After mom's arrest, many ask how they can help - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

After mom's arrest; many ask how they can help

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – People have expressed their sympathies for the Jonesboro mother arrested this week after she allegedly left her children alone while she worked overnight.

Tiffany Smith said she was just doing what she could to provide a better life for her children.

Her story has prompted a lot of people recently to ask what they can do to assist others struggling to provide for their own families.

There are, luckily, a number of local organizations that can provide some relief and some support to families in need.

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge are just two non-profits that serve a wide area and are always in need of the community's support.

"One of the things I enjoy about working here is a sense of purpose," said Christie Jordan, the Food Bank's executive director.

Jordan hopes the people supporting her organization feel that sense of purpose, too.

"Without people helping us and donating time, food and money resources to us, we couldn't do our job," she said, "so when those people are donating to the Food Bank or to one of our agencies that we work with, they are making a difference in somebody's life."

The Food Bank distributed about 4 million pounds of food in 2012 alone. More than 110 agencies in 12 counties take that food and then give it out to people in their respective communities.

"It's everything from single-parent families to the working poor to senior citizens," Jordan said. "Unfortunately, the largest population that we seem to serve is children."

That's why strong turnout is needed for the Letter Carriers Food Drive on Saturday, May 18, which will help stock shelves for the critical summer months ahead.

"We collected well over 20,000 pounds [of food] last year," Jordan said, "and we hope to do that and then some this year."

The Children's Shelter, which has currently served 542 kids, is another nonprofit continually seeking support.

"We're always in need of clothing, anything – house ware, house goods and of course financial support," Administrator Tonjia Miles said.

The shelter may be located in Walnut Ridge, but it temporarily houses children from all over the state that the Department of Children & Family Services has removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

Miles says it's been difficult getting much support from people living outside the Lawrence County area.

"I'm working very hard to get our name out because a lot of people think it's just the Lawrence County shelter or Walnut Ridge. It's not," she said. "Our number one county is Craighead.

"It's Craighead, then Lawrence, then Greene, then Randolph [Counties]; so that's Northeast Arkansas right there."

To learn more about what The Children's Shelter could use in donations, call 870-886-5191.

There are countless other local organizations that assist people in need. The following list contains contact information for some of them:

Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

3414 One Place Jonesboro  (870) 932-3663


United Way of Northeast Arkansas

407 Union St.  Jonesboro, AR

(870) 935-3658


Mission Outreach

901 E. Lake St. Paragould

(870) 236-1216

--Provides shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry and medical clinic to families struggling to make ends meet.


Women's Discovery Center (Provides professional attire for women seeking employment and offers programs/activities to "nurture women and bring balance to their lives"): 

1413A Market Place Drive, Jonesboro, AR

(870) 933-9939 or (870) 219-2488 


Crowley's Ridge Development Council (Offers food, utility, weatherization assistance as well as a recovery program):

Craighead Co. Office:  2401 Fox Meadow Lane, Jonesboro  (870) 802-7100

Cross Co. Office:  1304 S. Falls Blvd., Wynne  (870) 239-1229

Greene Co. Office:  144 Linwood Dr. Paragould (870) 239-3531

Jackson Co. Office:  2000 McClain St. Ste. C Newport (870) 523-5474

Poinsett Co. Office:  200 Industrial Dr. Marked Tree (870) 358-1200

Woodruff Co. Office:  224 Main St. Augusta (870 347-1458


Jonesboro Urban Renewal & Housing Authority

330 Union Jonesboro  (870) 935-9800


My Jonesboro Jobs (created by Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce)


Northeast Arkansas Workforce Centers (Serving Clay, Craighead, Greene, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett and Randolph Counties:

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