The Faulkner County office of the Arkansas Community Foundation on Wednesday announced $25,000 in ARCF Giving Tree Grants for nonprofits in the county. During a presentation at the Faulkner County Library, 13 nonprofits received grants.

Eric Hutchinson, vice chair of the Faulkner County office of the Arkansas Community Foundation, announced the grants and asked a representative of each nonprofit to share some information on how the funding will benefit the organizations.

Faye Shepherd, community resource coordinator for the 20th Judicial District/Fifth Division, said she is always looking for ways to reduce and prevent juvenile delinquency. She said juvenile court will use the funds to purchase an electronic interactive parenting program, a laptop computer for use of the program and other software for tracking success or recidivism of specific adjudicated populations.

Judi Lively, executive director of Bethlehem House, the county's transitional shelter, said, "Our clients are the homeless, the hungry, the hopeless in this community."

She said many people are in need of transportation. Bethlehem House will use the grant funding for a bicycle loan program, purchasing bicycles, tools and helmets.

Phyliss Fry, executive director of the Community Action Program for Central Arkansas said while CAPCA provides many services, the grant will provide turkeys for holiday food boxes.

Shellie O'Quinn with the City of Greenbrier said the grant will fund a free one-week Kidzcamp, a day camp focused on preventing childhood obesity. She said the camp also has a strong educational component. This year the camp's theme centers around certain American Indian traditions, such as trading beads for goods.

Diana Byrd, executive director of Conway Cradle Care said in the last two years, 31 students have graduated with the help of the organization, which provides low-cost daycare to teen parents attending Faulkner County schools. Byrd said the nonprofit will use the grant funding to purchase educational materials to help improve parenting skills and to provide each teen's child with age appropriate books for the home. Board member Julie Adkisson was also present for the grant presentation.

Kittie Aaron, executive director of the Conway Interfaith Clinic, said the clinic will use its grant to further its patient assistance program for those who need maintenance medications.

Debbie Plopper of Conway Sanitation and Recycling was joined by Whitney Stone, a member of the coordinating team for Eco Fest. Plopper said the grant awarded to Conway Sanitation and Recycling will be used in the partnership with the Eco Fest coordinating team to make the event as interactive and interesting as possible.

"A lot of people don't know their impact on the environment," Plopper said.

Emily Maggio, executive director of the Faulkner County Literacy Council, said her organization tutors adults in basic literacy, math and life skills. The nonprofit will use the grant to purchase two laptop computers for use by tutors with their students, she said.

Debra Robinson, director of Faulkner County Senior Citizens, said the meals on wheels program is the most demanded program the nonprofit has. The senior citizen program purchased a used car to benefit the meals on wheels program.

"We got a great deal," she said.

Tracy Stocks, president of Make a Child Smile, said the grant will help her organization fund its next back to school program for teens. Specifically, she said, it will pay for hygiene products for the teens to receive at the event. She said the events helps children feel better about themselves as they prepare to go back to school by giving them new clothes and a haircut, hygiene products and school supplies.

Jeannie Frizzell, a nurse at the Pine Street Free Clinic, accepted the grant on behalf of the clinic. She said it will be used for X-rays at Conway Regional Medical Center, which provides a discount.

Henry Smiley, chairman of the board of the Faulkner County Single Parent Scholarship Fund, said the nonprofit exists to provide opportunities for single parents to pursue their dream of higher education, improve their quality of life and ultimately give back to the community. He said the grant will provide either two full scholarships or four partial scholarships.

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