3 Bags in 2 Days

The Art in Relationships: Building Bridges, Making Memories

Are you looking for a way to get involved with the NWA community? We know that many people want to do their part to make a difference in the lives of those in our community who are underrepresented. Many times the question is...how? Several members of Christ Community Church (CCC) found that art can be a great pathway for forming a relationship and making a difference. Volunteers of CCC came out to Walker Park to interact with the homeless and under-resourced community members participating in Art in the Park.

So why did CCC choose Art in the Park? One volunteer, Kate Cully, explained that the members of CCC are always looking for ways to follow their church’s values and build relationships with under-resourced and overlooked neighbors. This is one of the goals of Cobblestone. Art in the Park allows volunteers to come spend time, make art, serve food, eat a meal and spend a day with neighbors they might not ordinarily spend time with.

Cully said, “I think it’s difficult to love and care for people that we don’t know, so Art in the Park is a great bridge builder to get to know our neighbors.”

This example set by the members of Christ Community Church is one that we can all follow. Volunteering is not just a way to spend an hour every few weeks to feel more involved, but an opportunity interact with and learn from those members of our community that we too often ignore.

If you want to follow this example, reach out to us at Cobblestone and learn the specific ways you can get involved with any of our initiatives.

You can also come join us tomorrow, April 18, or Saturday, May 16 at Walker Park to build your own bridges and experience Art in the Park first hand.

 

Art in the Park...3 Bags in 2 Days

This past Saturday was the launch of 3 Bags in 2 Days new “Art in the Park” initiative! We had been saying for a few months that if 1 person paints, then we will count it as a success….well, after a week of hitting up multiple community meals, churches, and other events with hundreds of flyers and announcements, the moment of truth was about to happen.

We had the main pavilion of Walker Park in Fayetteville reserved from 2-6 pm with dinner being served around 4:30. Come 1:30 as we were loading up to head out, I got an incredibly excited feeling. We pulled up to the park around 1:45 and much to my surprise…there were about 15-20 people waiting there for us to start painting!

It was beautiful before it had even begun.

Within 30 seconds everyone was at our cars unloading all the tubs and boxes. Tons of canvases, paint brushes, hygiene packs, resource flyers, clothing, household items and so much more was being carried to be laid out in the pavilion. When everything was laid out, organized and ready to go…we started!

Words cannot describe what joy filled my heart as the “Art in the Park” mixed CD I had made starting playing and the paint started flowing.

Within minutes, tons of people were sitting down and entering the world of their emotions. People were soon taken away to a different place of healing and restoration while letting the paintbrush be the tool that tells their story.

I looked to my left and there was a group of about 4 little kiddos painting away with the most joyful smiles I have ever seen. Paint all over their clothes and faces but not a care in the world. For just a few minutes…all was well.

As the day progressed onward with the same peaceful and beautiful momentum as the second that it had started, we saw about 60 people take time to paint.

The stories were simply beautiful.

They were stories of giving up life-long addictions, memories of their families, motivations through hardships, joy, pain and sorrow, and so much more.

Each had such emotion and life poured into it that it could not have been anything but a masterpiece. Everyone signed their work to validate it and give ownership. So many smiles and so many stories.

Art in the Park is something that we have been dreaming of for a long time coming and to see it manifested was humbling. I can’t stop thinking about it and the beauty and healing that it entailed. I am already ready for the next Art in the Park. I truly see the value in art and story-telling, more now than ever.

With restoration and healing on my mind,

Chloe

PS- We have some BIGGGGG thank yous to send! Thanks to the U of A’s Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity for cooking and serving the yummy dinner! Also, huge thanks to Philip Thomas, of Novo Studio, for documenting the day with beautiful images that truly capture beauty and joy that was present.

"30 Days 4 Change" Student Teams are on their way...

April 1st was the kick off of the 2012 Campaign for "30 Days 4 Change" an initiative designed to engage students ideas with new approaches to addressing community needs. The 5 student groups are paired with 5 Northwest Arkansas Nonprofits that include Samaritan Community Center, 7 Hills Homeless Center, Lifesource International, Saving Grace & 99 Balloons.  Each student group is charged with developing an action plan to address some of the organizational needs.

Today was the regroup of week 1 for 30D4C, and we had an opportunity to get a quick look at the work that is underway.

We'll be posting periodic updates over the next 3 weeks, and you can also follow along with 30D4C at

Walmart “12 Days of Giving” Selects 3 Bags in 2 Days

We are so thankful to share that 3 Bags in 2 Days has been selected as a part of Walmart's "12 Days of Giving" campaign.  We are overjoyed and blown away to have been nominated and selected; however, we know it is only because of every single person who has come alongside these efforts in Northwest Arkansas. This is a reflection of your work, your dedication, and your compassion!  And now we have the opportunity to empower these efforts of making small bags of compassion tools to the restoration of dignity, hope, and love.

Thank you Northwest Arkansas!  We are humbled and honored to receive this investment into the efforts of 3 Bags in 2 Days (more info to come).

Here is a copy & link to Walmart's announcement...

Walmart Gives $200,000 to 10 Nonprofits on the 12th Day of Holiday Facebook Campaign

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 23, 2011 – On the 12th and last day of its “12 Days of Giving” Facebook campaign, Walmart is awarding $200,000 to 10 nonprofits that are true heroes for their communities and have made selfless acts to help those in need. Over the last twelve consecutive days, Walmart awarded a total of $1.5 million to 145 organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Organizations being honored on the company's Facebook page today are serving communities in: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas.

“Every community needs a hero—someone who is willing to take extraordinary and selfless action to help those in need,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. “We are honored to give these inspirational community heroes the recognition they deserve and do a small part to help them achieve their mission.”

Walmart’s call for nominations for its "12 Days of Giving" Facebook campaign resulted in more than 5,400 nominations from Facebook users who shared photos and short descriptions of a nonprofit’s impact in its local community. A panel from the Walmart Foundation reviewed submissions and selected nonprofits with a focus on organizations that are providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and baby supplies.

The 12th day of giving highlights organizations started by extraordinary heroes, young and old, who unselfishly opened their homes and dedicated great amounts of time to provide food, clothing, shelter and a supportive environment for those in their community who needed help. The organizations being spotlighted today include:

(link to Walmart Foundation Press Release)