Attendees visit with nonprofit representatives during the HFA Open House on May 12, 2016.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – On May 12, 2016, HFA (Harrison French & Associates, LTD) held a special nonprofits Open House event for invited industry members and HFA staff. The event allowed attendees to meet representatives from 10 local nonprofits and learn about their causes.
A large crowd attended the successful event, which included catering by Catering Unlimited, music by The Squarshers and door prize drawings. Both attendees and nonprofit representatives said they were pleased with the event and the opportunities it presented.
“Being involved in our community is an integral part of HFA’s culture,” Larry Lott, President and COO for HFA, said prior to the event. “We are very excited to host an event which brings community awareness to Northwest Arkansas nonprofits.
“These organizations have a tremendous impact and commitment to enriching the lives of those in our community and are in need of everyone’s ongoing support,” Lott said.
The open house provided unique opportunities for the nonprofits as well.
“It educates people in the community who are not familiar with the nonprofits,” said Shannon Green of the Samaritan Community Center. “Also, it helps us get the word out about volunteer needs, donation needs, so it’s a worthy opportunity to be here.”
The following nonprofits took part in the event:
7Hills Homeless Shelter – The Fayetteville-based nonprofit has been around since 2001, starting with the Day Center and expanding to include the SSVF program, which provides short-term, rapid rehousing to veteran families at risk of homelessness; and Walker Family Residential Community, a complex that provides transitional and permanent supportive housing on a 3.5-acre complex in south Fayetteville. The nonprofit is working to prevent homelessness in Northwest Arkansas and to help those struggling to get out of a homeless situation. More information on the program is available at 7hillscenter.org.
Ability Tree – Ability Tree began in 2010 to provide rest and support for families impacted by disability. The charity provides special care and after care support for siblings as well as parents and the disabled relative. The goal is to provide recreation, education, support and training (R.E.S.T.) to families and volunteers. The charity serves communities in Arkansas and New Jersey and provides special art events for clients, after school programs for the clients and their siblings, and rEcess, designated nights where the special needs kids and their siblings can stay from 6-10 p.m. to give the parents a break. More information is available at abilitytree.org
Cancer Challenge – Started in 1993, the Cancer Challenge has invested more than $11 million into Northwest Arkansas communities for direct patient services including treatment and navigation, financial and emotional assistance, transportation, early detection screenings and follow-up care, bereavement, charity care and community outreach, among others. The grant money is raised through donations and participation in events such as the upcoming, annual golf tournaments and a 10K/5K Run/Walk. More information is available at cancerchallenge.com.
Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County – The center opened in 2000 to provide a safe, secure environment for children who had been physically or sexually abused. Today, the center provides on-site counseling with specially trained, forensic interviewers; advocacy for the child; and on-site medical exams in a less-clinical environment than a standard hospital. Counselors are available to meet and assess family needs and to provide follow-up, support and referral services. All services are at no charge to the family. More information is available at cacbentonco.com.
Children’s Safety Center of Washington County – Opened in 1997 as the first child advocacy center in Arkansas, this center also provides resources for children of physical or sexual abuse. The center has helped more than 8,000 children since its inception, and it continues to provide a safe environment for forensic interviews and examinations, therapy and advocacy. This includes assisting the child and non-offending parent through the court process and linking the family with other types of concrete services, such as housing and job services. The center raises money through donations and events such as the Dream Big Charity Gala coming in July. More information is available at childrenssafetycenter.org.
Micah’s House – This progressive, independent living program focuses on young men aging out of foster care. Targeting 18-19-year-olds, the program teaches basic life skills to help the young men to lead productive lives on their own after up to 18 months in the program. The charity recently purchased a home to house up to 8-10 men at a time, and they hope to expand in the future to provide duplexes for those looking to transition to a more independent way of living before heading out on their own. More information is available at micahshousenwa.org.
Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter – Since 1993, the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter has provided 24-hour residential care to children who are victims of family violence, neglect or physical and sexual abuse. The 48-bed facility offers on-site schooling and counseling services. Programs include emergency care, counseling, case management, on-site education, a pre-school program and The Sophia Scott Expanding Horizons Program, which gives children a chance to participate in fun activities to help them manage fear and stress and build self-esteem. More information is available at nwacs.org.
The Pack Shack – The Pack Shack encourages individuals, businesses and other entities to participate in “Feed the Funnel” parties where participants create packages of food, hygiene and personal items to be distributed in the community. The nonprofit services those with “food insecurity,” which is defined as “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food.” Meals packed during parties go to local organizations, including food banks and pantries. Since beginning in 2013, more than 7.2 million meal packs have been created by volunteers. More information is available at thepackshack.org.
Samaritan Community Center – For more than 25 years, the grace-driven Samaritan Community Center has provided volunteer services to the area to help those in need. Programs range from the Samaritan Market food pantry, garden and soup kitchen to social services, a thrift shop, a health clinic and a program to create snack packs and stuff backpacks with school supplies for children. Located in both Rogers and Springdale, the nonprofit also includes a dental clinic for uninsured adults. The organization relies on volunteers and in-kind donations. More information is available at samcc.org.
Saving Grace – Begun in 2009, Saving Grace provides a home for women ages 17-25 who are aging out of foster care or facing homelessness. The facility provides dorm-style living with common areas maintained by the residents. The organization focuses on creating long-term solutions so the women become self sufficient. The average stay is 14-18 months, and women are encouraged to complete or continue their education. Life skills education and community involvement are also encouraged. Residents are paired with three mentors who help them through the program and allow them to build self-esteem and independence. More information is available at savinggracenwa.org.
HFA would like to thank the representatives of these nonprofits, as well as the attendees and HFA staff members, for making this inaugural event a success.
HFA began 25 years ago as Harrison French & Associates in Bentonville by Harrison French and has grown to a multi-disciplinary design firm with more than 200 employees and offices in Bentonville, Ark.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Boston, Mass. HFA provides Architecture, Interior Design, MEP Engineering, Fire Protection, Structural Engineering, Civil Engineering and Landscape Design services to the retail, commercial and assisted living markets nationwide. The firm has participated in projects nationwide and holds professional licenses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Please visit us at http://hfa-ae.com for more information.
Contact: Melissa Jones, Media and Communications Coordinator, (479) 273-7780 ext. 397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.