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Arkansas Rice Depot, Inc.
April 26, 2011

For the past several years I have served as a School Counselor, which has so many hidden challenges it would be hard to be fully prepared for the demands of the "job". At a professional development early in my career, I learned of the Arkansas Rice Depot and it's ability to provdie school supplies to needy students/schools. Armed with the Art Therapy training that I viewed as a way to open up the door to communication with the struggling students, I sought the resources I was unable to purchase on my own, and that began a wonderful journey with the Arkansas Rice Depot. Through the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to meet so many needs that would have otherwise gone unanswered without these generous resources provided through donations and commitment from organizations and individuals throughout the state. Now when a student comes to me hungry, I can feed them at any time of the day. When a student's family can't afford to prepare them to return to school after the summer, I can provide the students with a brand new, stuffed backpack encouraging an excitement about the school experience. When a student comes to me worried about the family's lost income, or inability to have enough food for the month, I can invite them to come weekly to take a pre-packed bag of weekend supplies home to combat the fear of a long, hungry weekend away from school. We have even joined with churches in the community to fill the gaps that sometimes exist between what the Rice Depot has on hand, and what we need., making it a collaberative experience. This is such a God-send, and I know firsthand the relief and encouragement the students encounter because these resources are there..

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Mountainburg and Winslow School systems

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to help the various producers and trucking industries in Arkansas to work together to take the necessary supplies from the donator to the door of the Arkansas Rice Depot.

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I faciliate the Backpack program for two schools in our District.