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.
April 1st was the kick off of the 2012 Campaign for “30 Days 4 Change” an initiative designed to engage students ideas with new approaches to addressing community needs.
The 5 student groups are paired with 5 Northwest Arkansas Nonprofits that include Samaritan Community Center, 7 Hills Homeless Center, Lifesource International, Saving Grace & 99 Balloons. Each student group is charged with developing an action plan to address some of the organizational needs.
Today was the regroup of week 1 for 30D4C, and we had an opportunity to get a quick look at the work that is underway.
We’ll be posting periodic updates over the next 3 weeks, and you can also follow along with 30D4C at
- Cobblestone Project Bentonville High School Initiative Page
- Twitter: @CSProjectBHS
- Twitter Hashtag: #30d4c
- Facebook: CSProjectBHS
- Email: 30D4C@cobblestoneproject.org
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
Hope 2011: 3rd Annual Community Service -Focused Event for Northwest Arkansas
Northwest Arkansas Social Indicators Community Fact Sheet
Who Participated and Where Are They Living?
On October 25, 2011 a one-stop service provision event took place in Fayetteville, AR. HOPE 2011, designed to serve those in need throughout the NWA region, was sponsored in partnership with the VA, United Way of NWA, 7Hills Homeless Center, and Central United Methodist Church.
Besides services for veterans, a range of other services were provided to all participants including: blood pressure/glucose, BMI screenings, eye exams, dental screenings, haircuts, legal aid, massages, etc. A lunch was provided through Community Meals at Central United Methodist, and the majority of participants received a bag of donated groceries, and personal hygiene items provided by 3 Bags in 2 days.
On Tuesday of last week we had the distinct privilege of serving alongside some amazing NW Arkansas organizations and incredible people to participate in HOPE NWA 2011. Final numbers will be released soon, but we are told that over 350 families/people were served during the one day resource event held at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville.
HOPE NWA 2011 began 3 years ago by Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, Professor and Jones Chair in Community Director, Community and Family Institute, and it is incredible to see how the community has come alongside to support those in need.
We had the opportunity to talk briefly with…
Chloe Seal, 3 Bags in 2 Days
During the bag distribution, Chloe also asked people to share their thoughts on the one thing they wanted the world to know about them. Truly beautiful to see the hope that was present in those words.
Brittney Moore of Shear Kindness & O’Shay, Owner of Black Sheep Salon
This event would not have been possible with all the incredible people behind the scenes who helped make it happen. It’s just another example of how incredible our NW Arkansas community is and the lengths they will go to to help those in need.
This past week we had the pleasure of having Mark Horvath, founder of InvisiblePeople.tv, come back to Northwest Arkansas for a short visit. Mark first visited NW Arkansas in 2009 to share his story at 1,287 Stand Up & Be Counted Homeless Awareness Rally.
Mark had an opportunity to sit down with Marian Riner, Families in Transition Coordinator for the Fayetteville Public Schools, to talk with her about how the Fayetteville Public Schools are caring for students in their school district who are homeless.
For more information on how you can help homeless families in our community, please your school’s homeless services coordinator (believe it or not, every school has one).
Veterans, homeless, and those in need in Northwest Arkansas will be served at HOPE NWA 2011 resource event. This event will provide free medical, vision, dental screening, haircuts, clothing, groceries, legal advice, and Veteran’s services.
We are excited to be participating with the community to serve our community & we are excited that InvisiblePeople.tv Founder, Mark Horvath, will be returning to NW Arkansas to serve with us. Mark has been an incredible friend to our community beginning at our 2009 “1,287 Stand Up & Be Counted Homeless Awareness Rally“. Mark has help bring awareness & understanding to the story and the faces of those in need in our community & we glad to have him return this year to serve our community.
- Helping to set-up (on Monday before the event) for the event…info on 7 Hills Center Website
- Helping to sort donations at United Way of Northwest Arkansas Gift in Kind Warehouse the week of Oct 14th
- 3 Bags in 2 Days will be passing our bags & you can help by passing out bags, collecting needed supplies & helping to pack the bags in preparation for the event.
- Shear Kindness will be cutting hair & you can help by cutting hair, assisting those cutting hair, donating supplies, etc.
- Donating Food Bags that will be distributed at the HOPE NWA Event. Sign up at 7 Hills Center Website
Please contact Kevin Fitzpatrick, email@example.com for more information on other ways to help.
It probably doesn’t come to any great surprise that the weather continues to be the biggest challenge at The Farm; however, we are continuing to manage through it as best as possible. This was a busy week at The Farm and we had the opportunity to accomplish a couple very important milestones.
The Farm Weekly Update
The weather conditions are affecting small farmers all over Northwest Arkansas, and we had the opportunity to share a little of the impact on The Farm with 40/29 News.
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Services Update
We also had the opportunity to collect some information from one of The Farm’s closest advisers, Mark Bray of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Services. We would encourage you to take a few minutes to read his update that we posted on the Cobblestone Project Farm website earlier this week. He shares some statistics of historical weather patterns to show just how extreme this season has become.
Harvest & Hunger Relief
On the positive side of things we continue to harvest significant amounts of produce from The Farm as we irrigate like crazy to try and keep summer crops on schedule.
This week we harvested 673 pounds of food from The Farm with 296 pounds going to local hunger relief via the Samaritan Community Center. This brings our season to date harvest to 3,755 pounds with 41% of the total harvest being given to local hunger relief in Northwest Arkansas.
While we are a little behind on donations to hunger relief, the good news is we have approximately 2,000 lbs of food in the ground that just needs to be harvested and delivered to local hunger relief partners. We had planned on doing that Saturday; however, with the intense heat, we did not have the volunteers necessary to harvest the food. We fully expect to harvest this food during this week and that should bring our hunger relief donations back in line.
Poultry Project Update
We made some significant progress this week in upgrading our poultry house to use solar powered lights to provide the 17 hours of light needed each day to gain maximum egg production. A huge thank you to Flint Richter of the Rocky Grove Sun Company (love that name) for installing all of the equipment on the houses. He was able to ensure we continue to have a zero-impact poultry project in place saving us money on electricity, and allowing us to increase egg production that we can then provide to our hunger relief efforts. This is an incredible example of how our sustainability and hunger relief platforms are empowering each other. Thanks Flint!
This week we also were able to retrofit some of the existing hen houses to combine them into a large house that will allow us to almost double the number of hens we have at The Farm. Obviously, this should also double the number of eggs the hens are able to produce. In order to ensure the houses were retrofitted correctly, we were able to partner with Seven Hills Homeless Center’s Job Assistance Program to hire two skilled carpenter’s (pictured at right with Gary).
Here’s a quick video of Carolina (our University of Arkansas Student Project Adviser) explaining all that we were able to accomplish.
And, of course, nothing would be happening at The Farm without all of the incredible people who come out each week to lend their hands and backs to do all the crop maintenance, irrigation, planting, and harvesting. These are some incredible people who work tirelessly every week out of the abundance of their desire to serve Northwest Arkansas.
We had an opportunity to meet Jerry and Krista Clark who moved to Northwest Arkansas from San Diego, plugged in to New Heights Church, and made it a top priority to engage in serving this community and their new home. Here is a little of their story.
Week after week the students of Fellowship Bible Church’s Collegiate Student Ministry continue to come out to The Farm and work tirelessly to meet the demands of The Farm. We can not express how grateful we are for their continued week after week investment. It’s this type of consistency that allows us to plan efficiently the week’s work, and have peace of mind that our efforts will not be in vain. Here’s a quick video of them from last week.
As you can see if was a crazy busy week and we desperately need some relief from the heat and lack of rain. We will continue to tirelessly work the fields and leave the heat and rain to the One who is truly in control of the harvest.
Thanks Northwest Arkansas Community and if you would like more information on ways you can plug into The Farm, please visit our posted volunteer opportunities or email TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org.
Until next week!