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Financial institutions come together to support shelter

By Angela Spencer

This article was published May 25, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

representatives-from-some-of-the-financial-institutions-participating-in-hamburgers-for-homelessness-gather-with-jacobs-place-board-president-mat-faulkner-in-front-of-jacobs-place-in-the-front-row-from-left-are-amanda-mcclish-of-first-community-bank-jon-holman-of-southern-bank-faulkner-and-justin-lawson-of-centennial-bank-and-back-row-robert-hare-of-simmons-bank-matt-house-of-regions-bank-and-j-patrick-stegall-of-first-security-bank

Representatives from some of the financial institutions participating in Hamburgers for Homelessness gather with Jacob’s Place Board President Mat Faulkner in front of Jacob’s Place. In the front row, from left, are Amanda McClish of First Community Bank, Jon Holman of Southern Bank, Faulkner, and Justin Lawson of Centennial Bank; and back row, Robert Hare of Simmons Bank, Matt House of Regions Bank and J. Patrick Stegall of First Security Bank.

SEARCY — There is a house in Searcy where families facing homelessness can find help and peace of mind, and the community’s financial institutions are coming together to raise money for the organization that supports those families.

Jacob’s Place, which opened in 2008, can house up to four families, and it has had a waiting list for years. It has served more than 132 families, including 173 children.

On June 13, area financial institutions will get together to sponsor the event Hamburgers for Homelessness to raise money for Jacob’s Place. The fundraiser will take place at Berryhill Park in Searcy.

“A lot of banks have grills, so the idea is to have all the financial institutions come together to have a big beginning-of-the-summer blowout where they’re grilling hamburgers,” said Mat Faulkner, president of Jacob’s Place’s board of directors.

As conversations about the event went on, Faulkner said, it became apparent that the financial institutions wanted to work together as a united party. He offered to create logos with the individual financial institutions’ color schemes, but representatives of the banks decided they wanted to be a unified group in the fundraising effort.

The financial institutions also decided not to have competitions between them on the day of the event so they could enjoy the cookout as a solid group. Instead, there will be an award for the bank that raises the most money with pre-sale tickets.

“We decided to make the pre-sale competition winner a ‘Grill-Off Champion’ award that they will get to keep for a year,” Faulkner said, with the idea that Hamburgers for Homelessness will become an annual event.

Jacob’s Place accepts only families with children or with a child on the way. Future plans include expanding the organization’s services to more families, as well as to single men and women.

There are also plans to bring on an executive director, and the money from Hamburgers for Homelessness will give the board a head start on those plans.

Jacob’s Place is an effort of the Searcy Ministerial Alliance. The alliance consists of several area churches that come together to make an impact on the community. The house itself is owned by First United Methodist Church of Searcy.

The support at Jacob’s Place goes beyond providing a roof over the heads of those in need. The assistance includes helping families to save money, get a job, pay off the debts holding them back and receive counseling.

Tickets for Hamburgers for Homelessness will be for sale soon at area financial institutions. Tickets are $5 and include hamburgers, ice cream and water, in addition to entertainment such as bounce houses for children and live music.

Participating financial institutions include the Bank of Augusta, Centennial Bank, First Community Bank, First Security Bank, Regions Bank, Simmons First Bank, Southern Bank and White County Federal Credit Union.

In addition, Yarnell’s will donate ice cream for the fundraiser, In Any Event will donate the use of bounce houses, and Searcy Parks and Recreation will manage logistics for the event at Berryhill Park.

Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or aspencer@arkansasonline.com.

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