If you haven’t heard about our Cobblestone BHS club and the amazing things they did last year through 30 Days for Change, you are missing out! We love the students at Bentonville High School! Their hearts for our community and helping those in need inspires all the work that we do through Cobblestone Proejct . We kicked off the school year with a meeting about ways to get involved this semester and to prepare for next semesters 30 Days for Change. A few of the students signed up for Laundry Love last week, and we can’t wait to share their experience. Through the Cobblestone BHS club, we continue to engage students to inspire new ideas and new approaches to community needs.
Abby Louang- “It was so wonderful to hear what people had to say. Their stories help me understand more about the value of life and money. They told us about all the hard work they have done to survive and troubles.”
MJ Cordero- “The lady I met tonight had quite a story to tell. She was the oldest ‘healthy’ daughter of 10 kids. Her oldest sister had polio as a child. She lived on a farm and hard work had been all she had known her entire life. She married at the age of 19. Today she was in Missouri taking care of her feeble 89 year old mother-in-law. She is very strong in her faith. Her son was in a car accident were his aorta was severed from his heart. As he had surgery, he said that Jesus spoke to him and told him that everything was going to be okay, but life was going to be different. He recovered like that, and is a paraplegic. Her sister’s daughter had violent self-harm attacks filled with thrashing and screaming. Her sister was told to put the phone up to her daughter’s ear and listen to monks pray for her. The next night the daughter said that the demon inside of her was gone and Jesus took over. She taught me to really appreciate what I have and that something that will always be there for me is my faith.”
We were blown away by the response we received from these students! They are already signing up for next months events, and getting excited about 30 Days for Change next semester. Thanks to all who participated, and a big thanks to Scott Herron, our student advisor and teacher to the club.
For more information on this initiative email us!
April was a whirlwind of a month, and we loved every minute of it!
The students at Bentonville High School who participated in “30 Days 4 Change” did an amazing job.
With the help of Scott Herron, Teacher and Student Advisor, the groups were able to accomplish a tremendous amount for local organizations.
We are excited to announce that winner of the first ever 30 Days for Change & a grant of $1,000 is….LifeSource International.
Congratulations to the student group who made this possible- Kelly Xia, Emily Sellers and Shelby Thompson.
Thanks to Kevin Fitzpatrick, Corrie Rusch, Kim Garret, and Mary Ley for sitting on the judges panel. We are grateful for their commitment to Cobblestone BHS, and caring about the needs of our community. Their participation in this initiative only validated what the students campaigns.
Mary Ley the Executive Director of Communication/PR & Community Partnerships for Bentonville Public Schools, said she had an incredible experience and loved what the students were able to learn. “After yesterday, I went home on top of the world thinking of what wonderful kids, teachers, and community we live in.”
With the judges expertise and deep roots in our community, they helped make the decision to name LifeSource the winners.
The judging criteria was based on; impact, sustainability, creativity and social innovation.
They felt that the LifeSource group went above and beyond on all of these areas, and created a model that will continue for years to come. They constructed and built 4 raised garden beds on the property of LifeSource Int. Fresh produce is something that will benefit their food pantry and provide healthy meals to the under-resourced in our community.
All of the students did a wonderful job, and choosing a winner was not an easy task. Here is a recap of all the groups accomplished during 30 Days for Change:
99 Balloons: Led by Elliott Miller, Caroline Fox, Courtney Cassin, and Marissa Spear raised over $700 to send medical equipment to an orphanage in Ukraine. They also participated in a monthly volunteer opportunity, and raised awareness of rEcess at BHS.
7Hills: Led by Sarah Newton, Haley Hogue, Myles Markey, Erin Mertes, and Ellen Mertes. Over $1,000 was raised by this group to help the initiatives at 7 Hills. They sold bracelets to local neighborhoods and shared the mission behind 7 Hills.
Saving Grace: Led by Morgan Drish, Hannah Amerson, Morgan Jones, Lindsey Martin, and Demi Moore. The students were able to help spread the word about Saving Grace. They took student polls, handed out brochures, and promoted the services Saving Grace provides. They improved their social media campaign and helped create new marketing materials for the organization.
The groups not only met needs of local organizations, they were able to learn about our community as well. We know that students like these are our future. They can change not only Northwest Arkansas, but the world.
We were honored to partner with them on this journey and we are looking forward to next year. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved- email us here.
The “30 days 4 Change” student groups from Bentonville High School have been hard at work with their local nonprofit partners (Samaritan Community Center, 99 Balloons, Life Source, Saving Grace, and 7 Hills)!
The group partnered with SAMCC is planning a can food drive to stock the food pantry at the center. They will be hosting it through Bentonville High School, and local Bentonville Neighborhoods. The Rogers Samaritan Center serves 100-150 families/week through their food pantry, and are in need of canned goods.
99 Balloons helps others engage children with special needs along with their families, locally and globally. The BHS student group is volunteering with rEcess, and raising funds to send equipment to children to Ukraine.
Life Source International and the BHS Students are building raised garden beds on location at LifeSource. LifeSource desires to help families in need in Northwest Arkansas, and will be able to provide good, healthy options through raised garden beds.
The Saving Grace Group has planned to help with new marketing materials, and promotion for their Butterflies & Blooms Event. The students are also polling those in their school to collect data for Saving Grace, as they plan for a new campaign.
The 7 Hills team will be hosting an event to raise awareness about homelessness in NWA. The group plans to spend the night outside to raise awareness and money for 7 Hills.
This is the full last week for the students participating in 30 Days for Change, and there is still plenty to be done.
Our next in school meeting will be April 26th, followed by the finale day on April 30th. The judges panel will take place on May 7th and the winners will be announced that night.
Don’t forget to check back to see the latest updates,pictures and stories.
On April 1st, Bentonville High School Students Kick off the first “30 Days 4 Change” campaign targeted at making a positive difference in our community!
30 Days 4 Change is designed to…
- Engage students to inspire new ideas and new approaches to community needs.
- Expose nonprofit organizations to a new generation who desire to make positive change.
- Provide opportunities for ideas to be replicated by other nonprofit organizations.
Groups have been paired with a Northwest Arkansas Nonprofit Organization addressing poverty related issues and have from April 1st to April 30th to work towards tangible change, awareness, advocacy, and solutions.
At the end of 30 days, the student groups will be evaluated by a panel of regional poverty and educational experts to determine which organizations campaign was moved furthest forward. As a result of the students efforts, that organization will be awarded a $1,000 “30 Days 4 Change” capacity building grant.
Students will be evaluated based on…
- Alignment: Initiative Alignment to NonProfit Organizational Mission.
- Measured Impact: Initiative Measured Impact to original Initiative Scope.
- Replication: Initiative’s Ability to be Replicated by other Organizations & Student Groups
- NonProfit Evaluation: Evaluation of Students Ability to Work Together as a Team.
You may follow the progress of the “30 Days 4 Change Campaign” at…
- Cobblestone Project Bentonville High School Initiative Page
- Twitter: @CSProjectBHS
- Twitter Hashtag: #30d4c
- Facebook: CSProjectBHS
- Email: 30D4C@cobblestoneproject.org
2012 Partner Organizations & Campaign Scope
30D4C Group 1
Partner Organization: 99 Balloons
- Elliott Miller*
- Caroline Fox
- Courtney Cassin
- Elizabeth Abston
- Marissa Spear
- Josh Christianson
- Meredith Hedburg
Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Recruit volunteers to serve at rEcess & raising funds to pay for shipping wheelchairs to Ukraine for special needs children.
Students Mission: To raise money for shipping wheelchairs to Urkaine & recruiting volunteers for rEcess.
How does 30D4C support organizations mission? Volunteers are backbone of rEcess & as the program grows, more volunteers will be needed to support special needs families in Northwest Arkansas. Additionally, there is a need for wheelchairs to support a 99 Balloons Ukraine project.
Desired end results of 30D4C: Raise minimum $750 to cover cost of shipping & recruit volunteers.
How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? By raising the required money and having volunteers sign up to serve.
30D4C Group 2
Partner Organization: Samaritan Community Center
Team Name: Minoriteam
- Ashley Worthey*
- Mallory Cibulka
- Lindsey Martin
- Mason Jones
- Diane Wang
- Blake Basham
- Matt Phelan
Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Collection of food to support Samaritan Community Center’s Food Pantry operations.
Students Mission: OCFD aka “Operation Canned Food Drive”
How does 30D4C support organizations mission? Help to provide food for those at risk for hunger in our community.
Desired end results of 30D4C: A pantry loaded with food
How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? Students will construct a thermometer chart to keep progress of collected food to the goal.
30D4C Group 3
Partner Organization: 7 Hills Homeless Center
Team Name: HTH
Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Awareness of homelessness in Bentonville
Students Mission: We plan on organizing an event and gather people to be “homeless for a night” (sleep outside) and maybe raise money as we do.
How does 30D4C support organizations mission? This can hopefully bring awareness because it is not what you would usually see in Bentonville.
Desired end results of 30D4C: To bring awareness to Bentonville that homelessness is an issue because many 7 Hills clients are from Bentonville.
How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? Amount of people that end up hearing about the event (awareness).
30D4C Group 4
Partner Organization: Saving Grace
- Morgan Drish*
- Hannah Amerson
- Morgan Jones
- Lindsey Martin
Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Communications & Marketing of Saving Grace’s mission in Northwest Arkansas to include: 1) Improved communication materials (i.e. brochures), 2) Marketing and spread the word , and 3) collection basic needs items for Saving Grace
Students Mission: To improve brochures and to let the women of NW Arkansas be aware of the Saving Grace home
How does 30D4C support organizations mission? Raising awareness to broaden their ministry
Desired end results of 30D4C: To distribute as may brochures as possible.
How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? The feedback received and the number of brochures distributed.
30D4C Group 5
Partner Organization: Lifesource International
- Kelly Xia*
- Emily Sellers
- Shelby Thompson
- Alex Piceror
- Marisa Piceror
Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Fresh foods (non canned foods) & Non perishable food such as rice or beans.
Students Mission: Our group would like to build four raised garden beds for Lifesource. We would also like to get pipes to redirect gutter water into a 55 gallon bucket.
How does 30D4C support organizations mission? By building these raised garden beds we are providing Lifesource with a source of fresh foods and vegetables. We also wanted to redirect the gutter water in a way so all the rain water would go into a bucket and that’s how they would water their plants. That way they wouldn’t have to pay for the water or the sewage afterward.
Desired end results of 30D4C: By the end of this project we want the garden beds up and running. We also would like to inform children how to grow and produce their own raised garden beds at home. So they can have fresh food at home. By the end of the project we would like to have made a great impact for Lifesource.
How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? 1) measure our results by how much effort we have put into our project. Already we have informed our friends and family about our project and asking for donation. I have also been to Lowe’s multiple times to find the most efficient way to build our raised garden beds. We our also going to do a fundraiser at Jonny Bursco, 2) you could measure our results by how many garden beds we are able to build, 3) measure our result how much our garden beds will benefit Lifesource.
For more information on 30 Days 4 Change, please email 30D4C@CobblestoneProject.org
For those who don’t have the opportunity to work directly with teenagers it might be hard to understand where they are coming from. They might seem a little odd to most adults, as they have their particular set of interests and ideas about the world. Most of them might seem silly, or rude, or awkward to many outside of their culture but after 9 years of teaching and 3 years of youth ministry this seemingly different group never ceases to surprise me. Maybe they are hard to understand as we (adults) see them but at every turn there are some that are every bit as excited about making a difference in the world, bringing dignity to their fellow humans, and fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, as we think that we (adults) are.
Putting feet to their desire to serve their community set in motion the establishment of BHS Cobblestone Project. After sharing with some students the driving force and mission of Cobblestone Project and mentioning to them that there might be a chance for a club to form and then work with local NPOs they didn’t hesitate. To borrow language from Cobblestone project and having adapted it to fit BHS Cobblestone Project our mission statement is as follows: Our purpose is drawn from the belief that every person has a unique and immeasurable value because of our shared human story. It is this story that is defined by a movement towards the renewal and restoration of the image that all people were created for a purpose. Every human heart deserves dignity, respect and the opportunity to fully realize this purpose.
The strategy to take these ideas and turn them into action will be approached by 1) Identifying Issues of Justice & Mercy, 2) Connecting Needs with Willing Resources and 3) Fulfilling Needs with Sustainable Solutions.
Among other things we will be doing an annual coat/shoe drive, participating in regular initiatives from Cobblestone Project as well as conducting a school wide imitative in the Spring called “30 days for change” (more info coming).
The students are fired up! Every meeting I seem to see new faces and on a weekly basis encounter fellow staff members or parents who are increasingly interested in what we are doing. We have been interviewed in a High School sports talk magazine, broadcasted by our student newscast in the daily morning announcements (reaching approximately 4000 people every morning) and approached by the Executive Director of community relationships and PR for the Bentonville Schools.
It’s been a fast and encouraging journey so far. The “30 days for change” initiative has sparked a lot of interest with students this spring as we have almost 40 participants signed up to work with now 7 local non-profits. I am inspired by the energy, passion and desire in the students at Bentonville High School to improve the local community of NWA. The students in the club come from all types of lifestyles and personal beliefs but see a common goal as more important than self-promoting and are willing to put aside their busy schedules to be a blessing to their community and without question their teacher and club sponsor. I am very thankful to Cobblestone Project and their willingness to partner with Bentonville High school as well as the principal of BHS, Kim Garrett for her continued support of our student body and their desire to be creative and active in their communities and am excited about what the future holds.
- Scott Herron (@scaherron), BHS Teacher