Faulkner schoolchildren ‘step up’ in a big way

501 LIFE recently teamed up with the Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF)/Faulkner County and schools throughout the county to help feed the hungry – presently and for years to come through the campaign.

For two weeks in November, schools collected money – much of it in loose change – to create a permanent endowment to provide financial resources to assist Faulkner County agencies that provide hunger relief.

In addition, non-perishable food items were collected for donation to the Bethlehem House homeless shelter in Conway.
The result – 10,305 canned goods and other food items were collected, and $7,232.14 donated. An additional $2,547.23 was collected by Conway Christian School students at a special chapel service (see Page 35), which brings the total amount raised to $9,779.37. (501 LIFE will make sure that the $10,000 goal is reached.)

Each team that collected a minimum of 400 food items and $400 will have their photograph published in 501 LIFE (check out the February issue of 501 LIFE). There will also be special coverage of the team that collected the most money and canned food – Ruth Doyle Intermediate.

Julie LaRue, community director of the Faulkner County office of the Arkansas Community Foundation, approached 501 a few months ago regarding the special hunger initiative and the endowment fund. “It is heartbreaking to learn how many of our neighbors struggle with hunger every day, right here in our community; with recent changes in our economy, hunger relief agencies have reported a significant increase in the number of people seeking assistance,” said LaRue. “The Arkansas

Community Foundation (ARCF) wants to make a permanent impact on this issue by establishing endowment funds across the state specifically to target hunger. The beauty of an endowment fund is that it will provide income to hunger relief agencies each and every year, forever.


“And even better, an ARCF state board member will provide matching funds, so that every dollar someone gives (up to $10,000) is increased by 50 percent. ARCF/Faulkner County has chosen to accept this challenge, and has established the ‘Stop Hunger Endowment for Faulkner County’.” (For more information, please contact Julie LaRue at 501.932.0390 or [email protected].)

It was overwhelming to hear the reports from participating schools about their efforts. It was incredible to hear how students embraced the campaign and made every effort to collect every canned good item possible and every nickel or dime that they could manage. We are not aware of any countywide effort of this magnitude that has been undertaken and we were excited to be a part of it.

Our goal was to raise $10,000 and collect 10,000 canned goods/food items to support hunger relief efforts. We proud to announce that both goals were achieved. We’re more proud of the young people in our community who worked so hard to help ensure that their neighbors – and their classmates – won’t have to go hungry.

Thanks for stepping up.