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National Philanthropy Day Finalists

Photography by SARAH ODEN

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter celebrates National Philanthropy Day with the individuals, corporations and organizations that lead our collective efforts of building a brighter future in Arkansas.

Outstanding Volunteer Organization


RISE Scholarship Program | Earnest Banks

Did you know that less than 10 percent of licensed architects in the United States are people of color?  studioMAIN believes strongly in education and advocacy for the design community and created RISE – Reinvest in Students Everywhere. The program provides funding for education, supplies and mentorship opportunities. “Whether it’s working with the city to help promote pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods or mentoring students – our RISE Scholarship Program offers something unique and helps everyone feel included in our community.”



Women’s Own Worth

Tonia Griffin | Jajuan Archer | Rebecca Estep

Jajuan established WOW as an advocacy organization that connects survivors with state and federal services. “I learned first-hand the impact domestic violence can have, and I realized this is a much-needed organization.”

“The caring people who connect with us, do so because they care for those we serve and connect with our mission,” explains Jajuan. “It’s the individuals and businesses in Arkansas who are making a difference. With this help, we have assisted thousands of Arkansans who have been unjustly impacted by violence.”


ACCESS Life Adult Program

Nicholas Jones | Lily Clark | Keshawn Lamar

The ACCESS Life Adult Program is specialized for young adults: promoting independence and vocational training. Marketing Manager Krysten Levin elaborates, “Some of our clients have been with us since childhood while others discover ACCESS Life as adults – they volunteer through the school and as individuals.” Favorite organizations include Arkansas Foodbank and Keep Little Rock Beautiful. “Our clients truly have a heart for service and love giving back to their community by working together to make big impacts.”


Arkansas Razorback Airstream Club, an affiliate of the Airstream Club International

Mark Magie | Tim Welch | D. Trent Roberts

The ACCESS Life Adult Program is specialized for young adults: promoting independence and vocational training. Marketing Manager Krysten Levin elaborates, “Some of our clients have been with us since childhood while others discover ACCESS Life as adults – they volunteer through the school and as individuals.” Favorite organizations include Arkansas Foodbank and Keep Little Rock Beautiful. “Our clients truly have a heart for service and love giving back to their community by working together to make big impacts.”


Outstanding Volunteer Youth Organization

National Charity League –Little Rock Chapter

Olivia Paczewitz |  Zoe Hu | Katherine White

The National Charity League is comprised of mothers and daughters who contribute time, money and energy to 20 American charities – serving more than 6,000 hours of charity work last year. Its vision connects hearts, hands and minds so that every community thrives. “It encourages us to take initiative and be the good you want to see in the world,” notes Katherine who attends Mount Saint Mary Academy. Olivia adds, “It grants us responsibility, so we learn how to take control and direct situations in a grace-filled environment.” Zoe concludes, “Knowing the smallest thing might change someone’s life for the better inspires us to look for ways to help.”



North Little Rock Youth Leadership

Ashley Hight | Tiffany Greenway | Chris Shelton

Ashley, Tiffany and Chris are cultivating the next generations of leaders through the Advancement, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service class at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. The program introduces young adults to service opportunities and provides them with a unique perspective of the community. Chris elaborates, “I get the opportunity to see students willing to learn and the ideas they have, which should give everyone hope.” Tiffany reflects, “My family showed me how important it was to serve others. That’s why I’m proud to be a part of ALPS now.” Ashley adds, “These students are the best of the best, and our city is fortunate our future is so bright.”


Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

Loren & Thomas Bartole

Loren and Thomas consider philanthropy a family affair. “We have service-centered careers and demonstrate to our daughters, Mattingly and Montana, the importance of service to our communities.” They are loyal ambassadors for Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Arkansas Foodbank, Rollin’ Razorbacks Wheelchair Basketball Team, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Youth Home. “When we are involved with an organization, you get all the Bartoles for a long time. We encourage Arkansans to open their hearts and wallets to support many wonderful organizations. There is no excuse not to get involved.”



Kelly Rigby

Kelly has beloved childhood memories of visiting zoos. “Animals teach us something about ourselves and the world around us. As a volunteer for the Little Rock Zoo, she believes conservation and education are key for future generations to experience endangered species. “They partner with organizations to make sure animals are a part of our world. We must honor this community and work together to respect it.” She notes her younger self would be proud and hopes everyone takes the time to visit with Little Rock Zoo.





Gerald Thomas

“My heart for service is deeply rooted in the profound sacrifices and resilience demonstrated by Black Americans and other minorities throughout history.” While working in Corporate Social Responsibility, Gerald met Melissa Hendrick at Centers for Youth & Families. She encouraged him to join the auxiliary group, where Gerald effectively showcased his leadership capabilities. “One surprising aspect of both Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas and The Centers is the impact they have on the lives of children and families in their communities.”





Outstanding Volunteer Youth Fundraiser

Turner Seibert

Turner is student at Little Rock Central High School and volunteered at the Arkansas Foodbank as a Cub Scout; he soon learned the state is the second highest in the nation for food insecurity. “One in six Arkansans struggle to provide enough food for their families, and one in five Arkansas children face food insecurity. Children are especially negatively impacted by hunger and suffer academically, socially, and emotionally. By volunteering with the Summer Cereal Drive, I hope I am helping to feed hungry kids in my own community and throughout Arkansas.”





Josie & Jessie Webb

“Our Girl Scout troop believes in service because we want to make the world a better place for everyone,” Josie explains. The sisters are working towards the Girl Scout Silver and Bronze Awards, which require a total of 70 hours of service. Proceeds from the Sour Sisters Lemonade Stand, established in 2021, benefit The Call, Project Zero and Immerse Arkansas. “I want every child to have a home; that’s why we raise money for places that help kids in foster care,” Jessie adds. “As Girl Scouts, we promise to help people.”


Bella Crow

Bella was introduced to the American Heart Association through her participation in the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Organization. She became a volunteer for the organization’s events including the Central Arkansas Heart Ball and Cycle Nation. “The American Heart Association has become like a family to me, and it has helped shape me into the volunteer I am today.” She believes everyone can find a way to support AHA. “I have been able to do so much including starting my food cart at school, attending the White House Conference on Hunger Nutrition & Health, and finding my passion.”





Outstanding Foundation

Methodist Foundation for Arkansas | President & CEO Rev. J. Wayne Clark

Established in 1963, the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas serves Arkansas Methodist churches, institutions and individuals. The foundation distributed 300+ grants in high-priority areas like community health, food insecurity and clergy education including partnerships with Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Arkansas of Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Foodbank. Wayne believes everyone can benefit from the resources that the foundation provides. “I love to see people who finally understand and experience the true sense of serving and helping someone else out of unconditional love.”





Simmons First Foundation | Shannon Morgan

Simmons First Foundation makes a difference in the lives of Arkansas children through education and health care. As grant coordinator, Shannon believes this is a critical component in breaking the cycle of poverty. “I was fortunate to be a part of the Simmons First Foundation from its inception. Early in my career, I learned the value of mentors and to maximize the giving by minimizing waste and errors.” Simmons Bank established the foundation in 2014 and funds grants in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.


Outstanding Corporation

Bank OZK | Tim Hicks

“At Bank OZK, doing the right thing matters. In fact, many employees join the bank because they want to be part of the positive impact we have,” explains CCO Michelle Rossow. “We encourage our employees to become actively involved in volunteer programs such as the Arkansas Foodbank.” For eight years, Bank OZK has helped hungry Arkansans through the work of the Arkansas Foodbank; helping provide 126,000 meals last year.





Southern Bancorp | Anthony Young | Kenya Davenport | John T. Olaimey

Established by some of the nation’s leading political and philanthropic leaders in 1986, Southern Bancorp is one of the nation’s oldest and largest community development banks. “We operate with a purpose to create pathways to the American Dream for underserved people and places, such as rural counties and urban corridors,” John explains. “The heartbeat behind all the tools, products, and resources we provide is what we believe: wealth building isn’t just for the wealthy; we are wealth builders for everyone, no matter one’s income level, financial history or zip code.”




Tyson Foods | Tyler Cole

As the regional sales account manager for the McDonald’s Business Unit, Tyler shares an admiration for the Tyson Foods community programs that help fellow Arkansans including the branded product refrigerators at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. “I see the impact that they have on families. Hearing different stories and seeing the mission play out in person has had a huge effect on me. I’m extremely thankful to work for a company that shares the same passion.”

Inviting Arkansas

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