For Immediate Release

100 Families Crawford County to Celebrate 1st Anniversary

Event Date: October 12th – 1:00 – 2:15

First Baptist Church of Van Buren, 1121 Main Street

New Office Ribbon Cutting to follow at approximately 2:30 at 808 Main Street, Van Buren

Van Buren, AR, (October 5th, 2021) — 100 Families is an initiative of the United Way of Fort Smith Area, in collaboration with Governor Hutchinson’s Restore Hope Arkansas. This initiative helps families move from crisis to career, using existing community resources, by engaging community partners, training agencies on a collaborative case management system, and recruiting case managers to respond when a family is in crisis.

The role and involvement of the United Way of Fort Smith Area have grown with Restore Hope as the 100 Families Initiative program has grown. United Way and Restore Hope worked to obtain a grant in May of 2020 for $1.67M through the Arkansas Department of Work Force Services (ADWS). The partnership between Restore Hope, ADWS, and numerous other community partners, has helped countless individuals and families in our community to move from crisis to stability. “The Crawford County collective impact has been truly remarkable, changing lives one family at a time,” said Charlotte Douglas, 100 Families Crawford County Coordinator.

The 100 Families Initiative launched in Crawford County in October of 2020 with the goal of bringing the community together in response to the needs of families in crisis. One year later, the results of these efforts are evident in the many families that have achieved lasting success through this community collaboration. This event will be a celebration of the hard work and dedication of the members of the Crawford County 100 Families Alliance and the families themselves who have worked to turn their lives around.

“I’m honored to have been a part of 100 Families since 2019 and to see firsthand the impact that it’s had. This work can be difficult, and we don’t often pause to celebrate the successes. I’m thrilled to be able to celebrate with such an incredible group of people, and I’m excited to see what the future of 100 Families will bring”, Douglas added.

“We are excited to join with the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce immediately following the ceremony for a ribbon-cutting for the new 100 Families office,” said Shea Foldvary United Way of Fort Smith Area Resource Development Director. Foldvary added, ” We want to express our gratitude to Jim Petty and Strategic Realty for helping us obtain this office space in beautiful Downtown Van Buren.”

Participants at the event will be:

Russell Ray, Comprehensive Juvenile Services and Youth Pastor Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church

Shea Foldvary, United Way of Fort Smith Area, Resource Development Director

Paul Chapman, Executive Director, Restore Hope

Mischa Martin, Director of the Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services

Bill Dillard, Chairman, and CEO of Dillard’s

Dr. Debbie Faubus, Director of Crawford Co. Adult Education

Tara Watkins, Crawford County DCFS County Supervisor

Nicole Walton, Executive Director of Monarch 61

Brandi Brogan, Counselor, and Social Services at Alma School District

Charlotte Douglas, United Way 100 Families Coordinator

Karen Phillips, 100 Families Director, Restore Hope

Dr. Chris Johnson, Pastor Van Buren First Baptist Church

This event will be broadcast to the community via Facebook Live. We welcome members of the press that would like to stop by and interview any of the participants. Please get in touch with Mitzy Little for details on interviews.

Mitzy Little-Marketing Director, United Way of Fort Smith Area

479-849-0675

mlittle@unitedwayfortsmith.org