JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Region 8 residents are exchanging food for flowers at the Posey Peddler in Jonesboro.
Owner of Posey Peddler, Bridgette Arnold, and staff are working hard to raise food donations for the Women's Shelter in Jonesboro. Arnold says this idea came to her when she was in church two weeks ago. "Two Sundays ago in our church bulletin was an announcement saying the Jonesboro Women's Shelter was in dire need of food. That they were full to capacity with women and children and they needed help."
Bridgette went into action and decided to offer "Flowers for Food" to the public. You bring a bag of groceries to Posey Peddler and you'll receive a bouquet of roses in exchange. "Women love flowers and I think that sometimes people are in dire need of a helping hand. They need more than food. Food isn't something they should have to think about in this great country that we have. They shouldn't have to think about food and flowers are such a beautiful thing and sometimes that can motivate someone do something that normally they wouldn't have."
Executive Director of the Women's Crisis Center, Vicki Crego, says they really need the support from the community. "We are at our full capacity, right now. Because school is out for the summer that does mean more kids and more time that they're spending in the shelter eating. And our food pantry was getting a little low."
Arnold says she decided to hold this drive because it's the right thing to do. "There's just no reason for us to have hungry children in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We are too blessed and too profitable."
Crego says many people don't realize what all they do at the Women's Shelter. "We receive anywhere from two hundred and fifty to three hundred crisis calls a month. Sometimes those calls are women needing to escape a very dangerous situation into our shelter. Other times they just need information and support, counseling. We provide all of those services free of charge to our clients."
The shelter and its staff is accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. "It's very critical we stay available. In a domestic violence situation most incidents happen at night and on weekends."
Crego says it's this accessibility that makes it so costly to continue their consistent operation and free services, but the need is evident in our community and needs to be met. "It takes a great deal of resources in order to operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and help the families to escape abusive situations. Without our community support we would not be able to provide the services that we do."
One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. This drive will continue through 4pm on Saturday.
The Women's Shelter is registered at Target and Wal-Mart locations with items they need, should you prefer to help in that way.
For more information, log onto their website.