Giving Thanks and Giving Back — National Gratitude Month

November is National Gratitude Month. This is the time of year when many of us assess our lives and express what we’re thankful for. This can also be a time to show our gratitude to others by giving back.

Did you know that ARVAC is an organization focused on giving back to the community year-round? If you don’t know already, ARVAC is a community action agency that serves the Arkansas River Valley.

Related: Can Expressing Gratitude Improve Your Mental Health?

ARVAC’s History of Giving Back

Established as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty to eliminate the pervasive indigence existent in Central Arkansas, particularly within the counties that we serve, ARVAC’s programs have consistently been shaped around providing residents access to resources that increase self-sufficiency and provide opportunities to move into the middle class.

This year alone, ARVAC has served 19,490 people. The services provided range from assisting with electricity bills and water bills, feeding those in need, assisting with safe and affordable housing, improving the energy efficiency of homes, and improving the financial well-being of those we serve. In addition to the services dedicated to lifting people out of poverty, ARVAC is also the parent company of Lake Point Recovery and Wellness and several Head Start locations across the state.

ARVAC’s Services

Here’s how we help others at ARVAC:

  • Lake Point Recover and Wellness — Lake Point Recovery & Wellness offers alcohol, substance use, mental health, and behavioral addictions treatment options to provide tools to help individuals overcome addiction.
  • Head Start — Head Start is a US Department of Health and Human Services program for early childhood education, health, and nutrition for children from low-income families. The program promotes school readiness for children ages 0-5.
  • Community Programs — The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LI-HEAP) is designed to assist low-income individuals with keeping heat in their homes in the winter and cooling in the summer with the goal of preventing a potential utility shut-off or restoring home energy. Individuals who meet the federal poverty income guidelines may apply to receive a one-time payment applied to their utility bill. Those using methods of energy other than gas or electricity, such as wood, kerosene, or coal are eligible as well, alongside individuals whose energy costs are included in their rent.
  • Food Bank — The ARVAC Food Bank, located at 504 Union Street in Dardanelle, provides food for local churches, community food pantries, and soup kitchens. While the bank is not open to the public, ARVAC provides food to individuals and families based on the federally funded criteria of the CSFP and TEFAP Programs.
  • Neighborhood Center — The ARVAC, Inc. Neighborhood Center is located in South Logan County. Donations are received from community members and may consist of clothing, dishes, toys, purses, bedding such as sheets and quilts, coats, books, bakeware, and decorations for different holidays.
  • Homeless Shelters — There are numerous homeless shelters in the River Valley area as well as emergency solutions programs.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) — ARVAC offers MAT at Lake Point Recovery & Wellness, for those with alcohol and/or opioid dependence issues. Our MAT program provides a safe and controlled level of medication to overcome the use of an abused opioid.

In this season of giving thanks, it’s important to remember how much there is to be thankful for. Many people lack the resources most of us take for granted. That’s where ARVAC steps in to meet these needs. Everyone deserves to have their basic needs met — food, water, and safe housing. We encourage you, as you meet with your loved ones this holiday season, to remember those less fortunate. Or, if you find yourself in need, don't hesitate to contact the ARVAC outreach office in your area. Everybody needs a hand-up sometimes.

Support ARVAC

There are many ways to support ARVAC. Help us continue our mission to eliminate poverty in the River Valley. All donations are helpful.

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