Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Non-Profit Informational Fair for Western Benton County

United Way is an organization that believes in advancing the good of all through building up communities. What better way to do this than bring individuals, agencies, and companies together? By simply getting to know one another, communities can unite around common issues and initiatives.

To this end, United Way of Northwest Arkansas held the first annual Siloam Springs Non-Profit Informational Fair on Friday, September fourth at the Community Building. The event was a great success, thanks to sponsor Mr. Ron Mooney, the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce, and all twenty-three Western Benton County non-profit agencies that attended.

The beginning of the event was held in tandem with the Chamber First Friday coffee, and extended on through the morning for the general public.

The event was valuable to the western Benton County community in several ways:

• Businesses connected with local non-profits to create a better mutual awareness.

• Residents gained a better understanding of services available to them.

• Residents found opportunities to give back to their community through donations
and volunteerism.

• Agencies educated the community about local needs and the services they provide to
meet those needs.

• Agencies were reminded of each others’ existence, enabling them to cooperate on
community issues through referrals, etc.

If any one thing stood out from the fair, it was the wonderful work of non-profit organizations in this area. St. Francis clinic was present to take blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and the Benton County Health Unit was able to publicize their free flu vaccination day on October 30 at the Siloam Springs Church of Christ. From the Manna Center, a food emergency center; to Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA); to the recently returned Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Siloam Springs, these agencies truly serve diverse areas of need.

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