Photography by LORI SPARKMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.
What began as “Undie Sunday” at the Keo United Methodist Church more than 25 years ago has evolved into the Methodist Family Health Foundation Get up & Give Donation Closet Collection Campaign. This statewide initiative provides underwear and other items to clients of the organization. Through the unwavering support of volunteers like Linda Barnes, Sarah Greubel and Cathy Sing, the Donation Closet continues to improve the welfare of Arkansans.
A Methodist since childhood, Linda recognized Methodist Family Health (originally established as the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage) as a resource, but it wasn’t until a family friend received counseling that Linda took note. “I witnessed the quality of services and positive impact it had on this child’s life.” As a result, Linda became an ardent ambassador for the organization. Sarah recalls, “We already exercise together and were looking for a way to give back, so Linda suggested volunteering at Methodist Family Health Foundation.”
The Donation Closet provides essentials to children and families that are in the care of Methodist Family Health. Individual patrons as well as grants generate funding for necessities and more including games, activities and comfort items. “We have seen the need and usage of the closet grow,” Linda explains. From blankets on a winter day to diapers and additional clothing, the closet is an invaluable component of the organization’s portfolio of services – especially during times of emergency. The power of community and able volunteers make it possible. “Linda, Cathy, and Sarah are strong forces. These amazing volunteers keep the closet organized and have a pulse on what is needed,” says Methodist Family Health Foundation Grants Manager & Volunteer Coordinator Christy McCreight.
As Methodist Family Health clients navigate a journey to wellness, compassion remains paramount. And for these children who are abandoned, abused, neglected and struggling with psychiatric, behavioral and emotional issues – the kindness of strangers illustrates a light in our world. Cathy reflects, “I’m impressed by the dedication and passion of the staff to make life better.” Linda adds, “Building a better community means offering a hand up not a hand out. It’s a blessing for us to help.”
Sponsored by Methodist Family Health Foundation | Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org
methodistfamily.org/foundation | #ShareTheLightandSHINE