Photography by Rett Peek | Shot on location at The Hornibrook Mansion The Empress of Little Rock
It has gone incognito for years, yet it is the silent leader in fundraising for the state and in the nation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Nicky Goff, a retiree from NoWay Pulpwood points out, “It’s second in the state to Walmart in total donations annually and 15th in the United States.” This inconspicuous but generous organization is Log A Load For Kids.
The national program began in 1988 when two South Carolina loggers wanted to positively impact their community. This initiative expanded to other states and was established in Arkansas in 1993. With the support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Log A Load For Kids provides funds for pediatric hospitals – including Arkansas Children’s. This grassroots program brings loggers, foresters, landowners and others in the forest-products industry together through community events such as fish frys, auctions and golf tournaments. With additional support from the Arkansas Forestry Association and Arkansas Timber Producers Association, all proceeds benefit Arkansas Children’s.
Every year a literal load of logs is auctioned at an Arkansas Log A Load For Kids event. This is not simply some timber cargo. For the Arkansas logging community a load of logs is a symbol of hard work, commitment and teamwork as well as a generous contribution of their services. From the landowners to the sawmill, this special item represents a solidarity and commitment to all Arkansas children treated at Arkansas Children’s.
Mike Pennington of International Paper Company recalls, “Seeing the results of what we are doing with Log A Load For Kids fills my heart with gratitude because our work affects so many people.” Since 2013, the Arkansas Log A Load For Kids has consistently funded various areas of the hospital including the Angel One transport. An impressive record of fundraising like this is an inspiration to all Arkansans as well as a testament to the dedication and generosity of the community.
Mike Pennington, Nicky Goff, Bobby Taylor