First and foremost, I can’t express the gratitude and excitement I feel being able to share my few thoughts around this program. Sharing and Caring is a perfect combination of practical and magical in every sense of those two words. Growing up it provided smiling faces across the home while simultaneously offering the warmth, protection and necessities that seemed such luxuries at the time.

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I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and am fortunate to have a lovely home in the area alongside my husband, my furbabies and my grandparents, whom we care for. My childhood is the reflection and reality of a large portion of our local community – a humble immigrant household who left everything they know behind to chase the American Dream (aka fuel the local poultry processing plants) and escape from the harsh and politically unstable home countries that quickly become nothing more than a mere illusion. My household, though modest, was built and powered by the most hard-working and determined individual I know – my mom. She worked countless hours at the old Tyson Poultry plant (the now 8th St. Market) to ensure that my siblings and I had a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our back. The roof may have been small, the food simple and the clothes from garage sales but never missing. Mom’s effort, attention and patience (loads of patience) did not go in vain, she created a home where we were able to flourish and achieve everything that she didn’t even get the opportunity to start. Today, I sit beyond grateful, working in a posh Corporate America office with my undergrad and masters in hand. We had an incredibly unorthodox process for our Sharing and Caring gifts – there was very little element of surprise or wonder, yet the holiday magic was still fully present. Living in an immigrant household one typically grows up as your parent’s translator; you grow up with the duty of being their connection to the outside world. With that, my siblings and I always accompanied my mom to each step of the Sharing and Caring process and helped fill out our own application forms, picked up our own gifts and even wrapped up them up together (they were still Christmas gifts after all). There was no better feeling than finishing them all up and seeing a once empty Christmas tree overflowing with gifts! Even though we knew well before Christmas what we had received, it did not by any means diminish the “present time” delight – quite the opposite. My siblings and I would dive headfirst to our favorite items and start pulling them out of packages, trying them on or trying them out. In a lot of Latino households, the holiday tradition is to open gifts at the strike of midnight on Christmas Eve (rather than Christmas morning) so the end result would typically be me passed out in the living room with 3-4 layers of clothes, next to a new toy and occasionally snuggled in a newly gifted blanket. This would be after a huge flurry of activity as we shared with our family the new shoes, pants, shirts, coloring books, etc… that we received while mom was making sure that everything fit. It’s hard to remember what my favorite gift was but I always looked forward to the new clothes I now had and would be able to wear for New Years and more importantly be able to show off at school once winter break passed. A very specific treat for us were shoes – those were always a bit tougher to find second hand (typically not always in the best condition) and we seemed to constantly be growing out of them! I also can’t pretend that the toys weren’t likely the best part for us – from occasional bikes, to a cassette player (I’m pretty sure I may still have that in a box somewhere), art sets, countless soccer balls, dolls – you name it! It brings me so much joy and pride to be able to now volunteer and give back to Sharing and Caring. To be able to add my few drops into the bucket that provides so much for so many in our local communities. To know that there are kids that will get to enjoy their new winter clothes and parents that will have just a bit of stress lifted from their shoulders. To share my experience in the hope that you all continue to spread that holiday magic to moms just like mine. We were incredibly fortunate to have the donations and support of Sharing and Caring growing up and I can not even begin to imagine the relief and empowerment that the assistance provided my mom. She. Made. It. Happen. Thanks to the effort and work by individuals like each and everyone of you (and generous donors that support the program) – she made it happen!

Gabriela Caceres

Former Sponsored Child & Volunteer, Tyson

This enormous undertaking of providing Christmas presents for 3000 – 4000 kids, a full Christmas dinner, various other items including wrapping paper (so the parents can be involved in the magic)… ALL done with a close to 4% margin. Over 35,000 local children have had a Christmas, sponsored by an organization very few have heard of. I’m proud to support Sharing & Caring!

Jeff Green

Volunteer & Sponsor, Walmart

I wanted to take the time and formally thank you for paying for my CNA class. It really means a lot to me because I’ve known for a LONG time that I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field and this is only the beginning of my journey. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity of a lifetime.

Jasmine R.

Student , Rogers High School

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My interest and support of Sharing & Caring has evolved over the past four years.  Initially (and very transparently), as Team Lead for an electronics supplier, there was desire to support the programs that my customer supported.  It was an opportunity to help, both the human need (with donations), along with supporting my business, through participation and access. Leaving that organization and engaging in a different role entirely (customer/client support), brought a shift in many areas.  Budgets were smaller and less significant, but we encouraged more human donation of people and time.  It was in this past year, where I really became aware of the importance and significance of the efforts made by Sarah and her team, for those in need, in our area.  Being able to participate in “Distribution Day” this year was eye opening; as the cars lined up full of grateful recipients, it was I that felt fortunate to be included in something that genuinely helps people.  There was no question where the money goes; the overhead is relatively small, but the impact of the giving is profound for people that need it most.
It is my intent to support Sharing & Caring, for as long as they are willing to have us involved.  There are MANY charitable events in our small community here, with tremendous giving and funds available.  For me, the direct connection and impact of time and money, on the people in this community, is why I would encourage anyone to participate in Sharing & Caring.

Kevin Mahoney

Volunteer & Partner, Acosta

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My two years in Ignite has opened up so many opportunities for me that never would have been possible had I stayed within the traditional classroom setting. By being enrolled at Brightwater, I’ve met world-famous chefs and competed against other passionate high school students from all across America. Because of my involvement in Ignite and Brightwater, I have been accepted into the most prestigious and competitive culinary school in the nation, the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
I am so grateful for the graciousness that Sharing and Caring of Benton County has shown me for the past two years that allowed me to fulfill my dreams and exceed all expectations of how I would wrap up my high school career. Thank you!

Anna Harris

Former IGNITE Professional Studies Student

This organization went above and beyond to help me get a gift to a child and also helped me help a lot of small children with personal item needs. Such an amazing group of people! Thank you so much!

Angela M.

Students in the Ignite Professional Studies program can earn college credit while in high school.  Although this is a great benefit for our students, it can be a challenge financially to pay for the tuition. Through the scholarship program of Sharing and Caring of Benton County, we have been able to support over 250 students earning 1,335 college hours. [as of 02/2019] 

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It is our intent for all students to have access to higher education opportunities regardless of background and set them on a path that encourages lifelong learning.  Without the support of scholarships through Sharing and Caring, our students would have to make the financial decision if they could afford to be in the program.  Your relief in with those anxieties provide a better experience and encourages workforce training for ALL students.  Sharing and Caring support has helped train students in Culinary Arts, Digital Design & Photography, Health Sciences and Video Production.  Thank you for considering IGNITE as a partner in our endeavor to guide students to using their passions toward career goals!

Teresa Hudson

Director, IGNITE Professional Studies

I was not able to go pick up due to work, but my husband went… and when I got home [from work] late and tired and saw the box of items of food and household goods and the apple pie, I started crying…

I am crying right now that I write this… I saw a lot of things that were on my shopping list to get and there they were in a big box. How did you know?! You are a blessing to us and our children and I thank you for everything that you did.

I hope you can feel my gratitude and a big thank you hug through this letter to the kind and so very generous people who spent the time to shop for a couple of kids they don’t know!

Cristina V.

Sponsored Family

It was humbling to see a father and mother weep of joy and gratitude when they learned that they would be receiving food, a few staple items, clothes and even a couple of toys for their children on [Sharing & Caring’s] Distribution Day. No parent should have to miss seeing their children’s face light up Christmas morning. Furthermore, no child should awake Christmas morning without a way to celebrate the joy of the holiday. When communities come together then humanity will push forward, above and beyond creating the opportunity for real change to take place. Everyone that can should feel the need to help individuals that are less fortunate.

Melissa Allgood

Volunteer, Sam's Club

I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for blessing our district with school supplies for Back to School. [You all] were so kind to spend your afternoon driving them over to Western Benton County schools. …We are so grateful for your program and your generosity!

Krystal Wheat

Siloam Springs Public Schools

Thank you for paying for me to take the CNA class here at Rogers High School. It’s an amazing opportunity that not very many students get everyday.

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This class gives me the opportunity to start down the medical path I plan to go on. After high school I plan on going on to nursing school to be a pediatric nurse. Getting my CNA will allow me to get a job in a hospital after high school and let me work my way up from there. I really appreciate the chance you guys have given me to pursue down the career path I have planned ahead. Thank you.

Errin S.

Student, Rogers High School

Sharing & Caring is a very helpful resource for children in the area. I have both used and donated to this service and would again in a heartbeat.


Former Program Recipient & Donor

The continued support and generosity provided by the Sharing & Caring Foundation [scholarship program] has had a positive impact for many students in the Rogers Public Schools.  Sponsorships [scholarships] have made it possible for students to participate in career programs such as Culinary Arts, Certified Nurse’s Assistant and Emergency Medical Responder courses offered through NWACC and the Brightwater Center. 

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Students also have opportunities to earn concurrent college credit in areas relating to business and marketing career fields. The career programs are designed to prepare students for successful careers and bright futures following high school graduation. 

Dawn Stewart

Director, Rogers Public Schools

All throughout the year I think of the people who took the time to shop for my children…every time I saw them wearing an item or playing with a toy they received from you… I wanted to make sure you knew that I think about you and pray for you. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Maria R.

Sponsored Family

I was surprised and dismayed when I saw how many children are in need in Northwest Arkansas. When I saw the community come together through Sharing and Caring, to fill the need, I realized what an amazing community of people we are. I volunteer because I want every child to have a magical Christmas morning and a brighter future!

Charlene Kelley

Volunteer & Partner, Kendal King Group

The scholarship that I received from Sharing & Caring has allowed me to gain important experience and knowledge I need to become a professional in the culinary field…Due to it I have helped James Beard award winning chefs. I have also participated in a Prostart Competition…where high school kids compete to be the best in the culinary industry. I’ve made lifelong friends from the community I live in and from other states… I have had confidence walking into any kitchen or culinary classroom knowing the only thing I needed to do was learn and not have to worry about how to pay for the ingredients or chef wear or equipment. This confidence was instilled in me knowing I had Sharing & Caring backing me. I have absolutely loved every minute I spend cooking or learning or helping a chef or other student in a kitchen. I have started cooking at home for my family so much more and just feel that I would have struggled to get there had Sharing & Caring not given me a scholarship.

Timothy F.

IGNITE Professional Studies Student, Bentonville High School

Thank y’all so much for the help with Christmas for my boys through this rough time. I greatly appreciate everything y’all do for the families in Benton County…You were all so kind [to us] this morning. It’s nice to know that there are still good people in this world.

Asheley G.

Sponsored Family

We had so much fun and were filled with so much joy when we left Distribution Day.  The positive energy everyone had was exhilarating. So many volunteers and very organized.  Can’t wait for next year.   

Nancee Spry

Volunteer, Cisco-Eagle, Inc.

Sharing and Caring’s mission is simple – to spread joy to families during the holiday season. We seek to show compassion for our neighbors, and in 2018 served over 1,340 families in Benton County. It has been a privilege to volunteer for this organization for the last 12 years and to be a part of something that, through both our holiday program as well as our scholarship program, makes a difference in the lives of others.

Holly Breach

Board Member & Sponsor