- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Desaray Botteron started helping others to fulfill a camp requirement, but as she grew up, volunteering became a life choice.

Seventeen-year-old Botteron, of Gentry, volunteers nearly every week at Helping Hands, a nonprofit thrift store in Bentonville. She has been volunteering since she was 7 years old.

“At first it was (about) getting points for Camp War Eagle, but then I got hooked. I enjoyed it, so I continued (doing it),” Botteron said while taking a quick break from her many Black Friday duties at the thrift shop.

Helping Hands has been in Bentonville for 40 years, said Bill Crawford, executive director of the store.

“We use the proceeds from the thrift store in Bentonville to help people in Benton County,” he told the Northwest Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2fVT46d ).

The nonprofit group uses store proceeds to alleviate essential expenses of folks in need by helping pay their rent, medical expenses and utilities, including water, gas and electric, Crawford said.

Helping Hands also provides food and clothing to people in need through a voucher program.

“We sent out 220 Thanksgiving food baskets Monday and Tuesday,” Crawford said. “We’ll do holiday baskets again toward Christmastime.”

The store helped provided services to approximately 78,000 people last year, he said.

Mary Gray, a Bentonville resident, frequently shops at Helping Hands.

“I like the volunteers, and I like the way they treat lower income people,” Gray said. “(They’re) very helpful.”

Helping Hands was bustling on Black Friday, with dozens of shoppers purchasing gently worn clothing as well as holiday items from the Christmas room. The store has opened for Black Friday for about 10 years, Crawford said.

“I think Black Friday has gotten so crazy that for us it was an opportunity to do something fun,” Crawford said. “We try to make it a whole lot of fun, not make it the stressful, intense experience you see at a whole lot of stores.”

___

Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.nwaonline.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide