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In celebration of the firm’s 40th anniversary, Benchmark Group, an engineering and architecture firm located in Rogers, has pledged to complete 40 “Acts of Service,” one for each year the firm has been open for business. So far this year, the firm has given a total of 190 volunteer hours plus $10,800 in donations throughout their completed 36 projects, and they are on target to reach their goal.

The 36 completed projects range in scope and type, and groups have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, the Rogers Humane Society, Special Needs Athletic Program (SNAP), the Samaritan Community Center, Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County, among many others.

With six additional projects planned, the team may exceed their goal of 40 projects.


America’s No. 1 basic apparel, underwear and sock brand is donating 225,000 pairs of socks to organizations fighting homelessness across the United States in its ninth year of sponsoring the Hanes National Sock Drive. Hanes is continuing to partner with national agencies, including The Salvation Army, Invisible People and Covenant House, while increasing the local impact of the program by engaging directly with at least one agency in every state to distribute the apparel. Since the program’s inception in 2009, Hanes has provided more than 2.5 million pairs of socks — the most requested item by relief agencies — to help the homeless.

The brand also announced that the National Sock Drive program will expand beyond the holiday season to a year-long effort. Visit to purchase socks ($1), women’s underwear ($1), men’s underwear ($1.50) and bras ($6) that will be distributed in needed styles and sizes by The Salvation Army. On, visitors can also learn more about homelessness and get information about participating organizations.

Local organizations distributing Hanes socks include 7hills Center in Fayetteville.


Northwest Arkansas-based I’ll Fly Away Foundation kicked off the holiday season by giving two Southwest Missouri schools the gift of music. Southwest City Elementary School (Southwest City, Mo.) and the Noel Elementary School (Noel, Mo. — known as the “Christmas City”) each received a Wurlitzer piano — compliments of Simsbury, Mo.’s, Whittenburg Church, who contacted the foundation offering two pianos for donation earlier this month. Both donations took place on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27.

The I’ll Fly Away Foundation, whose mission is “improving children’s lives through music,” was established in 2011 by Betsy Brumley and husband Kevin Bernier. Brumley, the granddaughter of famed songwriter Albert Brumley (I’ll Fly Away — one of the most recognized songs in the world), started the foundation in part to carry out her grandfather’s dream of helping others through songwriting and music. The organization’s You Can Fly songwriting program partners classrooms with professional songwriters, who help children write a song about a subject their currently studying. Both Southwest City and Noel Elementary Schools have taken part in the program.

Print Headline: GIVING BACK

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