The Heber Springs location of the Arkansas Dream Center originally began back in 2009, mainly doing once-a-month Saturday outreaches in our adopt-a-block neighborhood. Volunteers spent time doing fun activities with the kids, handing out turkeys and hams at Thanksgiving, and lending a helping hand when asked to those in need. We met up as a team and did this out of our own vehicles to SERVE this area of our community. Our main area of serving was our adopt-a-block neighborhood called Town and Country Trailer Park.
Our first large-scale effort of getting our SERVE on was Christmas Mall of 2011. Jayson Jones Ford had been instrumental in doing a huge toy drive for the past few years in Heber Springs. We met with Jayson and his team and decided to partner together and try this new way of getting toys to needy children. Our first Christmas Mall, expecting to serve 75-100 families, ended up, with the help of many churches and volunteers, serving 130 families altogether.
In the spring of 2012, we were blessed by the owner of Town and Country Trailer Park with a rent-free trailer located in the park to serve as our headquarters. From there, the Dream Center has taken off and not slowed down. God has blessed us with amazing provisions and is allowing us to move quickly into serving the community.
We started by serving the kids of the park lunches during spring break of 2012. Originally we would have to deliver these to the trailers on foot or by vehicle. Residents were unsure of these strangers at first, delivering food with no strings attached but before long, the kids came running to the Dream Center at lunchtime. This lunch program started back up when school was out for summer and subsequent deliveries (now on a donated golf cart) were met with relief and a smile. We added food bags for our DC kids for the weekend, continued with our monthly Saturday outreach and added a community food pantry as well.
Since then, we have had amazing partners help out with a school supply drive, shoe drive, and coat drive for our DC and other children in need. In December 2012, another outstanding Christmas Mall, with volunteers from 11 different churches and organizations, where 230 families were served so 528 children were given toys. Our afterschool program was added so kids get snacks, homework help and fun activities. During school, we continue to feed pre-school, some of the elderly and disabled lunches twice a week. We are gearing up for adult improvement classes as well as our DC Café program this summer that will feed children five days a week from all over our community.
Heber Springs is an amazing, giving community. Many businesses, churches, civic groups and individuals have played a huge part in the successful mission of our Dream Center.
As the community grows, so will the Dream Center. We need partners to join us in this journey. How can you help?
- Consider volunteering your time. ARDC-Heber Springs is a great place to serve, either as an individual or as a family. Show your children the importance of serving others.
- Does your church, civic or school group have community projects? Our Christmas Mall is just one example of an excellent opportunity for serving from volunteering time to working on toy drives to benefit the mall.
- Does your business try and benefit the less fortunate? Area businesses have supplied clothing, food and school supplies for the kids the Dream Center serves. Consider a drive to fulfill a need such as one of these.
- Be a Dream Maker and contribute money. All donations are tax deductible. Arkansas Dream Center is a 501-C-3 non-profit organization. ALL DONATIONS TO THE HEBER SPRINGS DREAM CENTER BENEFIT OUR LOCAL CENTER.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ARDC-HEBER SPRINGS, “LIKE” US ON FACEBOOK AT ARKANSAS DREAM CENTER-HEBER SPRINGS, email: [email protected] or give us a call at 501.232.2655 (Dave & Brenda Hill)