NWA Continuum of Care Working to Address Homeless Issue

Members of the Northwest Arkansas Community are taking notes from an Alabama community to address the growing homeless population in our region.

The Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care invited Eric Jefferson from the same organization in Mobile to discuss the success and what is working to tackle the issue there. The local organization met Tuesday morning at the Schmieding Center in Springdale. The COC is comprised of homeless service providers — like Seven Hills and Havenwood, churches, the VA and concerned community members.

“We’re hoping that more individuals will see that they’re not alone in this, that their fight is everybody’s fight,” Havenwood Executive Director Debbie Martin explained.

Martin said 25-hundred homeless people were identified in the most recent count taken, and about half of those are under the age of 18. To learn more about the issue and how to get involved, you can contact Martin at (479) 273-1060 or email her at debbie@nwahavenwood.org.

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Angel Tree 2015 is Underway!

(KFSM) — As the holiday season draws nearer, it calls for the return of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

The program starts Wednesday (Nov. 18) at 18 locations in the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas.

The Angel Tree program relies on community support to provide new clothing, toys and food for thousands of needy children in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley. Trees at the different locations are decorated with Angel Tags, which contain a child’s first name, age, gender and gift wishes.

Contributors can remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase the appropriate gifts for the child described on the tag. Then they can simply attach the tag to the gifts and return it to the location where they picked up the tag.

In addition to the gifts, the Salvation Army will also be providing food for each family in the program.

The Northwest Arkansas pickup locations are:

Northwest Arkansas Mall 4201 N. Shiloh Drive, Fayetteville
Walmart 3919 N. Mall Ave. , Fayetteville
Walmart 2875 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Fayetteville
Walmart 2004 S. Pleasant, Springdale
Walmart 2110 W. Walnut, Rogers
Walmart 4208 Pleasant Crossing, Rogers
Walmart 406 Sam Walton, Bentonville
Walmart 2901 Hwy 412 East, Siloam Springs
Walmart 157 Gary Hatfield Way, Huntsville

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Fayetteville Youth Participate in ‘Super’ VBS Event

FayVBS1The Salvation Army of Fayetteville, Arkansas recently hosted it’s Vacation Bible School for the youth of the Corps. An outlet to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the young people of Northwest Arkansas, the week long event featured faith based skits and teachings and musical worship.

On opening night, Corps Officer Lt. Josh Robinett presented a skit. In the story, two superheroes became stuck in quicksand. Once the heroes were freed from their entrapment, one superhero took decided to take credit for their rescue for himself, while the other superhero point out that without the grace of God, they could not have been saved. The presentation was an opportunity for the youth to hear the gospel message in a creative and entertaining way.

FayVBS2The event also gave the kids the chance to participate in games where prizes were awarded to those who participated. An array of snacks and drinks were also provided to the 70-80 youth who visited the Fayetteville Corps each night.

For more information on the youth programs of the Fayetteville Corps, call (479) 521-2151.

2014 Annual Banquet a Success

NWABanquet4-300x169The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas held its 2014 Annual Banquet, gathering over 400 donors, volunteers, advisory board members and supporters for an evening of celebration and inspiration.

An hour before the program began, attendees were invited to a meet and greet reception with the area officers and distinguished guests. During the time of fellowship, a silent auction took place where autographed sports and movie memorabilia were available to bid on.

The event opened with KNWA anchor and emcee Marissa Kargas who introduced a trio of videos that told the story of clients who had been helped directly by The Salvation Army’s Northwest Arkansas Area Command. The subjects of the videos, who were in attendance, were recognized and greeted by a chorus of applause.

NWABanquet1-300x169Headlining the Annual Banquet was special guest speaker Charlotte Jones Anderson, National Advisory Board Chairman. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Charlotte Jones Anderson went on to become the Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Dallas Cowboys. Her role with the Cowboys allowed her to introduce a groundbreaking approach to fund-raising through the Army’s Red Kettle program with the annual Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff Halftime Show each Thanksgiving. Through the Halftime Show, the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army partner together to present a nationally recognized musical entertainer who preforms a show that pivots around the Red Kettle theme. Since the launch of the Red Kettle Kickoff Halftime Show in 1997, the Red Kettle has raised over 1.8 billion dollars.

As Charlotte Jones Anderson addressed the audience, she spoke on the longstanding partnership of integrity and trust between the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army. As she chairs the National Advisory Board, Anderson continually speaks to audiences about the need for helping hands, not only during Christmas, but all year long. As her speech came to a close, Anderson appealed to the people of Northwest Arkansas to get involved with The Salvation Army, adding that “compassion is not a spectator sport, everyone has to play.”

  NWABanquet2-300x169 Bringing the event to a close was the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year and Business Partner of the Year. The Volunteer of the Year Award was given posthumous to a Wilbert Barbian who had volunteered 40 or more hours for over eight consecutive years. The Business Partner of the Year Award was presented to Tyson Foods, who has supported The Salvation Army in Northwest Arkansas for over 20 years.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Northwest Arkansas Area Command, visit them online at http://salvationarmyaok.org/nwarkansas