Nov 5, 2022 - Things to Do

5 ways to give back in Northwest Arkansas

Illustration of a welcome mat that reads "help"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The season of giving is almost upon us, so we found a few volunteer opportunities with local organizations that need your help.

  • But don't stop here. There are dozens of other worthy causes in and around NWA.

1. Help out at a local animal shelter

Walk dogs or socialize cats at the Fayetteville Animal Shelter.

Why it matters: Volunteering helps animals at the shelter find a caring home.

What to expect: Opportunities include advocating for pet adoption, foster care, bathing and grooming dogs and more.

Details: While anyone can volunteer, those under the age of 16 will need a parent or guardian present. You must be at least 18 years old to walk dogs.

What's next: Attend an upcoming volunteer orientation or contact the shelter to learn more.

2. Give back to service members

Donate supplies to Socks and Cookies, a local nonprofit that sends care packages to deployed troops.

Why it matters: The donated snacks, hygiene kits and other items provide troops a "piece of home" while they are away from loved ones.

How to help: Purchase items from the organization's Amazon charity list or drop off donations at their Rogers office.

Other needs: The organization also collects donations for baby care packages that support deployed military families.

3. Feed the hungry

Get involved at the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.

Why it matters: Last year, the organization distributed more than 14 million pounds of food and provided 11.3 million meals in the region.

What to expect: Volunteers sort and pack items in the distribution center or prepare and load mobile pantries.

Details: Peruse the schedule and register to volunteer online. You must be at least 13 years old to participate, and those under 16 need an adult present.

Other needs: Join or host a food drive for items on the food bank's needs list.

4. Sustain a public library

Donate books or pick up shifts at The Friendly Bookstore, an all-volunteer operation supporting the Rogers Public Library.

Why it matters: The store is stocked with donations, and sales proceeds go toward the library's lunch and learn programs, summer reading club and other community services.

What to expect: Jobs range from greeting customers and checking them out to curating book sections and leading shifts.

Details: Volunteers are asked to commit to at least four three-hour shifts a month. Apply online.

Other needs: Donations are accepted at the store from 11am-3pm Tuesday through Saturday.

5. Support those experiencing homelessness

Volunteer at 7hills Homeless Center or donate from the organization's needs list.

Why it matters: The center supplies food and other basic needs and resources to people experiencing homelessness and provides housing services.

What to expect: Weekly shifts include serving meals, helping in the food pantry and organizing items in the donation room.

Details: Commit to at least one day per week for at least two hours between 8:30am-3pm. Sign up online.

  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

Other needs: Clothing, hygiene products and other items can be dropped off on weekdays at their Day Center in Fayetteville.

Know a worthy cause? Email us at [email protected], and we may feature your nonprofit in an upcoming newsletter.


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