Cooperative effort cultivates compassion

Posted: February 4, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Dian Williams

Board President Compassion Fayetteville

Day job: Retired

Tell us about your organization:

• Mission:

To advocate compassion in our community to enhance the quality of life for all.

• Services provided:

To support projects of our nonprofit Partners in Compassion by social media and hands-on volunteer support.

• Service area:

Fayetteville and the surrounding area.

• Average number of people served annually:

This is difficult to assess, but an approximation would be 500-1,000 people.

How is your organization’s mission unique?

We are connected with the worldwide Compassion movement — which is based on the Golden Rule — created by noted theologian Karen Armstrong after she won the TED prize a few years ago. Fayetteville became the 26th city worldwide to earn the title of a Compassionate City. There are now well over 100 cities on the list.

Why do you work with a nonprofit organization? Do you have a personal connection to the mission? If so, what is it?

Serving other people has always been a part of who I am. I am a retired minister and registered nurse and have always enjoyed seeing others become healed and empowered to be able to live their lives more easily and completely. I am so overjoyed when I see their ability to pay it forward to someone else in need.

What part of your job fills the most of your time?

I never expected to be this busy in retirement, but I love everything I do for this organization. It feeds me to my very bones!

What have you learned on the job that you didn’t expect?

Since moving to Fayetteville from Houston just five years ago, I realize that the goodness and loving generosity of this community goes way beyond what I have experienced in any other city.

What challenges face your organization?

Just like most, we can always use volunteers and financial support. We do a lot with a little and are very efficient in our operations.

Are there volunteer opportunities in your organization? What are they?

We need self-starting individuals who are willing to work for nothing except the warmth and touching feedback they receive from those they help. We need people willing to take on a team, whether it is for the environment, poverty, feeding hungry people, supporting a refugee family, or any number of other areas with which we have connections. There is no limit to our outreach with more help in any of these areas.

What upcoming fund-raisers and/or other events does your organization have planned?

Black History Month has just begun, and many events are upcoming.

We are having a Partners in Compassion Party June 2. We have nearly 300 individuals and businesses that are invited to attend. Our guest speaker will be Marilyn Turkovich, director for the Charter for Compassion International from Washington. She will also offer a credit class for our local teachers on how to include compassion in their classes on June 2.

In September we are planning our fall project with Tri Cycle Farms to help with the food recovery program that has been and is becoming so successful in our area.

Black History Month events

Feb. 8: Lunch and Learn: Black Minds Matter, 11:30 a.m., Mermaids in Fayetteville Feb. 9: Black History 101: Mobile museum and lecturer, 12:30 p.m., Janelle Y. Hembree House, University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville Feb. 12: NWA NAACP Founder’s Day Celebration: 109 Years. Still Relevant, 7-8 p.m., ALLPS School of Innovation in Fayetteville Information: The organization has a number of events planned to mark the month. Visit their website at compassionfayetteville.org for a complete list.