Shannon Hills food bank doing more than feeding the hungry
There are dozens of food pantries throughout the state but at least one is doing way more than filling empty stomachs, it's also filling the souls and minds of our youngsters.
"Let Our Violence End"... A group known as L.O.V.E. has been around for nearly 20 years but about nine years ago it opened up an outreach center at 14036 Sardis Road in Shannon Hills.
"Healing Waters started with about nine people and a couple lawn chairs and some propane heaters," said director of mentoring Adrean Stinnett.
Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds. About 150 Arkansans are fed every Sunday from noon to 2pm. But that's just the tip of the ice burg. Their 22,000 square foot facility also offers a skate park, a workout room, literacy programs, mentoring programs, and GED programs... just to name a few.
Most of it done with the help of volunteers.
"We rely a lot on our volunteers. We never can have enough volunteers actually. It takes a lot of people to do everything we do," said Stinnett.
The facility also relies on the generosity of others which is a great life lesson in faith.
"Whenever we ask for something, say we're out of vacuum bags and we need to go get some and somebody brings us some stuff and it's the exact vacuum bags that we need for our vacuum. To me, that builds my faith and lets me know that God is watching and that he is in control and he likes what's going on here," said Stinnett.
Stinnett says for her, it's all about the impact they continue to have on area kids.
"When you actually have police officers come in and tell you, hey what's going on with so-and-so, I've noticed they're not getting in as much trouble as before. And we've had that happen with a couple of our young boys," said Stinnett. "To be able to help them find their purpose. To find something their good at. And to let them see that they have a significance and they can make a change in their community as well."
Healing Waters now has an anonymous donor that will give them $150,000 *if* they can match that amount in fundraising efforts. The money will be used to fix up and buy their current building.