Ideas on How to Engage the Spirit of Giving

ffw-1203-coverAlternative Giving

By Kathy French

Every holiday season the Free Weekly offers ideas for alternative giving. Below you will find some of the needs from just a few of the local aid organizations. To help, you can simply add an extra name to your annual giving list and provide an item from the wish lists. Or, you can continue giving throughout the new year by signing up to volunteer at one of the organizations. And, of course, all organizations will happily accept financial donations. For more organizations that need help, go to

Cancer Support Homes

2706 E. Central Ave.

Bentonville, AR 72712


and 1101 N. Woolsey Ave.

Fayetteville, AR 72703


Area Cancer Support Homes provided support services to cancer patients and families in a non-clinical home like setting. The Fayetteville location provides overnight guestrooms for patients traveling to Northwest Arkansas for cancer treatments.

The Fayetteville location needs donations of travel- or trial-size toiletry items, canned soft drinks and individual-size snack foods for overnight guests. The items can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The Bentonville Office needs regular volunteers to help with general office duties.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) of NWA

5322 Bleaux Ave. Suite A

Springdale, AR 72762


CASA of Northwest Arkansas recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused or neglected children in foster care, to ensure that each child has a safe and permanent home free from abuse.

This holiday season CASA wants all 350 plus children in foster care in NWA to have gifts and toys under the tree. Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Dec. 7 at the CASA office.

CASA is also seeking adults 21 years of age or older who are interested in serving as advocates for abused children. A full description of what an advocate does and how to become an advocate can be found at

Circle of Life Hospice

901 Jones Road

Springdale, AR 72764


Circle of Life Hospice focuses on the mind, body and spirit to create a healing environment for people with terminal or life threatening illnesses.

Circle of Life needs new art supplies for activities with both children and adults, all sorts of musical instruments like guitars and banjos, Flip camera (small video cameras) and Kindle electronic readers. For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Becky Buchanan at or 750-6632.

Elizabeth Richardson Center

3917 S. Old Missouri Road

Springdale, AR 72764


The Elizabeth Richardson Center works to improve the quality of life for more than 400 children and adults with disabilities. ERC offer preschool services and provides community living and group homes for 30 adults, many who will remain in these homes throughout the holidays.

ERC would like to have a gift package for each of it clients. Needed are the following new items. For children (boys and girls, up to age 5) think underwear, baby wipes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, pajamas, bathrobes, hats, mittens, gloves, sweaters (sized infant to 5T), small toys like cars, puzzles, dolls and plush stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books. For both male and female adults consider underwear, basic hygiene items, socks, slippers, bathrobes, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, craft supplies like markers, scissors, glue sticks, sugar free goodies and recorded music. For information, contact Lynne Keller at or 872-1800, ext. 218. Donations can be dropped off at 3917 S. Old Missouri Road in Springdale, one mile north of the Botanical Garden.

Fayetteville Animal Shelter

1640 Armstrong Road

Fayetteville, AR 72701


The Fayetteville Animal Shelter needs donations of cleaning supplies (paper towels, bleach, laundry detergent, sponges, dish soap, odor eliminator, window cleaner, trash bags, hand sanitizer), toys and treats for dogs and cats, canned pet food, nonclumping cat litter and clean old blankets and towels. An industrial steam cleaner for cleaning the cat rooms would help wipe out feline respiratory infections, which are highly contagious and prevalent. A photo printer and a circuit machine (which cuts out letters and shapes) are desired to update and overhaul the bulletin boards. If your organization wants to sponsor a “Jingle Bells and Wagging Tails Donation Drive” to collect any of these items, contact the shelter and they will provide you with a collection box.

To help the shelter animals find forever homes during these tough economic times, FAS is looking for businesses and individuals to sponsor the $60 adoption fee in their “Home for the Holiday Sponsorship Drive.” This fee includes all the basic vaccinations and spay/neuter services for the animal before it goes to its new home. A card will note that a particular animal is sponsored and by whom. Contact Justine Middleton at or 444-3456 for information on the sponsorships. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center and Meals on Wheels

945 S. College Ave.

Fayetteville, AR 72701


The Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center serves homebound senior citizens with the Meals on Wheels program. Needed for the homebound clients are donations of fresh fruits, juice, healthy snacks, toiletries (powders, lip balm, arthritis pain creams, manicure kits, Kleenex, lotions and such), small household safety devices (flashlights with batteries, weather radios, nightlights), large-type word search puzzle books, lap blankets and socks. You can also sponsor a senior or make a cash donation; $2.50 feeds a homebound senior for a day. If you really want to make a difference, give the gift of your time and visit a homebound senior. They are not able to get out of their homes without assistance and don’t get a lot of human interaction. The only cost to you is your time and effort, and a chance to chat with someone in person is really what most seniors would like for Christmas. The Meals on Wheels program also need back up relief drivers. Contact Krissi at 571-2920.

Donation can be dropped off at the Center, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Habitat for Humanity

HFH of Washington Co.

2371 Green Acres Road Suite 1

Fayetteville, AR 72703-2832


Habitat for Humanity International builds and renovates decent, affordable housing for those in need. This nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry then sells the property to its clients at no profit and with no interest charged.

Volunteers are needed for the current build project in south Fayetteville, and to staff the ReStore at 1858 S. West Ave. in Fayetteville. The ReStore is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The store sells reusable home and construction and the proceeds help fund the projects.

Habitat also does deconstruction of donated houses. Volunteers tear out the usable fixtures and features of the home before it’s demolished, which results in less landfill waste and creates stock for the ReStore. Contact the office to volunteer for the next deconstruction on Zion Road.

For Christmas Habitat is doing an Angel Tree for children 12 and younger. Call or stop by the office for specific information on gifts needed. A handmade quilt has been donated for a quilt raffle that will run through January. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

Habitat is having a benefit basketball game featuring the Harlem Ambassadors at 7 p.m. January 21 at Har-Ber High School in Springdale. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door.

For more information or to volunteer, come by the office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays or call 575-9696.

Life Source International

602 S. School Ave.

Fayetteville, AR 72701


Life Source is a faith-based local nonprofit community outreach organization. The organization provides counseling services, a summer day camp and after-school care for kids, a clothing storehouse, food pantry and adult education classes for their clients.

Life Source needs donations of food items of all kinds, particularly hot breakfast cereals for winter. They also need a good used box truck with a tailgate lift, a 12-passenger van and a security/surveillance system. Volunteers are always needed to teach adult education classes like computer basics, finance and English and Spanish, to work with kids, distribute food from the pantry, or help out in the office.

The Life Source food pantry hours are 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays is for Spanish speakers who are uncomfortable speaking English. Donations can be dropped off at the office 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Life Styles

2471 W. Sycamore St.

Fayetteville, AR 72702


Life Styles helps people with disabilities reach their full potential and participate in the community. To help their clients, Life Styles needs art supplies, including brushes, gesso, lapidary supplies, beads and jewelry wire, good yarn and weaving tools, frame looms, crock pots, wax, dying supplies, ceramic tools and digital cameras. Life Styles clients make artistic and useful items out of these donations. You can purchase jewelry, art, birdhouses and more at Life Styles The Blair Center, 5200 S. Thompson St. in Springdale. The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at 2471 W. Sycamore St.

Northwest Arkansas Food Bank

1378 June Self Drive

Bethel Heights, AR 72764


The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank gives food to senior centers, church pantries, group homes and other area agencies in Northwest Arkansas.

The Food Bank needs donations of canned meats and fruit, stuffing, cranberry sauce, frozen turkeys, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese boxes and pretty much anything non-perishable. They also need volunteers to help sort and label the canned goods they receive and individuals and groups to sponsor food drives. Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Bethel Heights location. For more information on volunteering, contact Lana Harris at or 872-8774.

Peace at Home Family Shelter

P.O. Box 1923

Fayetteville, AR 72702

444-8310 office

442-9811 or 1-877-442-9811 crisis line

Peace at Home Family Shelter serves victims of domestic violence and rape. They provide crisis shelter for women and children, and advocacy and support services for in-shelter and out-of-shelter clients.

Peace at Home is looking for businesses that can donate lawn care, handyman services and carpet cleaning. The office needs some basic office supplies. Volunteers are needed to regularly staff the thrift store at 614 W. Sycamore in Fayetteville. For their Christmas event, Peace at Home needs new toys for children up to age 18, and gifts for mothers. Please keep stuffed animals to a minimum. Call 444-8310 for directions and bring Christmas gift donations in to the shelter by Dec. 9.

Quality Life Associates

2619 N. Quality Lane, Ste. 325

Fayetteville, AR 72703


Quality Life Associates maintains residential facilities and provides assistance services to persons with disabilities so they can live independently.

New and gently used household items for apartment dwellers are needed, particularly small kitchen appliances like microwave ovens and crock pots. A gift basket or fun door prize item would be greatly appreciated for their holiday party. Donations can be dropped of at the Village at Skull Creek Apartments, 2619 N. Quality Lane in Fayetteville.

Seven Hills Homeless Center

1555 Martin Luther King Blvd.

P.O. Box 474

Fayetteville, AR 72701


By providing guidance, information, compassion, assistance and a place of support and shelter, Seven Hills Homeless Center aids the working poor and homeless while striving to end homelessness in Northwest Arkansas.

Needed are new undergarments for men and women and good clean size 28-32 men’s blue jeans, outerwear (stocking caps, gloves, winter coats), rain gear, umbrellas, tarps, backpacks, sleeping bags, reading glasses, cough drops, AA batteries, sugar, jelly, canned pastas, fruits, stews and meats (tuna, spam, Vienna sausages), packaged food items, heavy weight paper or Styrofoam dinner plates, plastic forks and spoons, paper napkins, 33-gallon or larger trash bags, and manual can openers.

Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays at 1555 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Fayetteville.

Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Agency (SARPA)

589A White Road

Springdale, AR 72762


800-794-4175, crisis hot line

SARPA promotes community education, awareness and understanding about sexual assault, and provides intervention and post-vention services for primary and secondary sexual assault survivors to all of Northwest Arkansas. Their services are available for free 24-hours a day in English and Spanish.

SARPA always needs new clothes and hygiene products for clients. Sweatpants, plain T-shirts, underwear, flip-flops, toys and coloring books, journals, sheets and bedding. Donations can be made at the SARPA office, 589 White Road, Ste. A in Springdale. For more information contact Brannon Randolph at or 927-1025.

Ozark Folkways

22733 N. U.S. 71



Ozark Folkways is dedicated to the instruction, development and preservation of regional arts and crafts, and provides a showcase for local craftsmen and their wares. They have a gift gallery with woodcrafts, quilts, doll and doll clothes and baskets. The organization hosts a number of guilds, workshops and classes.

Ozark Folkways needs new art supplies for children and adult classes, a new or gently used black and white desktop printer with ink cartridges, paper and card stock, and a display board with paper. A business to donate printing services for brochures, business cards and posters would be greatly appreciated. Volunteers are needed to help with painting, building repairs and the like. Contact Rebecca Buchanan at or 634-3791. Ozark Folkways is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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