Intermodal hosts community foundation public forum
POCAHONTASThe Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority (NEARIFA) hosted a public forum Tuesday night in the banquet hall of BRTC where they discussed partnering with Arkansas Community Foundation to establish a community affiliate office within the Intermodal’s tricounty footprint area, which covers Clay, Randolph and Lawrence Counties.
Sarah Kinser, Arkansas Community Foundation Chief Program Officer, of Little Rock, served as guest speaker and explained how they partner with donors, nonprofits and community leaders. Arkansas Community Foundation, a 501c3 public charity founded in 1976, currently has more than $350 million in assets and has made $250 million in grants over the past 40 years. Their mission is to “engage people, connect resources, and inspire solutions to build community.” Kinser said the foundation serves all 75 counties in Arkansas and has 28 affiliates, providing a direct presence in 39 counties.
“We got these conversations started as a result of some work that Graycen (NEARIFA Executive Director Graycen Bigger) and the NEA Intermodal were doing to assess needs in the community,” said Kinser. “And, to identify that there might be a gap that a community foundation can help fill—somebody to kind of take a look at the community development needs of the area that go along side of the big economic development needs of the area. So we got the conversation started and started thinking, ‘What would it look like to serve Randolph, Clay and Lawrence Counties together through the Arkansas Communities Foundation?’”
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