When 7hills Homeless Center in Fayetteville evaluated their services in 2015 and decided they would better serve the community by focusing solely on helping the homeless population, the decision resulted in the disbanding of the Go7 outreach program. Cristie Ginther and other volunteers who had been part of the distribution team for that program, which took food donations out into rural Northwest Arkansas communities, hated to see that outreach fall by the wayside.
"We said this is important to rural folks," Ginther recalls. "Because when you look at folks having to make a decision whether to come in to Bentonville or Fayetteville or Rogers to get assistance at pantries or whatever, then they have to use gas, so a lot of these folks would not be accessing those things."
Essentials Outreach collects toilet paper, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, dish detergent, laundry soap, deodorant and razors for distribution. Festival sponsor Adventure Subaru will also accept these items during the month of June to benefit the organization.
INFO — essentialsoutreach.org, email email@example.com
So the volunteers kept the Go7 program going in the form of the new non-profit Essentials Outreach. But rather than keeping the focus on food, Ginther and her volunteers found a greater need for health and hygiene products in the rural communities they continued to serve.
"Since we started in 2015, we've had a 20% growth of impact," explains Ginther, who is on the board for the non-profit. "So, it's important to say that we are growing, that the need is there."
Last year, the organization served 900 families and June 23, they will raise funds to continue that mission with the third annual Essential Music Festival at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville. From 1 to 5 p.m., local bands Dirty Flannel Shirt, Marvar, and Jumpsuit Jamey and the Can't Wait to Playboys will perform at a benefit where all the funds -- a minimum $10 donation -- will directly support Essentials Outreach.
"If somebody comes through, we do ask for your name and where you live and how many people are in the family," Ginther adds of the donation process. "The reason we do that is for grant purposes, so we can say we served this many people in this area. Our idea is to give with grace -- if someone needs it, we just give it."
-- Jocelyn Murphy
NAN What's Up on 06/16/2019
Print Headline: Funding The Fundamentals