JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – People have expressed their sympathiesfor the Jonesboro mother arrested this week after she allegedly left herchildren alone while she worked overnight.
Tiffany Smith said she was just doing what she could toprovide a better life for her children.
Her story has prompted a lot of people recently to ask whatthey can do to assist others struggling to provide for their own families.
There are, luckily, a number of local organizations that canprovide some relief and some support to families in need.
The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and The Children'sShelter in Walnut Ridge are just two non-profits that serve a wide area and arealways in need of the community's support.
"One of the things I enjoy about working here is a sense ofpurpose," said Christie Jordan, the Food Bank's executive director.
Jordan hopes the people supporting her organization feelthat sense of purpose, too.
"Without people helping us and donating time, food and moneyresources to us, we couldn't do our job," she said, "so when those people aredonating to the Food Bank or to one of our agencies that we work with, they aremaking a difference in somebody's life."
The Food Bank distributed about 4 million pounds of food in2012 alone. More than 110 agencies in 12 counties take that food and then giveit out to people in their respective communities.
"It's everything from single-parent families to the workingpoor to senior citizens," Jordan said. "Unfortunately, the largest populationthat we seem to serve is children."
That's why strong turnout is needed for the Letter CarriersFood Drive on Saturday, May 18, which will help stock shelves for the criticalsummer 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 ittemporarily 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 frompeople living outside the Lawrence County area.
"I'm working very hard to get our name out because a lot ofpeople 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 indonations, call 870-886-5191.
There are countless other local organizations that assist peoplein need. The following list contains contact information for some of them:
Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas
3414 One Place Jonesboro (870) 932-3663
407 Union St. Jonesboro, AR
901 E. Lake St. Paragould
--Provides shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry and medicalclinic to families struggling to make ends meet.
1413AMarket Place Drive, Jonesboro, AR
(870)933-9939 or (870) 219-2488
CraigheadCo. Office: 2401 Fox Meadow Lane, Jonesboro (870) 802-7100
CrossCo. Office: 1304 S. Falls Blvd., Wynne (870) 239-1229
GreeneCo. Office: 144 Linwood Dr. Paragould (870) 239-3531
JacksonCo. Office: 2000 McClain St. Ste. C Newport (870) 523-5474
PoinsettCo. Office: 200 Industrial Dr. Marked Tree (870) 358-1200
WoodruffCo. Office: 224 Main St. Augusta (870 347-1458
Jonesboro Urban Renewal & Housing Authority
330Union Jonesboro (870) 935-9800