Wow! It is hard to believe it is already April 1st. The last few months have flown by at The Farm and our first harvest date is scheduled for this month. We have loved getting to meet new faces that have been to see us, and we are thankful for the faces we recognize that are back again.
We have 17 rows already planted! Some of things you should be expecting to see us harvest: peas, onions, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, beets, turnips, broccoli, cabbage. We have started seedlings in our new Green House, and produce is already visible in the High Tunnel.
Jake, our new Farm Manager gave us a quick update of what is happening, so check it out!
We have started coordinating our Hunger Relief efforts with local organizations and are so thankful for what is happening in our community as it relates to Food Security. Check back with us as the First Harvest approaches & stories of truly amazing things happening in NWA continue.
Don’t forget our Volunteer Opportunities have started, so if you or your group wants to plan a volunteer day email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to see you out at The Farm!
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!
Today’s post comes from Chloe Seal, initiative leader of 3 Bags in 2 Days. Art in the Park is a one-a-month event in Walker Park in South Fayetteville. We invite the under-resourced in our area to come to the park and to paint. We provide all the art supplies and serve dinner as well. People can come for a few hours and just be. People can come and let out whatever is going on in their lives and have a chance to freely express themselves through painting.
Tonight was so special. 6 months into Art in the Park and I couldn’t be any more in love. As if I’m not already borderline obsessed with it, tonight was something incredible. I can’t really put words to it or explain why it was so different. Every month it just seems to find it’s rhythm a little better and people start to feel truly welcome.
The best I can try to communicate about tonight would be the rich, deep community that could be felt. People came to paint and to eat, but the evidence of community and relationships could be felt by all. There was just a presence of calmness, trust, and abounding love. After all was said and done, a few of us looked at each other with the same thoughts of….wow. How on earth did Art in the Park come to be the way it was tonight? How did this incredible community come together in one place the way it did? How did art truly bring us all together?
I think this sense of community carried on through every avenue. People’s canvases seemed more vibrant than usual. The food seemed extra yummy. People clapped and cheered even when someone else won the duffle bag in the raffle. People helped each other get more paint or carry their stuff to the table. People laughed louder than ever. People encouraged others more than usual. New friendships were formed. 150 canvases were made beautiful. 120 lives changed. 120 people were just able to love and be loved.
It was the best example of community that I have ever seen. Truly putting others first in a way that I have never witnessed before. A random, broken, overlooked, ragged and simply beautiful group of misfits (myself included) has taught me more about life and people that I could have ever imagined.
For many of us our senior year of high school is all about planning a senior trip, getting your senior photos taken, no longer worrying about our ACT score and anticipating the exciting future on the horizon.
For others, their senior year is full of worries and stresses, usually things that young adults shouldn’t have on their shoulders.
Help-Portrait NWA longs to assist the latter group with the gift of photography by giving them a glimmer of hope and self worth through photos.
On April 28, Help-Portrait NWA had the privilege of working with several high school students. With 2 locations set up in NWA we photographed 20 students and hopefully restored a sense hope and even if just for that day allowed the students to be free of whatever worries they have. It was a wonderful day and as Austin Waters summed it up “It was narly!”
I saw students that day that probably did not think having senior photos was even possible…Help-Portrait NWA made it possible! Not only were photos taken and smiles shared, but these students touched our hearts as we hopefully did theirs.
As we wrapped up the event on April 28, I was left astonished once again at the thought that while all of our volunteers gave such a wonderful gift to our students, the students had also given us a gift! A powerful lesson of love, humility and graciousness is there for all to learn who participate.
Help-Portrait is not just about photos…It’s about hope. It is about showing people that good is still out there and people do care. Everyone is worth loving and being loved…that is what Help-Portrait is to me. I am not a photographer or editor but I am a person and I do have love…and that I can and will give.
Help-Portrait NWA has a spot for everyone, if you want to help give people hope and build their confidence we have a spot for you!
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
We are so thankful to Mrs. Creekmore’s 1st Grade at R.E. Baker Elementary Class for their amazing Valentine’s Day Laundry Love donation. Together these amazing 1st Grader’s gathered laundry detergent & quarters to donate to help the Laundry Love efforts all over Northwest Arkansas. In total, their efforts will help over 20 families with clean clothes and a warm smile.
Their actions are a testament to the power of everyone to make a difference in serving your community however young or old you may be.
Through the simple sharing of a story these 1st graders joined some many others in our community who are giving of their time, energy & resources to make Laundry Love a place of relief, respect and compassion.
If you would like more information on how you can get involved with Laundry Love in Northwest Arkansas, please visit our Laundry Love initiative page or email LLP@CobblestoneProject.org
While Spring hasn’t officially arrived, we don’t care because at The Farm we are claiming that Spring is HERE!!!
Our community has been so gracious for their huge investment into The Farm so early in the season. It is ensuring we are on track with our production plan, and with weather like we have been experiencing we are very happy with were we are in this second week of March.
We have a whole lot of potatoes (almost 3 to 4 times where we were last year at this time), onion, cabbage, and broccoli. Over the coming weeks we will be planting assorted lettuces, kale, spinach, peas, radishes, and spring mix. We may also be able to start some tomatoes and herbs as well.
The people who quietly come week after week to push seeds into the ground are the backbone of The Farm. We simply could not do this without you (& you know who you are Michele, Liz, Anita, and Brian). We are humbled, grateful and thankful for all you do. Thank you is not sufficient for what you have made possible.
We are truly thankful for some faithful groups such as the University of Arkansas chapter of the American Marketing Association. You guys are amazing and we thankful for your amazing support during this critical time of the year. Your tireless efforts are making a huge difference & we are grateful.
(the above pictures was from two weeks ago, but wanted group shot)
And of course we love everyone else that is helping with The Farm. Was so much fun to have these beautiful Farmers this past weekend helping us plant!
We had a very productive day last Saturday. We planted another 2,500 onion bulbs and began work on planting the broccoli & cabbage crops.
Additionally, we were able to finish the installation of the High Tunnel thanks to many helping hands and some calm winds. Gary was able to start planting in there yesterday and that will help get some early summer crops in motion.
and to cap off an amazing Saturday planting day, we were given the gift of grace in the rain that fell all day Sunday. We had about 3/4 of an inch of rain at The Farm (according to our rain gauge but felt like a lot more than that), and that provide the perfect conditions to let the seeds, bulbs and plants settle in the soil. Thankful for the rain.
The Farm Weekly Update
If you would like more information on The Farm or how you can get involved, please visit our calendar of events or email TheFarm@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