The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce is proud to present our “Chamber Champions” series. In 2017, our Chamber team will be volunteering over 250 hours at local non-profits throughout Northwest Arkansas. We are proud to support our non-profits and hope our efforts will inspire our Chamber members to reach out in our community and volunteer.
By Brenda Turner
I helped deliver Meals on Wheels for a couple of days in May. The Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center prepares and delivers daily home cooked meals that are sealed and stored before being delivered. Some meals are hot, but they also deliver frozen meals. Most meals get a dessert and a few get a carton of milk. They offer special meals for dietary needs.
I was assigned to help Sarah, an intern for the Senior Center. Sarah is a very nice young lady that cares about helping others as I do. We loaded all the meals and took off for the southeast route. I got to meet some of the folks and it was rewarding to get a meal to them. For some of the seniors, it may be the only social contact they have for the day or week. It warmed my heart to see the smile on their face.
The meals are around $3.00 but if someone cannot afford them, they will not be turned away from the program. The program receives some federal funding so generous donors are welcomed and necessary.
Anyone in the service area who is 60 years or older, is homebound and has no reliable means of obtaining lunch is eligible to receive Meals on Wheels. There are no income requirements.
For more information about volunteering or donating to Meals on Wheels, please call (479) 571-2920 or stop by their office at 945 S. College, Fayetteville, AR.
May is such a fun month! The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and the Botanical Gardens is starting their season of events. I normally help with the events at night but decided to help set up for the 22nd Annual Greening of the Garden Gala. I chose to decorate the tables with tablecloths, silverware and centerpieces and added a sprig of fresh rosemary to the wrapped silverware. I helped three other ladies pick up twigs for the table cards that was placed in the centerpieces. The master gardeners and other staff members did a great job in preparing everything that was needed. It is always a pleasure to help in such a beautiful place. If you love nature, I recommend it to all.
Volunteers are the heart of the Botanical Garden as they log thousands of hours each year in support of the mission to educate and entertain visitors. The volunteers work in every area of the organization, including in the Garden itself, with adult and children’s programs, and for our special events. Many of the volunteer gardeners are local Master Gardeners, but you don’t have to be a Master Gardener to help with the greenhouse, mowing, the Butterfly House, and all the other tasks required to keep the Garden beautiful and healthy. Some of the volunteers assist with the many education programs. They offer tours to children’s or adult groups, help at special children’s educational events like Earth Day or Butterfly Days, or assist with the Little Sprouts preschool program on Wednesday mornings. Because they are open all year-round, they also rely heavily on volunteers to take care of answering the phone, helping with mail, working in the Gift Shop and greeting visitors, signing up new members, or anything else that might come up in a day.
The Botanical Gardens strive to create a place for the community to celebrate and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozarks. The mission is simple. Learn. Play. Grow. The Garden provides over 14,000 Northwest Arkansas school children with education at the Garden. Classes and programs explore a broad array of garden-related topics including wild plants, animals in the garden, health and wellness, sustainability, and garden and floral design.
You can contact the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks at 479-750-2620 or visit their website at http://www.bgozarks.org.