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This one is a heart-warmer! One of the advantages of scanning the region for stories is finding those that highlight individuals and groups coming together to support local charitable causes and working to support the most vulnerable in our community.

It’s important to recognize that alongside the stories that highlight the international acclaim of Crystal Bridges, the world-class mountain biking trail system, the 5-star restaurant experiences, the latest announcements from our Fortune 500 titans, the unparalleled scenic beauty of the Ozark, etc., is a story of the local kid who donates his birthday gifts to the children’s shelter and many other stories of unsung heroes like him. This post is just a small sample of these kinds of Northwest Arkansas stories. We hope you enjoy.

“If you think back to your childhood, everyone has that memory of riding a bike as a child. So how awesome is that now that these kids, that have been through so much, can now have that opportunity.”

As Cassie MooreHormel

A Kid

That local kid’s name is Carter! When Carter celebrated his birthday this summer, he asked for gifts for kids at The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter instead of for himself. This week, Carter and Keaton delivered the gifts he collected. How can one not be touched by his caring heart and this simple act of generosity?

This was followed by more good news for the kiddos at the shelter!

Thanks to financial support from the Walton Family Foundation and Hormel Foods, the Children’s Shelter is now home to a newly constructed one-mile bike trail, complete with a dozen skills features!

A First Day of School

Our next story comes from Canopy Northwest Arkansas, a local organization that works to support refugees who are resettling in our region. This Facebook post really speaks for itself:

“35 children. Friends, 35 children were able to start school this week because of a community that has agreed that refugee resettlement is important and is a part of who we are as Americans. 35 children are directly impacted by the space that you have opened up in our community to welcome them. You are hiring their parents. You are driving them to doctors appointments. You are teaching them English. You are loving on them so well. Look at these resilient human beings and know that you are making a difference. You are welcoming refugees home. Thank you!”

The organization went on to thank the cosponsor teams that helped prepare the kids for their first days and the public schools across Northwest Arkansas that are working with the families.

The Playground

The EOA Children’s House is an early childhood education and crisis intervention center which provides long-term treatment and therapy to abused children and their caregivers. On August 9th, they celebrated 40th year of providing this service!

On August 14th, a team from the IT department at Walmart visited EOA to help them get their three playgrounds ready for the new school year. After several of the volunteers noticed the need for some new playground toys, they went and purchased us some and donated them to the center!

Did you know? This summer, over 300 people came together to raise over $105,000 for the Children’s House. And most recently, Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan presented a check for $30,000 to EOA. These funds will be used to provide seed money for 529 college savings accounts for nearly 300 children enrolled in EOA Head Start, EOA Early Head Start, and EOA Children’s House.

Better Together

Youth Bridge is a non-profit, for impact agency that serves teens and their families in the areas of abuse, neglect, addiction, homelessness, mental health issues and behavioral problems. Apple Seeds is a nonprofit in Fayetteville that inspires healthy living through garden-based education.

What happens when the two local organizations come together? A six-course cooking class series designed to teach youth in the residential program how to go out, learn how to garden, and prepare a meal from what they grow! Many kids come to the program knowing very little about real-world tasks such as cleaning or cooking, this series gets them one step closer to the ultimate hope they have for the youth they work with, self-sufficiency.

If you are inspired by this work, Apple Seeds has an intimate farm dinner benefit coming up on October 13th, 2018 on the Teaching Farm at Gulley Park. Proceeds will support Apple Seeds and the school children in the region that they reach through their educational programs.

Stay Tuned

As the saying goes, “You can never have too much of a good thing”. When it comes to stories like these, we believe that to be true. Expect to see more and more of these stories as we continue to cover our region’s story.  If you hear about some we should share, let us know!