Q&A with Jamie Wood with Mary Martha Outreach for 1 Million Meals

Thursday, April 27 at 06:25 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

We’re thrilled to be partnering with 72 food organizations, including Mary Martha Outreach*, for our seventh annual 1 Million Meals initiative to raise one million meals for the hungry in our four-state footprint. Mary Martha Outreach is our food partner in Bartlesville, Okla., where it has been serving locals for 19 years. 

It’s a pleasure to learn more about Mary Martha Outreach from Jamie Wood, executive director of the organization.

What’s your involvement with Mary Martha Outreach, and how did you get started?
I am one of the co-founders of MMO, and now I serve as executive director. MMO started in 1998 in one room of Washington School. For several years we were at the old Leonard Printing building at 8th and Armstrong. In 2005 we moved to our present location at 1845 S.W. 4th. I was attending an all night prayer meeting and the Lord just put it on my heart to do this.

What’s a compelling experience you’ve had during your time with Mary Martha Outreach? 
There have been so many. Perhaps Katrina and sending three semi loads of clothing and supplies to Houston and Louisiana. We were just moving into our current building at the time. So we had clients coming in the front door, and volunteers from the Red Cross all over town staging and gathering everything at the back door. It was quite a week.

Then there are the individual family stories like the little boy who was crying. His dog had broken its leg falling off the floor studs because they had no floor. The countless people who are homeless, living behind our building at times, or in their cars or tents. The grandparents on welfare who are forced to take in their grandchildren and now they have to decide whether to buy food and clothing for the children instead of buying their own heart medicine.

How can people get involved with Mary Martha Outreach? 
People can come just for a tour and decide how they where they would like to volunteer: food pantry, clothing department, household items, diapers, sundries and furniture. All you have to do is to show up 9-11 a.m. Monday through Wednesday or 12-2 p.m. on Thursday. Come for any length of time. We are just happy to have you. We also love groups as well.

We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help Mary Martha Outreach* and our other food partners.  

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.      

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Bartlesville, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Oklahoma
 

Dora School District in Missouri Receives Donation from Arvest for Backpack Program

Thursday, April 27 at 05:30 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

We're helping to feed children in West Plains, Mo., with donation to school's backpack program.

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Dora School District recently received a donation in the amount of $500 from Arvest Bank in support of the school’s backpack program. Backpack programs provide snacks for children on weekends and holidays when they may be facing food insecurity and don’t have access to school meal programs. Food insecurity is defined as not having reliable access to sufficient, nutritious food for every meal. The Dora School District currently serves a number of students through its backpack program. 

“Food insecurity is a rapidly-growing issue that warrants awareness throughout the year,” said Tom Dame, president and CEO of Arvest Bank in North Central Arkansas. “Donations that line the shelves of food pantries and hunger relief organizations are depleted quickly, so it’s important that our communities take action to help replenish those supplies.”  

Arvest Bank is a few weeks into its 7th annual 1 Million Meals campaign that challenges bank associates, customers and community members to participate in fundraising efforts and nonperishable food drives to fight hunger in the more than 120 communities the bank serves. 

The goal of the two-month, bank-wide effort is to collect enough food or monetary donations to provide at least one million meals to local, hungry families. Donations may be dropped off at any Arvest Bank location by June 3 or by calling (866) 952-9523. Arvest credit card customers also can donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ points by visiting arvestflexrewards.com and clicking on the 1 Million Meals banner. 

For more information on the 1 Million Meals campaign, visit www.arvest.com/millionmeals

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, North Central Arkansas, Press Release
 

Why Small Businesses Need a Mission Statement

Wednesday, April 26 at 07:05 AM
Category: Business Banking
Every business begins with a theoretical road map to get started, but a key component to long-term success for companies of all sizes is a written and publicly posted mission statement. This statement outlines the company’s purpose – why it exists and what it does; its vision – the big picture; and often its core values that will be followed by every leader and employee in the business.  
 
A mission statement should be brief. It should describe to the reader in a few sentences a high-level overview of the company. It is important internally so employees have a clear direction of what they are working to achieve on a daily basis. It also can serve as a reminder for leaders of the foundation on which the company was built to help guide them during times of change. 
 
Externally, a mission statement speaks to customers and outlines how the company differentiates itself from others in the industry. 
 
Customers want to support businesses that have a solid plan and business owners who are there for the right reasons, regardless of which industry they’re in. Not only does a mission statement give internal and external stakeholders the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ it can also create opportunities for new projects, partners or investors that a business may not have had otherwise.
 
The opposite is true as well, in that a clear and understood mission statement may steer leaders away from making alliances that don’t align with that mission. Include the mission statement on the company’s website, in the workplace and other collateral documents.  
 
It will be the first impression of the company many people see so it needs to be concise, yet impressive. The goal is to provide clarity on every level – to employees during their first days on the job, to customers and potential partners. When the mission is clear and a company’s actions align with that mission, it will be reflected in financial results which, ultimately, is the most important reason every company needs a mission statement.  

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
 

Q&A with Amber Mascuilli with River Valley Food 4 Kids for 1 Million Meals

Wednesday, April 26 at 06:05 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

For three years River Valley Food 4 Kids* has been helping children in Pope County in Arkansas. It’s a pleasure to partner with them for our seventh annual 1 Million Meals initiative to raise one million meals for the children, elderly and others in need across the 120+ communities we serve. 

To learn more about River Valley Food 4 Kids, we did a Q&A with Russellville High School teacher, Amber Mascuilli. 

What’s your involvement with River Valley Food 4 Kids, and how did you get started?
The Russellville High School has been maintaining a food pantry for our high-need students since the fall of 2012. Originally we were almost completely stocked with Rice Depot food and donations from teachers and students, but once Rice Depot became financially stressed, our program nearly went under. River Valley Food 4 Kids’ involvement in the school food pantry became a pivotal partner in our success. When they discovered the Russellville Schools, and several surrounding schools, were in dire need, River Valley Food 4 Kids jumped in and immediately made us a priority. 

We have seen the number of kids served at the high school grow each year, and this year we are regularly serving 40-44 students each week, not to mention providing snacks in classrooms where many students spend their day. It is a huge undertaking to make sure these kids choose to stay in school to get their diploma which will serve them in their future, rather than dropping out to have enough to eat. River Valley Food 4 Kids positively impacts these kids’ lives far beyond full bellies – they are facilitating their learning.

What’s a compelling experience you’ve had during your time with River Valley Food 4 Kids? 
I had assigned a summary of an article for my students to work on, and they had time over the long Labor Day weekend to complete it. One of my students did poorly on it, and she came up to me after class apologizing for her poor grade. She had apparently had no food in the house over the weekend, and found a bag of sugar in the cabinet. She drank sugar water all weekend. Long weekend, with no food, and the equivalent of nectar to sustain her. Her father had not paid the child support, and her mother was trying desperately to save the house. Through River Valley Food 4 Kids, I was able to load her up with food over the next few days, and keep her in food throughout the year. This organization changes lives. It gives hope. It supports those who want more for themselves than the hand they were dealt.

How can people get involved with River Valley Food 4 Kids? 
Of course donations are greatly appreciated and super simple through River Valley Food 4 Kids’ website*, but because they are very local, you can actually be involved in sorting, packing and delivering food to the schools. During the summer, you can help pack boxes for families who come to pick up food for their kids in our community. This organization thrives on community support, and those who are involved are rewarded with knowing kids aren’t going to bed hungry.

We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help River Valley Food 4 Kids* and our other food partners.  

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.     

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Consumer Protection, Fort Smith
 

Q&A with Jacquelene Ott with Johnson County Community Foundation for 1 Million Meals

Wednesday, April 26 at 05:10 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

We’re kicking off our seventh annual 1 Million Meals initiative with Johnson County Community Foundation (JCCF), an affiliate of the Arkansas Community Foundation, which  has been serving people in Johnson County, Ark. for 14 years. Our initiative seeks to raise one million meals for the children, elderly and others in need across the 120+ communities we serve in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Jacquelene Ott, executive director with JCFF, got us up-to-speed on the great work her organization is doing.

What's your involvement with Johnson County Community Foundation, and how did you get started?
I am the executive director of JCCF and have served as such for three years.Before that, I served on the board of directors for 11 years. I learned quickly that JCCF is an effective, efficient way to make the biggest impact for people in Johnson County in the most helpful ways. Understanding this, I have been a part of this organization now for the last 14 years.

What's a compelling experience you've had during your time with JCCF?
JCCF provides grants to all legitimate nonprofits in Johnson County, Ark., including schools, government entities, all 501(c)(3) organizations, churches, food banks, etc. As executive director, I have seen thousands of people fed during the holidays. I have had the pleasure of providing freezers to local food banks for added storage capacity. I have seen families lined up outside churches waiting for food. In particular, I talked with a little boy on Christmas Eve and told him that in just a few minutes he would be served a lot of wonderful food and sweets later. His response to me was extremely sad. He looked up and said, "I don't ever think about food, that way I don't get sick so much when I don't have any."

How can people get involved with JCCF?
We have a Stop Hunger Endowment that has a little over $1,000 spendable balance. If people could contribute to this endowment, the spendable balance will grow and (in tum), we will feed more people. We try to provide funds for food banks, churches, and school backpack programs twice a year to keep families and children fed as best we can.

To donate to JCCF:

  • Contact Jackie Ott at (479) 754-5842.
  • Contact the Arkansas Community Foundation Office at 1400 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72201 or arcf.org* or (888) 220-2723. Tell them you want to contribute to hunger relief in Johnson County, Ark.

We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help Johnson County Community Foundation and our other food partners.  

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.      

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Fort Smith

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