Alternative Giving

By Kathy French

Every year, the Free Weekly publishes the annual alternative giving issue that is compiled from the “wish lists” of some of the aid organizations in Northwest Arkansas. Here are ideas on how you can help those in need this holiday season. There are many other aid organizations in Northwest Arkansas and all of the organizations need cash donations. Remember those in need this holiday season.

Benton County Women’s Shelter
Contact: Eva Rousey 273-5702.
The Benton County Women’s Shelter serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the four-county Northwest Arkansas area. Their crisis lines (273-3730 or 1-800-775-9011) are open 24/7. The shelter needs new women’s and children’s socks and underwear, towels and washcloths. If you want to be a “Santa’s Helper” and sponsor a shelter family, you will be matched with a family, and will be provided with names, sizes, wants and needs.

Contact: Lucy Shepard 725-2213
CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, of Northwest Arkansas, provide trained, volunteer advocates to speak for the best interest of abused children in juvenile court in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties. CASA volunteers provide a familiar face in court, knowledgeable recommendations from the judge and consistency to prevent children from falling through the cracks.
Because of the lack of foster homes in the area, volunteers and clients need phone cards and gas cards to help keep in contact. Also needed are: small, new, unwrapped toys for all ages, office supplies, books, videos and other resource materials to help volunteers understand and assist children and families. Volunteer trainees are also needed, contact Luci Shepherd at 725-2213. Foster parents are also needed, contact Elaine Dowdy,

Circle of Life
Contact: Becky Buchanan 750-6632
Circle of Life Hospice cares for people with terminal or life threatening illnesses. Circle of Life needs art supplies for children and adults, musical instruments, journals, new radios and CD players and headphones. New children’s DVDs and Bibles in Spanish, Marshallese and Chinese.

Elizabeth Richardson Center
Contact: Susan Neyman 872-1800
The Elizabeth Richardson Center works to enhance the quality of life for more than 400 children and adults with disabilities, ranging in age from birth through retirement. ERC offers preschool service, before and after school daycare, and community living and group homes for 30 adults.
Needed are holiday gift package items for girls and boys, ages 18 months to 5 years including hats, gloves, underwear, pajamas, toothpaste, toothbrushes, baby wipes and small toys. For male and female adult clients, needed are bathrobes, slippers, socks, underwear, personal hygiene items, large and extra large pull-up adult diapers, recorded music, sugar-free goodies and craft supplies. Used computers in good working order, monitors, printers, keyboards and software.
Fayetteville Animal Shelter
Contact: Jill Hatfield 444-3456
The Fayetteville Animal Shelter provides housing, care and adoption services for homeless animals and also offers low-cost spay/neuter services, rabies vaccination, micro-chipping and training programs. The adoption fee for a pet is $60 and includes micro-chipping, rabies vaccination and city animal license. Animals available for adoption can be seen at Adoption applications and other paperwork can be downloaded from All adopted animals must be kept within the adopting family. They can not be adopted and given as gifts.
There is always a need for animal treats, canned cat and dog food for very young and very old animals, stuffed animals for dogs and cats to play with, bleach, towels, blankets and washcloths.
Volunteers are needed to walk dogs, socialize with dogs and cats, do grooming and help out at special events.

Fayetteville Senior Activity Center and Meals on Wheels
Contact: 571-2920
The Fayetteville Senior Activity Center and the Meals on Wheels program assist seniors with nutritious meals and provides a place for camaraderie and activities. These services are crucial to fixed income and homebound seniors.
The center needs an outside walk-in freezer. Needed for care packages are blankets, robes, house slippers, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, hats, umbrellas, puzzle books, lotions, manicure kits, night lights, flashlights, teas, coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and candles.
Meals on Wheels needs volunteers. You can volunteer to help by giving an hour of your time, once a week or once a month.

Habitat for Humanity
Contact: Anita 582-2071 for Habi-Store
Contact: 575-9696 for volunteer opportunities
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry working in partnership with those in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing, which is sold at no profit and with no interest charged.
Donations are needed for the Habi-Store at 1858 S. West Ave., which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. You can also purchase good, used items at the Habi-Store, which carries construction supplies like lumber, plumbing, drywall, windows and home furnishing. Donated items are also needed and must be clean and in good working order. No items with broken glass and no wood with nails can be accepted.
Volunteers are needed at the Habi-Store, work sites and in the main office.
Life Styles
Contact: 521-3581
Life Styles supports individuals with disabilities to achieve their full potential as contributing members of the community.
Life Styles needs Secret Santas to provide gift items for clients. Needed are basics like hygiene supplies, new socks and underwear, CDs, books and fun stuff.
Life Styles clients are talented artists. Jewelry, holiday cards, weaving and fabric arts are for sale at the Life Styles store on the first floor of the old Washington Regional Medical Center at North Street and College Avenue. The store is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ozark Food Bank
Bethel Heights
Contact: 872-8774
The Ozark Food Bank distributes food to food pantries, senior centers and group homes in the four-county area. Needed are donations of canned items such as fruits, vegetables, meats and packaged items like dry milk, stuffing mix, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, rice dinners, hamburger helper and almost all non-perishable food items.

Peace at Home Family Shelter
Contact: Jessica 442-9811
Peace at Home Family Shelter strives to end domestic violence through prevention, intervention and support services. The emergency shelter offers services for women and children in residence as well as women and children living in the community. English and Spanish speaking service providers are available. The center takes calls 24/7 at (877) 442-9811.
For the new shelter, Peace at Home has registered at Walmart’s gift registry. Under category: Wedding, name: peace, you will find a list of needed items.
Peace at Home provides a Santa Sack program that allows client families to give presents between parents and children. Needed items are: New pots and pans, kitchen supplies, curling irons, blow dryers, costume jewelry, alarm clocks, small appliances like coffee makers, toasters, DVD players, body products like soaps, perfume, makeup and lotions, slippers, socks and robes. For kids: teething rings, blankets, educational toys, action figures, remote control toys, puzzles and board games, dolls, bedroom accessories like posters and lamps, art kits, sports paraphernalia, bikes and safety gear, costume jewelry, CDs and DVDs (nothing explicit), personal CD players, small mp3s, journals, watches, purses and backpacks.
The Peace at Home Family Thrift Store at 614 W. Sycamore St. in Fayetteville benefits the shelter.
Volunteers are needed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, to work at the thrift store. Contact Melissa Hughes, 444-8310, to volunteer for the thrift store or to donate items for the store.

Seven Hills Homeless Center
Contact: 251-7776
Seven Hills Homeless Center strives to end homelessness in Northwest Arkansas by providing guidance, information, compassion, assistance and a place of support and shelter to the working poor and homeless.
Needed are: blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks, tarps and tents. Clothing needs are large winter coats, stocking caps and gloves, men’s blue jeans (size 28-34), work boots in good condition and new white crew socks, boxers, briefs and ladies panties. Hygiene items like shampoos, soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes, toothpastes, hairbrushes, combs, disposable razors and over-the-counter medications. Fresh fruit, regular coffee, coffee creamer, sugar, canned meats, stews, tuna, soups, preferably with pop-top lids. Paper plates, napkins, plastic forks and spoons, 8 oz. hot cups, large trash bags, manual can openers, powdered laundry soap, bleach, cleansers, phone cards and gift cards.

Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Agency
Contact: Brandon Randolph 927-1025
Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Agency (SARPA) provides education, prevention, a crisis and referral hotline (800-794-4175), survivor support services and a response team that is trained to work with survivors. All services are available 24/7 in English and in Spanish.
SARPA needs all sizes of new sweat pants, plain T-shirts, panties, bras, flip flops, hygiene products, toys and journals.

Alternative Giving Market
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville is hosting an Alternative Gift Market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 7. The market is an opportunity to support more than 50 local and international non-profit relief efforts. Honor those on your shopping list with a donation to one of the organizations and receive a gift card acknowledging your contribution in their name. For information go to or call 442-7373.

Categories: Features