Arvest Bank

We already knew that Northwest Arkansas is a place where people care, but the last couple of weeks have shown us evidence that the hearts of NWA companies and citizens are large. The area's biggest businesses have stepped up to the plate to deliver financial aid and manpower to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Some of those efforts have made the news, but there are many unsung heroes who have also put noteworthy effort into helping our Texan friends.



NWA helps out Texan Hurricane Victims in Big and Small Ways

Angela Forsyth


We already knew that Northwest Arkansas is a place where people care, but the last couple of weeks have shown us evidence that the hearts of NWA companies and citizens are large. The area's biggest businesses have stepped up to the plate to deliver financial aid and manpower to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Some of those efforts have made the news, but there are many unsung heroes who have also put noteworthy effort into helping our Texan friends.

Here at FamilyifeNWA, we've heard about a few of these individual's efforts and we'd like to recognize them, as well as the larger businesses that have shown their generosity. Now, with hurricane Irma adding to the degree of damage along the southeastern coast, we know we'll be hearing more stories of generous Arkansans helping out. If you know of someone who deserves recognition, please let us know through this link.

On the larger front, Wal-Mart Stores and its foundation have promised up to $20 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. This includes $10 million focused on support of American Red Cross shelters and $2 million in support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation. The company also deployed their disaster recovery team to the areas in the path of the storm to ensure their employees are safe and that their stores are stocked to supply people with essential items.

Tyson has been working to send trailers of food, water and ice as well as volunteers to disaster areas. Cooking crews from Tyson's Meals that Matter disaster relief have gone down to Conroe, Texas to serve food to victims and volunteers of Hurricane Harvey. More than a dozen cooks and corporate office staff are equipped with several trailers that are stocked with enough food and supplies to feed several thousand people over an extended period of time.

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks and the Arkansas Blood Institute are helping Texas blood donation centers in Houston and Corpus Christi, which are in need of blood after the hurricane. The CBCO has shipped 50 units of blood, while the ABI was able to send 300. They can only send more blood, if they receive donations here in Northwest Arkansas. The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is located in Springdale, and you can access its website to learn about donation times and directions. The Arkansas Blood Institute has donation centers in Little Rock, Hot Springs and Fort Smith. You can access its website to learn about donation times and directions as well.

Rogers-based, non-profit organization Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) spent a week helping Hurricane Harvey victims in Beaumont, Houston, Memorial, Rockport and Spring. With the help of more than 400 volunteers from multiple states, SDIA distributed 1,700 lbs. of non-perishable food and medical supplies in addition to 850 cases of water. The group rescued or assisted 250 people by boat and cleared many properties of fallen trees and muck.

On the smaller front, many induvial concerned Arkansans have joined in to do what they can for Texans, proving any person can help and every little bit helps. Karlee Webster, of Northwest Arkansas, has friends and family in the Houston area. She fillied a 15-foot U-Haul truck with items and delivered them to Beaumont, TX. She also started this fundraiser: https://www.youcaring.com/houston-918523. The funds will go directly to 3 different churches in 3 different communities (Living Word Church of the Nazarene, Woodlands Community Church, and Houston First Church of the Nazarene) to get supplies and things needed for people in those neighborhoods whose homes were damaged or destroyed. You can reach her through the "Contact Organizer" button on the fundraising site.

Many schools have been extensively flooded and have sustained serious damage from Hurricane Harvey. When students are able to return to their classrooms, some of them will likely attend makeshift classrooms until their school can be reopened. The NWA Frontier Girls troop #469 has "adopted" Ms. Mitchell's 2nd grade class from Sammons Elementary School in Houston through the Adopt a Texan Classroom organization. The troop is collecting supplies and gift cards to be shipped directly to the teacher at the school. These donations will help teachers restock their classrooms with supplies.

NWA resident Stephenie Sullivan is rounding up support for her cousin, who is a teacher in Texas. She is calling on suppliers and individuals who can help her cousin's students who have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. School will resume in the next few days, but she says "these kids were already operating at a deficit and this storm has wiped out what little they had." If you have items that you can donate to her classroom or to the kids individually, please send them to the school. The school is also accepting Walmart gift cards to purchase classroom supplies. You can click on this link, Cedric C. Smith Elementary school supply list to see what is needed.

The contact information is below:

  • Cedric Smith Elementary School
  • Attn: Valerie Howard McClure
  • 28747 Hardin Store
  • Magnolia, TX 77354
  • Phone: (281) 252-2300

Heritage High School in Rogers is also raising money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The school hosted a badminton game to raise funds. Players were charged $1 with all the money going to schools in the Houston area. Heritage is also collecting school supplies. You can drop off items at the school's office. The school is located at 1114 South 5th Street in Rogers.




Angela Forsyth, free lance writer with Firefly Marketing, LLC

Angela Forsyth, Editor - FamilyLifeNWA.com