From January, 2009

Walmart & Sam’s Club ISD Coat Drive yields big results, but this is only 1/2 of the story…

It’s been a true pleasure to get to know Joshua Segraves. His passion for making a difference in the world is incredible, so when he called two weeks ago we couldn’t let this story go without being told.

This story is about how people can make a difference in the world around them by just taking that first step.

So, we asked Joshua to tell the story in his own words. Enjoy…it’s incredible.


From Joshua Segraves…

Our team had recently formed a committee entitled “meaningful work”, to which I was assigned. Just what is meaningful work, anyway? We discussed and came up with a whole list of things that revolved around the individual being appreciated by the company: evaluations, more money, work / life balance, etc. As we discussed, the conversation slowly moved from being about the individual to the individual being a part of something bigger than himself: protecting the environment, volunteering, providing for those in need.

Of course, we all had day jobs. How could we serve our community in a meaningful way without detracting from our work? We needed something that had a large impact, but would not require a huge time commitment from our team.

We had recently had a bitter cold snap in the area. It was UNBELIVEABLY cold even when completely bundled up. How cold would it be if we didn’t have the resources to purchase appropriate clothing to protect us from the cold? How many people in our community weren’t able to meet the basic need of staying warm in the winter? We have a multiple fundraisers at Wal-Mart, but why wasn’t this need specifically addressed? Our team decided that we would try to meet the need.

It turned out to be incredibly easy to set up. We acquired large boxes from our Facilities department to deposit the coats, decorated the boxes, and posted signs through out the building. The idea was formed on a Tuesday, and we had boxes out the following Monday.

The next two weeks were Christmas and New Years. In spite of this, we were able to collect 85 coats. We figured that was pretty good since so many people were out of the office. The week after New Years, we collected an additional 100+ coats by Tuesday. We were running out of space to store them so we arranged to drop off the 180+ coats collected so far at Samaritan House.

Because of the large influx of coats during the week after New Years, we decided to extend the coat drive for one more week. We were able to collect an additional 159 coats for a grand total of 339 coats! The second half of coats were delivered to the Cobblestone Project, where they will be given to Seven Hills Homeless Shelter as well as distributed to needy families with their Laundry Love initiative. They will be doing laundry for some of the area’s underprivileged and will be distributing the coats on a need basis.

Just an idea, cardboard box, poster board, signs and willing hearts, and 339 coats later, a significant impact to our community. If you get inspiration for a project such as this, ACT ON IT. It is incredible to get to be a part of God’s work at work.

Joshua Segraves
ISD Sam’s Project Mgmt Team


This is the first half of the story because these coats are on schedule to start being delivered at the Fayetteville Laundry Love Project on Friday, February 6th. So, check back for the rest of the story.

Huge thank you to all the Walmart & Sam’s associates who donated coats! Your generosity is incredible and the Cobblestone Project is humbled to be entrusted to help distribute these coats to those in need.

More to come…

A new tile floor for the Lodge @ Restoration Village, but is it really about the tile?

Another great day at Restoration Village as a group of volunteers took an extra Saturday to put in a new tile floor in the Lodge.

It’s impossible to capture all the stories of the incredible people who selfishly give of themselves and their time to lend a helping hand.  However, these are the types of stories that seem be show the essence of what the Cobblestone Project is trying to do.

This story started a few weeks ago (actually over Christmas break), when Ryan was at the Village doing a little painting.  In passing, it was mentioned that there was a need to put down a new tile floor in a bathroom that needed a little loving care.  As chance would have it (well maybe not chance), Ryan knew he could probably make a few phone calls to help.  A few weeks later, a new tile floor. 

How?

All it took was one person with the determination and vision to see how they could help make a difference for good in thier community around them.  A few phone calls, a few good men willing to spend a few hours helping and it all came together.  While they spent time on their hands and needs pulling up old linoleum and glue, life is shared because they become part of a bigger story.  A story of restoration and hope in every woman and child that will call the Lodge home.

Not to be overlooked, the next day after the tile was set…David & Beverly (our heroes) set the grout and all was finished. 

It was a team effort and it is wonderful to see everyone pitch in.  I sent Garrison and Jack a note that night expressing thanks and how much everyone appreciated thier labor to which Garrison replied…”they deserve it.”  I don’t think anything could be more true.

Huge thanks to everyone who made this possible. 

  • Mark Wagner & Ryan Rusch of The Master’s Craft out of Bethel Heights for their expertise, coordination and dedication to make it all happen
  • Jack Ford & Garrison Roddey to spent some long hours on their hands and knees scraping old linoleum and glue off the floor and installing the tile.
  • Spring Creek Custom Machining for the use of the tools.
  • McGarrah Carpets for their generous donation of the tile.

800+ lbs of Food Donated to Samaritan Community Center…

It was an unbelievable outpooring of support by Cave Springs neighborhoods:  Weston Hills and Wellington.

Together these neighbors donated over 800+ lbs of food that was given to the Samaritan Community Center in Rogers.  In talking with the folks at the Samaritan Community Center, we know that this food will be given away very quickly as the needs that are being seen continue to rise at a rate that is difficult to keep up with.

For a small peek at the growing needs in NW Arkansas, here is an article that was in the local paper from late December (http://nwanews.com/bcdr/News/69234/) with info from Debbie Rambo (Director of Samaritan House).

A huge thank you to Jen Boyle and Joyce Modglin (and their familes) for coordinating the Good Neighbor Food Drive.

If your neighborhood would like to host a Good Neighbor Food Drive or help at the Samaritan Community Center, please contact food@cobblestoneproject.org and we’ll help get you plugged in.

The “Why?” Syndrome…Laundry Love Project Rogers Launch

For those of you have been around a two year old for any extended length of time know the syndrome. The constant, persistent search to know why!

When we began Laundry Love in Fayetteville, the overwhelming response was to understand just that…..WHY?

Our first Rogers Laundry Love was held last week, and it proved to be no different. From the owners of the laundry mat, to the people who walked through the door, to the friends that I mentioned it to in passing, to my own children…..WHY?

I have thought a long time about this, and I wanted to share the answers that I have seen…….

To the man from El Salvador who has worked across the country to provide for a family here and far away…..that is why.

To the woman who is desperately searching for work so her family from Minnesota can join her…..that is why.

To the person who has never considered poverty as a problem in Northwest Arkansas….that is why.

To my children who are being taught lessons of kindness and servitude, to see the value in each and every person….that is why.

To myself who is given a new perspective on my own priorities….that is why.

The stories, the answers are all there. We just have to look for them.

Too have eyes like a two year old may not be such a bad thing. When you begin to question and search for answers….you gain knowledge. And as the saying goes “knowledge is power”.

Laundry Love has the power to make a difference in my life, in your life, in the life of those around us. I am excited to be apart of this initiative and look forward to having the “why’s” answered!


Sleeping Bags with a lot of love already in them…

Huge thank you to Melanie Allen from Disney Consumer Products for helping to coordinate the donation of some children’s and adults sleeping bags for the Cobblestone Project to distribute.

First of all, why are sleeping bags so valuable?  There are so many ways that they are used…

1.  Seven Hills Homeless Shelter can distribute them at their day center for the homeless and/or near homeless.

2.  Sleeping bags can be used by the numerous Women’s and Children’s Shelters in NW Arkansas to replace linens or sent home with someone once they leave the shelter.

3.  What little girls doesn’t want a Disney Princess sleeping bag?  How much is that smile worth when they receive it?  Especially when they may be victims of abuse or have recently lost their home.  It’s amazing to see the smiles and excitement when one is unrolled by a child.

Second, the adult sleeping bags will go to Seven Hills Homeless Shelter and remaining children’s sleeping bags to Restoration Village.

Thanks for trusting us to make sure that these sleeping bags make their way to a place where they are needed most.

It’s good to know that those that receive them not only get a sleeping bag, but they receive one already filled with love.

Restoration Village Service Day…A Great Day in a Great Room!

Special thanks to everyone who participated in January’s Restoration Village Service day…what a great day in a Great Room.

Saturday’s service day offered a unique chance for all of the volunteers to spend time together in the same room and stay nice a warm.

It was a true joy to spend some time putting on some new painting and beginning to install some paneling into the Great Room of the Lodge @ Restoration Village so that it will continue to be a place of warmth and comfort for the women and children that call the Village home.

In so many ways, it was great time…

From world class trim carpentry (I didn’t realize glue could be subsituted for nails)…

to the best trim painter in world just happening to be with us (don’t tell James’ wife what he was doing b/c he has trim at home to paint also)

with old friends

and new friends

it was a wonderful day!
Still some work to do to finish off the Great Room, but we made a lot more progress than we had expected.  Had the paint dried a little quicker (on a cold day) we may have actually finished off the panel installation.

The Christmas decorations are put away and some more wood was moved down near the furnace so things are falling into place.

We appreciate all the people that came out and continue to come out to poor their time and effort into a place that is truly remarkable.  We may not live there, but it’s a home to us also.

Next month awaits….come and join us.

(mike@CobblestoneProject.org)

The Love in Florida…

Over a Thanksgiving dinner, a family gathers to share their love of serving those around.

One thing leads to another and a Cobblestone Project connection takes place.

Here’s the story from the perspective of one that was there…


“We heard of Jacob’s affinity for helping those in need and how the family has participated in some church events giving to those needs. It brought to mind the Cobblestone Project, so we told them about it. By the next day, the website had been viewed and a connection was made.

In the following weeks, the family was hooked. While rolling change from the family collection jar, they decided to do some laundry for others. On December 23rd and armed with some quarters, the family walked into a laundromat with service on their agenda.

Many small stories came from that event, but one stands out.

A woman whose laundry was paid for approached Jacob’s mother, and opened up to her. Apparently on that day, every person she had encounted was rude to her. She had just been involved in a minor car accident, and the other car drove away from it.

The simple act of a 12 year old buying her laundry “restored her hope in people”. One family can make a difference with as little as a handful of quarters.”

In the picture…Jacob and Graham


It’s amazing to see how our lives and communities are connected through story and how the simple actions of a 12 year old boy can make a difference.

This is what it’s all about.

If you want to get involved in Laundry Love Project, send an email to llp@cobblestoneproject.org, or visit the founder’s of Laundry Love Project, JustOne (www.just4one.org).

January’s Laundry Love Project Fayetteville

January’s Laundry Love Project Fayetteville was amazing…but that goes without saying at this point.

While still a busy night, the evening was little calmer than previous month’s. Our hope is that this month, maybe…just maybe, things are looking a little brighter for our friends that have been coming in the past. However, still some new faces and the calmer atmosphere gave us the opportunity to spend a little more time talking as we fed those machines a large portion of quarters.

Huge thanks to all the volunteers to came to help! A group of volunteers from The Grove in Fayetteville has been an incredible help in making LLP go so smoothly and we are so appreciative that they will be hanging around for some time to come; not to mention they can pull together some great soup to feed everyone!

It was a great night and we can’t wait until next month. If you’d like to get involved, there are so many ways to include providing the meal for the evening, helping feed the machines those quarters, providing laundry detergent, donating coats, socks or blankets, donating new laundry baskets (as many guests don’t have them), etc. Just shoot a note to llp@cobblestoneproject.org and we’ll get in touch.

Thanks again to everyone that made this night possible, and please know that there are many people “behind the scenes” that we couldn’t do this without. Including the parents and grandparents that stayed home to watch kids so we could come (thanks mom & dad).

Rogers LLP starts on Jan 9th…incredible stuff!