of 2020, Princess found herself homeless, sleeping in the bushes outside of a hospital in Siloam Springs following a night of sickness after a shot of dope. Princess had nowhere to go and didn’t know what steps to take.

This launched Princess into a spiral of not knowing where she would be night after night. Facing drug abuse, alcohol abuse, poor living conditions, and even life-threatening situations, she stayed with six different people in just three months before finally finding herself at The Salvation Army of Fayetteville in June.

Even while at The Salvation Army, Princess still found herself struggling with her drug addiction. She would get high, leave for a while, then come back to sleep it off.

“I been in and out of [The Salvation Army] probably six times in just a year… I would get high or something and feel bad and felt like I was being disrespectful. I had to look at it like that,” said Princess.

Traci, Princess’ case worker, worked tireless hours getting Princess on a list to get a voucher from the Housing Authority, as well as putting her on the Hark list.

Princess had multiple applications and lists for housing and felt overwhelmed reviewing them and making a decision. When she finally got approved to move in to one of the many she applied for, she was shocked.

“I didn’t show a lot of excitement because I was trying to take it in. Anything good that happens to me, it’s hard for me to accept it right away because I’m so used to getting nice things and losing them so fast. It’s scary to get new things anymore because I don’t like the feeling of the loss,” said Princess.

The challenge facing addiction is still present in Princess’ day-to-day life. It’s never an easy battle and some days will be harder than others. Princess hopes that by having a place of her own, she will be able to remove herself from harmful situations.

For anybody facing addiction, Princess has found that you can’t always be the anchor for some else’s ship, and you must remove yourself from the source of the problem.

“Put yourself first. It’s the right time to be selfish. And social distancing is not only for COVID,” said Princess. “Thanks to everybody at The Salvation Army, you guys are helping me change my life. It’s a struggle, but it’s happening. You guys gave me chance after chance, and you didn’t make me stay out there and suffer.”

If you or anybody you know is facing addiction or homelessness, please call The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas at (479) 521-2151.

There’s No Place Like Home: A Salvation Army Success Story

January 25, 2021

In a time of unprecedented need, The Salvation Army is still doing everything they can to provide hope to the homeless. From distributing food boxes to hungry families to giving someone a roof over their head, The Salvation Army works around the clock to show love and support to any friend in need.

That’s exactly what Patricia and her son, Richard, needed. A friend to help them out of homelessness. Someone who could walk them down the path and provide the opportunity for a new beginning.

For some, the path through homelessness can be a long, complicated journey. It can come and go with the snap of your fingers, and it can be a battle to get permanently out of. Richard had been in and out of homelessness since he moved to Northwest Arkansas almost 12 years ago.

“I went through [The Salvation Army] drug and alcohol program a few times. That’s how I got to know The Salvation Army,” said Richard.

Patricia and Richard stayed at The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter in Bentonville for six months, where they met Ms. Traci Temples. Traci, a case worker for The Salvation Army, helped Patricia and Richard get back on their feet after over three years of homelessness.

“[Patricia and Richard] came and filled out all their necessary paperwork; they were really good about getting all their paperwork in and doing their tasks every week, and this is the end result,” said Traci.

Patricia talks about how she loves the people at The Salvation Army. She loves the help they’re able to give to not only her, but everyone in need. The Salvation Army is much more than a shelter. It’s a support system.

After not having a place to call your own, moving into your own home or apartment can be quite emotional. It delivers a sense of freedom and accomplishment. A sense of excitement.

“[I’m most excited about] having my own freedom, having my own place. It’s something I can say, ‘this is my place. I did it. Finally, I’m in a place now out of the weather… I’ve been through a lot out there on the streets. I’ve been robbed twice. It’s not a place for anybody to be,” said Patricia.

Patricia and Richard will have a place to call their own for the first time in three years. They’re wanting to start looking for chairs and furniture for their new apartment as soon as possible and are excited to start decorating. They hope some of the people that have helped them throughout their journey will come visit them in their new apartment.

If you or somebody you know is needing assistance in Northwest Arkansas, please call our office at (479) 521-2151 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.