Taking care of our friends and neighbors in Tyson Foods communities has become especially important this year. We’ve watched as small businesses and nonprofits all around us have faced particularly difficult challenges due to the pandemic.
In Northwest Arkansas (NWA), the long-term sustainability of nonprofits, which provide significant support to area residents including numerous Tyson Foods team members, is in question at a time when their services are critically needed.
A recent survey reports 85% of nonprofits have experienced a reduction in revenue and over 70% have reduced their programs and services. While these are national figures, Arkansas nonprofits have experienced similar impacts. In a recent study, 82% of nonprofits reported having complete program cancellations. Additionally, 64% have experienced reductions in revenues.
Fall is a time when Tyson Foods team members traditionally begin looking for ways to give back as the holidays approach. To support these efforts and collectively express the generous spirit that is a hallmark of this company, we are participating in GiveFest this October – a month-long series of events at our headquarters designed to raise funds and drive involvement among team members with the Northwest Arkansas nonprofits our employees and community rely on most.
With a theme of Recover.Rebuild.Restore, GiveFest includes a variety of activities for team members to choose from both virtual and in-person. These have included outdoor and virtual “FUN-raising” events, drawings for donated experiences with executive leadership team members, a webinar series informing team members how to get involved, as well as a nonprofit fair and a “fastpitch” funding event that provides more information on the organizations we’re supporting.
So far, we’ve raised a total of more than $25,000 for Northwest Arkansas nonprofits. These funds will support various charities chosen by the departments coordinating the events, as well as the nonprofit community as a whole. Some examples of direct-support event recipients are the Arkansas Coalition of the Marshallese, Ozark Literacy Council, Teen Actions Support Center, NWA Women’s Shelter and the Arkansas Ronald McDonald House.
And as GiveFest rolls on this month, we want to highlight an additional way the Tyson Foods law department has been inspired to support a local nonprofit.
Moved by national events related to equity, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace, the group chose to support Canopy Northwest Arkansas with a recent donation of $5,000. Canopy works daily to create a community where refugees are welcomed and equipped with all they need to build new lives.
Through their Long Welcome Initiative, Canopy NWA seeks to ensure refugees not only have the support they need to get started, but become stable and connected, ready to advance, and empowered to thrive.