Terry Hartwick Provides Inclusive Playground for Special Needs Children - People Helping People

Friday, March 30 at 09:00 AM
Category: People Helping People

Terry Hartwick set out to serve his community by providing a safe, all-inclusive place for park-goers of all ages and abilities to play together. 

“Everybody should be able to play on playgrounds,” Hartwick said. “No matter what their capacity, it’s for all people.”

Terry Hartwick is the 30th person and 14th Arkansan to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference. The idea came from the bank’s mission statement: “People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

When he first began the project for the One Hart Playground, Hartwick admits he was a novice. He relied on parents who had the desire to do something special within the community. 

“I just knew I could raise the money and put it together,” Hartwick said. “It was a community effort. The biggest thing was the individuals.” 

Inside the park a sign is displayed with hundreds of donor names on it. 

“It’s a special park, it really is. There’s all kids playing on it, and it’s easy for parents and grandparents to bring their kids because it’s enclosed. It takes care of everybody, no matter what their capacity.” 

Amber Havens, therapeutic recreation coordinator, said before the One Heart Playground opened, an entire community of people were not being served. 

“Families have been lobbying for this type of park for a long time,” Havens said. “It took somebody like Terry to make that heart connection and really push through on the business side. He’s a bit of a bulldog when he gets something he’s passionate about.”

Ruth Eyres, a North Little Rock parent, says her daughter has multiple disabilities, and in the past when they wanted to go to an all-inclusive park, it meant going out of town, because there was nothing near their house. 

“When we’ve gone to other playgrounds, my daughter would not try things like the slide or things that were elevated off the ground because it would have steps — she’s not as comfortable with steps,” Eyres said. 

Now at the One Heart Playground, children of all ages and abilities utilize the multi-functional playground equipment and sensory-engaging additions. Eyres says her daughter takes her fingers and runs down the different buttons to access the different types of music. 

“You’ll see the excitement when she finds the type of music that she likes most because she will just laugh and smile, and her whole face will light up from the joy of being here on the playground,” Eyres said. “Being all-inclusive, to me, means that it’s just a place where kids can play together and develop friendships.” 

“It was needed. We’ll keep moving forward and keep improving on it,” Hartwick said. “Is it life work? I do enjoy it – I will say that.” 

The MarCom Award-winning videos are available via Arvest’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the Arvest Blog – and the bank will make related posts each time a new story appears. Additionally, Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. Hartwick’s video launched on March 30. 

About Arvest

 

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 15 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

Tags: Little Rock, People Helping People
 

Arvest Bank Video Series Features North Tulsa Mentor

Friday, March 02 at 04:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

Beach Fosters Change Through Empowerment 

TULSA, Okla. (March 2, 2017) – Chris Beach doesn’t mince words. 

“North Tulsa is an area of a lot of hurt, a lot of pain,” he said, ticking off a list of woes – poverty, unemployment, crime and illiteracy, among others – that long have plagued its residents. 

Fortunately for those who live in north Tulsa, Beach is as passionate as he is candid. The founder of Tulsa YouthWorks, Beach moved to the area more than 15 years ago, and for the last 10 has poured his time and energy into creating a sea change. He has done so by working with the future of north Tulsa, its children. 

“We really felt like, ‘These kids are very talented. Is there something we can do?’” Beach said. “Not just help them with food, not just help them with recreation and field trips, but is there a way we can actually empower them to help change their own community?" 

 

Beach and those at Tulsa YouthWorks work with about 200 kids a year, using an after-school program and various camps to spend more than 200 days a year with them. The organization’s Pizza Factory teaches the children how to make pizzas and serve others. 

 

The service piece is critical, Beach said. In addition to making one pizza they take home for their families, each child makes another pizza to give to homeless or other needy north Tulsa residents. 

“The reason why we have them go out… If all we do is serve the kids and help them out with their lives, they'll be appreciative, but they're still in a victim mindset because of all the stuff that they've gone through in their life,” Beach said. “When we empower them to go out and serve others, it changes their whole mindset.” 

 

Beach is the 29th person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference. The idea came from the bank’s mission statement: “People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

There are other components to Tulsa YouthWorks, including kids who go from making and delivering pizzas to making presentations to churches, businesses and civic groups in an effort to sell more pizzas. Part of each sale goes into a college savings fund in the name of the child who sold the pizza. 

Again, the idea is empowerment. 

“A lot of the kids, they start out when they're in kindergarten,” Beach said. “If you can imagine, all these years of making pizzas and selling pizzas, we hope to have a good, substantial amount for them when they’re ready for college.

 

“We're looking for companies out there who want to match the children, match all the scholarship funds so that when they go, it's not even what they've sold, but even double that. Again, the number one reason we find why these children don't go to college, flat-out their parents don't have the money to send them, and so that means the children don't get equipped to live out their dreams.” 

 

Even for the kids who may not go to college, Beach believes Tulsa YouthWorks provides them with a foundation for success by helping them academically and teaching them life skills. 

“The biggest ways that we define success at YouthWorks is, ‘Do the kids come and do they always feel loved here?’” Beach said. “Do they feel accepted? Do they feel like somebody actually believes in them? Do they feel like somebody is going to be there for them no matter what? That's why we're here 204 days out of the year.” 

 

The award-winning videos are available via Arvest’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the Arvest Blog – and the bank will make related posts each time a new story appears. Additionally, Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. Beach’s video launched on March 2. 

 

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 15 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

    

Tags: Oklahoma, People Helping People, Tulsa
 

People Helping People Video Series Wins Again

Thursday, February 15 at 02:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

Arvest Bank recently received three awards for our People Helping People video series during the annual AVA Digital Awards. The competition recognizes “outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication.” 

Arvest won a Platinum Award for the series itself, which highlights individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference in the lives of others. The idea came from the bank’s mission statement: “People helping people find financial solutions for life.” Arvest also won a Gold Award for the video featuring Little Rock’s Louise Allison and an Honorable Mention for the video featuring Angie Walters of Tulsa. 

This is the second round of recognition for the People Helping People series, which won three MarCom Awards in 2017. The People Helping People series launched in August 2016, and has received more than 400,000 total views. The videos are available via Arvest’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. 

The AVA Digital Awards program is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). Roughly 2,500 entries were expected to be submitted. Judges are industry professionals who look for “companies and individuals whose talents exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.”

Tags: People Helping People
 

Arvest Bank Video Series Features Russellville Boy

Friday, January 19 at 10:00 AM
Category: People Helping People

Jan. 19, 2018 – Ramsay Short’s perspective belies his age. 

“There’s plenty of things I want,” the 11-year-old said, “but everything I need, I can walk into my house right now and find it.” 

Short also knows that’s not the case for every kid that lives in the River Valley. That’s what led him to start making wooden pens in the family garage and donate part of the proceeds to help others. 

“He’s a typical 11-year-old,” Short’s father, Wilson said. “The room is messy. We need to learn better study habits, but you know… He’s got a gentle heart, and my boy wants to serve people. 

“And I guess that’s what I want my kids to be.”  

Ramsay Short is the 28th person and 13th Arkansan to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference. The idea came from the bank’s mission statement: “People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

The MarCom Award-winning videos are available via Arvest’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the Arvest Blog – and the bank will make related posts each time a new story appears. Additionally, Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. Short’s video will launch on Dec. 8. 

Short’s idea to make pens and sell them in part to benefit the needy came after his father was gifted a wooden pen. Shortly thereafter, Short brought $100 he had been given for good grades to his father and asked if they could invest in a wood lathe to make pens. 

“I kinda looked at him like he was crazy, because what 11-year-old wants to buy a wood lathe?” Wilson Short said. 

Since then, the two have worked together to make and sell about 150-200 pens. And with each sale, Ramsay Short puts $1 in the bank. 

Once Short has $100 in the bank, he then makes a donation to River Valley Food 4 Kids. The $100 is enough to feed one child for a year, and River Valley Food 4 Kids currently serves more than 1,000 children in Russellville, Atkins, Pottsville and Dover schools. 

The Shorts do other philanthropic work as well, but making the pens, which take 30-40 minutes to make, is among their favorite times spent together. 

“It’s time that I’d never get back with him,” Wilson Short said. “I’m just proud of him.” 

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

Tags: Arkansas, People Helping People
 

Kathy Snider Helps Spread Christmas Cheer at Toy Shop of Duncan - People Helping People Series

Friday, December 22 at 02:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

Dec. 21, 2017 – Deshunta Hollis didn’t hesitate when asked what the word “community” means to her. 

“Community means to me that you stick together when times are good, and when they're bad,” Hollis said. “And you help others. 

“It's everybody being a family even though you're not real family. That's what community means to me.” 

In Duncan, few people epitomize that definition more than Kathy Snider. Snider has been co-chairman of The Toy Shop of Duncan since 1996. The Toy Shop of Duncan provides Christmas gifts and clothes to as many as 1,200 local children each year. 

“Christmas is very special to me,” Snider said, “and I want that special feeling of Christmas to be there for the children in our community.”   

Snider also happens to be the 27th person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference. The idea came from the bank’s mission statement: “People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

The MarCom Award-winning videos are available via Arvest’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the Arvest Blog – and the bank will make related posts each time a new story appears. Additionally, Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. Snider’s video will launch on Dec. 22. 

From New Year’s Day shopping sprees to year-round fundraisers to a furious December push to make sure its clients’ needs are met, Snider and fellow co-chair Connie Roebuck spend countless hours making The Toy Shop of Duncan a success. It’s an effort that’s as intensive as it is inspiring. 

All the work is worth it, though, when a family receives the assistance it needs. Roebuck said the looks on clients’ faces when they receive their gifts never gets old. 

“You’re heart just goes to thumping and you get goosebumps and tear up, you know?” Roebuck said. “It really makes you feel good. I think volunteering is one of the best things people can do.” 

Hollis, who came to The Toy Shop of Duncan because of financial strains she’s endured while completing nursing school, has three young children whose Christmas will be better thanks to the efforts of those like Snider and Roebuck. 

“I think that’s what community is about,” Snider said. “It’s people that just come together and share and love each other, and are willing to do for others.” 

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

 

Tags: People Helping People

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