Local New Life Church members are actively collecting supplies to benefit Faulkner County residents affected during the historic 2019 Arkansas River Flood.
Volunteers have worked to help clean homes that have suffered damages, fill sandbags for those in need and also are collecting items needed to continue relief efforts.
New Life Church has several campuses affected by the flooding event, including those in Fort Smith, Clarksville, Russellville, Conway, Mayflower, Little Rock and Pine Bluff.
Local members are working to collect a variety of items to aid those in need through this historic event. NLC is seeking:
Handheld sheetrock saws.
First aid supplies.
Feminine hygiene products.
Heavy-duty trash bags.
Beyond the clothing items listed above, NLC member Quentin Washispack said not to donate clothes or furniture because there is no room to store the items at the church.
NLC members are helping families affected by the Arkansas River flood to repair their homes. NLC has been asked to assist 16 homes locally. So far, eight of these needs have been addressed, Washipack said. However, the other eight are still flooded and volunteers are unable to help until the water at these locations recedes.
Those who need assistance or would like to volunteer with New Life can contact the church directly by texting ARFLOOD to 88000. Upon sending the text message, the user is prompted to select whether they are in need of assistance or are interested in serving the community. From there, the user is asked to select their location and also to provide other identifying information.
"We just want to help people," Washipack told the Log Cabin Democrat. "We're here to serve and to help people in their time of need. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, regardless of what church someone goes to or if they're religious."
Looking back on the impact of the tornadoes that swept through Mayflower and Vilonia in 2014, Washipack said the need was immediate and volunteers lined up to help.
With this slow-moving flood incident, he said he hopes area residents remember their neighbors will likely still need help in the fall.
"Be vigilant about volunteering," he said. "This is very slow. We might be helping people in August, September and October. People are going to go back to their lives, but we have to be vigilant and encourage others the continue helping."
NLC has also received aid from other entities in its efforts to extend relief through this disaster.
The Convoy of Hope and Joyce Meyer Ministries have reached out to NLC, and others ave offered to send work crews to help rebuild damaged homes, Washipack said.
The Convoy of Hope has agreed to send over a truckload of drinks and nonperishable food items on Wednesday and has also "committed to more deliveries over the next couple of weeks."
Eight Days of Hope will send in a crew of 100-150 "skilled volunteers" from across the county to begin a three-week "push to demo and rebuild as many homes as possible," Washipack said, adding that Steve Hess of World Vision is also sending over emergency relief supplies.
Anyone who is able to donate is encouraged to drop off donations at NLC's Conway location at 633 S. Country Club Road.