Our community needs you! Click on link above to donate.
Our community needs you! Click on link above to donate.

Power of the Purse 2018

Save the Date! Power of the Purse, October 24th.

Our speaker will be Betsy Allen Manning, call 479-782-1311
to get your tickets.

90th Anniversary Celebration and Campaign Kick-Off

90th Anniversary Celebration and 2018 Campaign Kick-Off featuring multi-platinum country recording artist, Mark Wills. Reception starts at 5:30 pm, dinner and awards at 6:30 pm, Mark Wills will preform at 7:30 pm. We will be honoring our former board chairpersons, board members and campaign chairpersons. Dress is business casual. Individual ticket price is $60. Call 479-782-1311 for ticket and table sponsor information.

Community Leadership Conference Presentations

We had several wonderful speakers at our Community Leadership Conference, that shared some great information.
We received several requests for these presentations, so we are providing them to you.
We will add more presentations as they become available.

You can view and download presentations here:

Fill the Bus July 27th and 28th

Join us Friday, July 27th and Saturday, July 28th for Fill the Bus!
Friday from 9am to 9 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. We will be ” filling the bus”
with school supplies for local children. The supplies collected will be given to local
schools to be distributed to children in their district that may need help getting prepared to
start a new school year.

Walmart locations where you will find a school bus are:

  • 3108 N Broadway St, Poteau, OK
  • 1101 W Ruth Ave, Sallisaw, OK
  • 1501 E Walnut St, Paris, AR – Friday Only
  • 1400 East Main St, Booneville, AR
  • 1516 N 18th St, Ozark, AR
  • 551 Liberty Dr, Greenwood, AR
  • 367 W Cherry St, Alma, AR
  • 2214 Fayetteville Rd, Van Buren, AR
  • 8301 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR
  • 2100 No. 62nd St, Fort Smith, AR – Kelley Hwy
  • 2425 South Zero St, Fort Smith, AR
  • 4900 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR
  • 8600 US 71 South, Fort Smith, AR


Community Leadership Conference


On July 24th the United Way of Fort Smith Area, along with the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Arvest Wealth Management, and First National Bank of Fort Smith, will host the first Community Leadership Conference at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. The conference will be from 9 am to 4 pm. and will include 2 key note addresses from Dave Sanderson, author of “Moments Matter”, and breakout sessions from key leaders including John Kopta, Dr. Phillip McClure, Katie Lejong, Beth Presley, Dr. Edward Serna, Jordan Hale and Christina Williams. The sessions will cover pertinent topics for our nonprofit and corporate leaders. Follow this link to the UAFS Marketplace for registration information.

Fill the Bus Volunteer Registration

Volunteers needed for Fill the Bus!

Click here to sign up for Fill the Bus!
You will need register by June 29th to receive your free t shirt.

Let us know which location you want to volunteer at
and we will let you know what times are available. 

Volunteer slots will be on Friday, July 27th:
9:00 am – 11:00 am
11:00 am- 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
5:00 pm- 7:00 pm
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, July 28th:
9:00 am – 11:00 am
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

3rd Annual Touch A Truck June 21st

United Way of Fort Smith Area is excited to announce its 3rd Annual Touch-A-Truck, a FREE Child Safety and Wellness Event. The event will be held June 21st from 10 am to 2 pm at Van Buren High School. In the case of inclement weather follow our social media for any changes.

This event provides kids of all ages with the opportunity to see, touch, and explore life-size vehicles and interact with community support leaders like police officers, fireman, construction workers, military personnel and many more!  Vehicles you can expect to see include construction and farm equipment, safety and transportation vehicles, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, Life Flight Helicopter, military vehicles, and the Army National Guard Recruitment and Retention will provide an obstacle course.

In addition to equipment and vehicles, local businesses will provide hotdogs, chips, drinks and popsicles. The event also serves an educational value on top of being great entertainment for the kids. There will be several tables set up with literature available on a wide variety of child safety and wellness topics. The Van Buren Police Dept. will provide car seat safety information, Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House will provide sun safety tips, and several agencies will be providing child safety information. 

Touch-A-Truck is exclusively designed with children in mind; although, big kids enjoy the experience just as much.  It’s an event that gives kids an opportunity to see trucks and vehicles up close and from the inside; something they might not otherwise ever have the chance to do.  We encourage parents, Boys and Girls Clubs, preschool programs, Mother’s Day Out groups, daycares, church groups, to bring their children out for a great day of fun and learning!




United Way of Fort Smith Area presents “Keeping Kids Safe”



In consideration of Child Abuse Awareness/Sexual Assault Awareness month, The United Way of Fort Smith Area will be hosting a community awareness event called Keeping Kids Safe. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, along with The Crisis Intervention Center, The Hamilton House, The Morgan Nick Foundation and criminal prosecutors will be providing expert insight into the alarming reality of crimes against children, child exploitation and sexual assault. This panel of experts will address current reporting mandates, newest legislation, local resources, education, prevention, and how agencies work together to help victims and their families. “Children are our greatest resource to help secure a successful future. Unfortunately, they are also an extremely vulnerable population. The public needs to know that law enforcement agencies, schools and non-profit agencies have a strong  partnership and work together to make sure that every child in every community feels safe,” says a representative of the Alma Police Department. “Events like this bring awareness to the public and strengthen local partnerships. These two things are key in protecting and saving lives.”

“Our goal is to educate the public on the issue and let them know that multiple agencies are working together to address the tragedy,” says Penni Burns, Vice President of Resource Development for United Way. “We have more than a dozen nonprofit, state and local agencies that have a tremendous responsibility when it comes to the safety and well-being of children. And these agencies have to work responsibly with the local school districts and the families of the victims. We want all of them to have an event where they can come together, have some productive discussion, and share their resources with the public,” she adds. “We encourage everyone to make an effort to stop by and see the great efforts that are being made by our community to keep our kids safe.”

Author and human rights activist Debby Schriver will also be in attendance. She contributes a unique perspective on child exploitation. She has interviewed multiple survivors who were victims of childhood exploitation while their families were involved in cults. She is currently establishing a nonprofit to help survivors have ample resources and access to appropriate counseling. Her latest book, Whispering in the Daylight, the Children of Tony Alamo Ministries and Their Journey to Freedom aims to bring awareness to the persistence of cults in our society and how survivors are finding success.

The event will be held on April 24th at the Alma Community Center at 114 Column Lane East and will be moderated by the United Way of Fort Smith Area and the Alma Police Department. Panel discussions and public input will be from 2:30 to 4 pm. Debby Schriver will address the room and offer a book signing from 4 to 4:30. Light refreshments will be served and the public in invited and encouraged to attend.

Any agency interested in providing resource materials may contact Penni Burns at 479-782-1311.

The United Way of Fort Smith Area unites people and resources in a six county area to make lasting, impactful change through a collaboration with 34 local Community Partner Agencies. 

Community Resource Guide

United Way of Fort Smith Area Community Resource Guide

The purpose of the resource guide, in keeping with the mission of United Way, is connecting people and resources to make a lasting change and impact. The coverage area of the United Way of Fort Smith Area includes Sebastian County, Crawford County, Logan County, and Franklin County in Arkansas and LeFlore County and Sequoyah County in Oklahoma. Please keep in mind that the information in the resource guide is a constant and ever changing project. 

Community Resource Guide


90th Anniversary 1928-2018

As part of our year long 90th Anniversary celebration we will be posting a #tbt each week. Our first is from circa 1954 when we were still the Community Chest. If you have any history on the pictures we post, please contact us at 479-782-1311 or mlittle@unitedwayfortsmith.org. In 1928 we started as the Community Chest, transitioning to the United Fund and then to United Way. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been touched by the generosity of our donors and volunteers over the last 90 years. The work continues on,if you or your company would like to join us as a donor or volunteer, call us at 479-782-1311 or email info@unitedwayfortsmith.org. #unitedwayfsa #liveunited

2017 Holiday Giving Guide

With our 2017 Holiday Giving Guide we celebrate eleven years of our donors and volunteers sharing their talents and resources with local non-profit agencies. We invite you to join us in celebrating these past 11 years of the Holiday Giving Guide. Celebrate with us by starting a new tradition of sharing your resources, talents and by inspiring our children and grandchildren to give to those in need during the holiday season.   When shopping for Christmas gifts this season, please keep the United Way Holiday Giving Guide in mind. This guide has the wish lists for several local non-profit agencies. There may be people on your list who might truly appreciate having a donation or a gift to a local non-profit agency made in their name, rather than receiving a tangible gift. A $25 donation to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, through the United Way of Fort Smith Area, will provide books to a local child for a year.   This is a perfect option for people who “have everything” or whose lives have been impacted in some way by one of these agencies or programs. There are also agencies that are in need of volunteers. The holidays are the perfect time for us to take a little time and share our talents with these agencies. Whether it be visiting with the elderly in nursing homes, helping to deliver food to the elderly or organizing a food or toy drive. We know your time is valuable and we so appreciate it when you share it with our community.

Click on the link to view the 2017 Holiday Giving Guide


United Way Donates to Cameron Schools

(Fort Smith, AR, October 30, 2017):  United Way of Fort Smith Area presented Cameron Public Schools with a donation on Monday October 30th at 9am. The check presentation took place at the school located at 15899 Church St. in Cameron, Oklahoma. This donation will be used to replace computer tablets, cases, and software that were destroyed in a devastating fire that consumed their High School in August.

This donation comes from the United Way of Fort Smith Area’s Response Fund. This Response Fund is available for emerging or emergency needs. These grants are given on a one-time basis and available throughout the year as needed.  A request was made by Cameron School Superintendent, Jim Caughern, the request was taken before the United Way Board of Director’s and approved. “On behalf of the board of directors, United Way of Fort Smith Area is honored to be able to help the Administration, Faculty, and students of Cameron during this time of recovery. Education is a key pillar for United Way and being able to help our local students is very important to our mission,” said United Way of Fort Smith Area President, Eddie Lee Herndon. 

The United Way of Fort Smith Area has a six-county service area, this area includes LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma and Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, and Logan counties in Arkansas. The United Way of Fort Smith Area focuses efforts and resources around the three core issues: Health, Education and Financial Stability.


Over $950,000 raised in 30 days! Greenwood Public Schools Named Pacesetter of the Year!

September 19, 2017, Fort Smith – United Way of Fort Smith Area kicked off its 2017 Campaign with a celebration luncheon at the Blue Lion in Fort Smith. A large crowd attended the drop in luncheon including community leaders, United Way’s leadership, volunteers and agency representatives. A short program began at noon with United Way Board Chair, Les Smith, from Arvest, giving the welcome and introducing the 2017 Campaign Chair, Sherry Sims, from Rheem. Sherry presented her campaign message to the community and announced the Pacesetter of the Year award winner, Greenwood Public Schools. Pacesetters run their campaign during the month of August to help jumpstart the United Way fund drive. The total dollars raised by Pacesetter companies of $951,210, was announced by United Way President, Eddie Lee Herndon. 

 United Way of Fort Smith Area is at work in your community. We all have a stake in providing opportunities for a better life for all. Together, we can build stronger, healthier, and more prosperous communities.  In 2016, the campaign raised over 1.8 million dollars, all of which was reinvested back into the community.  If you would like to hold a workplace campaign and help United Way in their efforts, please call Penni Burns at 479 782 1311.

“The Pacesetter campaign in August is essential to the overall success of the campaign”, stated Eddie Lee Herndon, UWFSA President”. “At a time when we are nearly overwhelmed with requests, every single donation large or small makes an enormous impact in our community. We are incredibly grateful to all of the companies that helped us achieve nearly half of our goal in just 30 days. ”.

 The Pacesetter companies are: ArcBest Corporation and its subsidiaries; ATU-Ozark Campus; Arvest Bank; AT&T; Baldor Electric Company; BancorpSouth; BHC Insurance; Booneville Public Schools; Citizens Bank & Trust; Community National Bank of Booneville; County Line Public Schools; First National Bank of Fort Smith; Fort Smith Boys & Girls Club; Golden Living; Greenwood Public Schools; Hanna Oil & Gas; OK Foods; Magazine Public Schools; Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Ozark Area Youth Organization; Rheem; Stepping Stone School;  Sykes; UPS-Fort Smith; UPS-Sallisaw; Trane Custom, and United Way of Fort Smith Area.

United Way of Fort Smith Area serves Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma. Its mission is to improve lives by connecting people and resources in its six-county area.

Our Family, Our Friends, Our Neighbors, Our Pledge

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. Our 33 partner agencies across Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma are dedicated to meeting the needs of the people of this community through programs that create lasting impact. By supporting the United Way of Fort Smith Area with your time, your voice and your donations, you are changing lives. Together, we are stronger, so please join us in strengthening our community! For more information on how you or your company can get involved call Penni Burns at 479-782-1311 or e mail her at pburns@unitedwayfortsmith.org.

Our Family, Our Friends, Our Neighbors, Our Pledge


United Way of Fort Smith Area Delivers Prescription Savings

Free, easy to use prescription savings card can deliver significant savings on to anyone, regardless of their insurance.

(Fort Smith, AR) – January 5, 2016 – United Way of Fort Smith Area and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, an organization focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, want to remind local residents they have access to a free, easy to use prescription savings card that to date has helped more than 8.4 million Americans save more than $857 million on their prescriptions.

“No one should be forced to choose between paying for food, rent or medicine because of the high cost of prescriptions. That’s why we’ve partnered with FamilyWize to distribute free prescription savings cards to everyone in our six-county coverage area”, said Eddie Lee Herndon of the United Way of Fort Smith Area”  “People in our six-county area, in 2015, saved over $166,000 just by using the FamilyWize card.”

FamilyWize cards can immediately lower the cost of medicine by an average of 42 percent or more for people without insurance or who take medications not covered by their plan. Just by presenting the FamilyWize card at their local pharmacy, customers save on the cost of their prescription medicine, no strings attached.

“So many people are struggling with the high cost of medicine and need help right now. The FamilyWize card can provide immediate savings on prescription medicines, with no paperwork or forms to fill out,” said Susan Gilmore, Executive Director of Community Engagement of FamilyWize.

The FamilyWize prescription savings card can be used by anyone, including people without insurance and people with insurance but have high deductibles. The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card has unlimited use, does not require any personal information from the user and has no eligibility criteria.

To take advantage of the savings that FamilyWize offers, consumers can print a card from FamilyWize.org, can call 1-800-222-2818 and request a card to be sent to them, or can download the free FamilyWize app.

About The FamilyWize Community Partnership

FamilyWize is a community service partnership focused on improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. Through our partnerships with United Way and more than 100,000 community organizations, government agencies, pharmacies, health systems and businesses, we are making prescription medications more affordable and more accessible.

For more information, call United Way of Fort Smith Area at 479-782-1311 or visit our website, unitedwayfortsmith.org.

Record Year for Fill the Bus! Over 57,000 Packages of Supplies Collected!

It was another hot weather weekend but that didn’t keep United Way from filling buses with school supplies. Supplies were collected for the 11th annual Fill the Bus drive on Friday, July 24 and Saturday July 25 at Walmart stores in Alma, Booneville, Fort Smith, Greenwood, Ozark, Paris, Poteau, Sallisaw and Van Buren. Joining Fill the Bus this year were the Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Cedarville, Charleston, Mansfield and Mulberry.
Items donated included pens, pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, glue, notebooks, backpacks, kindergarten mats and many other items. Supply lists were handed out at each location to customers as they entered the store.
“We are so grateful to each of the volunteers and to the generous donors who helped make this our best year ever!” said Mitzy Little, United Way Marketing Director. “This event over the last few years has increased in donations so much. This year we had over 50,000 packages of supplies donated. Thousands of children in need in our six-county area will benefit from it. United Way is proud to help in getting those children’s school year off to a better start.”
Volunteers worked shifts on Friday and Saturday helping to hand out flyers and count and sort supplies. The event lasted from 9 am to 9 pm on Friday and from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday. Many area businesses also collected supplies at their offices including ArcBest Corporation, Golden Living, Klein Tools and Littlefield Oil Company.
United Way President, Eddie Lee Herndon said, “Fill the Bus is a great example of our awesome community in action. Hundreds of volunteers came together united to help our children, teachers, and local schools in our six county area. We want to say thank you to our volunteers, Walmart, local media representatives, and the numerous people that donated school supplies during the Fill the Bus event.” All of the supplies collected are distributed to school districts and partner agencies throughout United Way’s six-county service area.
A special thank you to Walmart for allowing United Way to host this event at its stores throughout the region.
United Way of Fort Smith Area serves Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma. Its mission is to improve lives by connecting people and resources in its six-county area.

Domestic Violence Awareness Pinwheel Display

Junior Civic League Domestic Violence Awareness Pinwheel display

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs – Junior Civic League of Fort Smith has set-up a Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention Pinwheel Display in front of United Federal Credit Union located at 5800 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR.  It will be up for the next month.  We will take it down the day before the Step Up Speak Out Block Parties which are scheduled for April 29th.

The pinwheels reflect the number of domestic violence victims in 2014 who were provided services by the Donald W Reynolds Crisis Intervention Center and the Hamilton House Child and Family Safety Center.   The Crisis Intervention Center treated 138 women for domestic violence 118 children for physical abuse and 66 victims for sexual assault in 2014.  The Hamilton House treated 678 children for sexual assault and 119 children for physical abuse in 2014.

There are three different colors of pinwheels in the display.  Purple represents domestic violence against women, Blue represents physical abuse against children, and Teal represents sexual assaults. Please note that inside the pool in the display there is one Teal pinwheel per nine sexual assault victims who were children and outside the pool there is one Teal pinwheel for very two adult victims of sexual assault.

New United Way President Reconnects With Childhood Mentor

Eddie Lee and Jerry IMG_3895

United Way of Fort Smith Area’s new President, Eddie Lee Herndon and Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Director, Jerry Glidewell. Jerry was the director of the Boys and Girls Club in Clarksville when Eddie Lee attended the club as an elementary school student. They had a great time reconnecting.

United Way Board Announces New President

Eddie Lee Herdon

FORT SMITH – The Board of Directors of United Way of Fort Smith Area is proud to announce Eddie Lee Herndon as the organization’s President. Herndon comes to United Way of Fort Smith Area from the United Way of West Tennessee (UWWT), where he served as President and CEO.

UWWT served 14 counties, 74 agencies and funded 109 programs under Herndon’s leadership. Since his arrival in 2011, the UWWT received the highest ranking certification for Community Impact from United Way Worldwide for two consecutive years. In addition to his work at the local level, Herndon was also involved at the state level and served as the Vice Chair of Governance and Nominations for the Executive Committee of the United Ways of Tennessee Board.

Herndon graduated from Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Upon graduation, Herndon went to work for the University as Director of Alumni Relations and Sports Information and just a few years later, was selected to become the University’s Athletic Director. He was twice recognized as the Mid-South Conference Athletics Director of the Year and in 2000 was named the NAIA Region XI Athletics Director of the Year. He served in that position until 2002 and then he went to work for Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing.

Herndon’s involvement throughout the Jackson, TN community was wide and varied. He served on various committees and worked on fundraising events for United Way, the American Heart Association, the West Tennessee Area Boy Scouts Council and the American Cancer Society.

Herndon is very excited to bring his family back to the River Valley area. He and his wife, Erin, both grew up in our area and graduated from Clarksville High School. “The United Way of Fort Smith Area provides an opportunity for me to continue my work with United Way and serve the local community and partner agencies,” Herndon said. “I am able to bring my bride back home to be near her family, and it is a win-win professionally and personally.” Herndon’s oldest daughter plays volleyball for Henderson State University in Arkadelphia and his youngest daughter is considering attending college within the state of Arkansas. “I am deeply vested in the great state of Arkansas and am looking forward to not just visiting frequently but, once again, calling Arkansas our home,” Herndon said. The Board of Directors and staff of United Way of Fort Smith Area welcome the Herndon family.

United Way of Fort Smith Area serves Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and Leflore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma, concentrating on services in the areas of Education, Income and Health. To learn how you can help, please contact United Way of Fort Smith Area at 782-1311, on the web at unitedwayfortsmith.org or find us on Facebook.


Thank You To Our Local Law Enforcement Officers

Familywize Prescription Discount Program

United Way has Prescription for Everyday Savings

Free drug discount card saves everyone money at local pharmacies

Help is here to lower the cost of medicine, thanks to a free drug discount card provided by the United Way. “No one should be forced to choose between paying for food, rent or medicine because of the high cost of prescriptions. That’s why we’ve partnered with FamilyWize to distribute free prescription discount cards to everyone in our six-county coverage area”, said Cortney Christensonof the United Way of Fort Smith Area. “People in our community have already saved, $131,506.46 from January through November of 2014,just by using the FamilyWize card.”

FamilyWize cards immediately lower the cost of medicine by an average of 40% or more for people without insurance or who take medications not covered by their plan. Just by presenting the FamilyWize card at their local pharmacy, customers save on the cost of their prescription medicine 80% of the time. “So many people are struggling with the high cost of medicine and need help right now. We knew we couldn’t wait years for healthcare reform to be implemented. The FamilyWize card provides immediate savings on prescription medicines, with no paperwork or forms to fill out,” said Dan Barnes, Co-chair of The FamilyWize Community Service Partnership.

These cards can be used by everyone in the community, not just people without insurance. They can even be used by people with health benefits, including Medicaid or Medicare.

The FamilyWize card is easy to use:

  • It’s Free
  • For immediate and unlimited use
  • Accepted at 95% of pharmacies nationwide
  • No age/income restrictions
  • No enrollment or personal information needed

“United Way of Fort Smith Area”proudly joins 1,000 United Ways in all 50 states who have already saved more than $782 million as of November 2014 on prescriptions in their communities and distributed more than 20 million cards nationwide.  Together, we hope to reduce the cost of medicine $1 billion by the end of 2015”, said Cortney Christenson of the United Way of Fort Smith Area.

You can stop by our office at 320 South 18th Street in Fort Smith to pick up a card or individuals with internet access can go to www.unitedwayfortsmith.org or to www.FamilyWize.org to print a card, look up drug prices and obtain a list of participating pharmacies.

United Way of Fort Smith Area, proudly serving individuals in Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Sabastian, Leflore and Sequoyah counties since 1928.

Community Resource Guide

The United Way of Fort Smith Area is pleased to bring you the Community Resource Guide. The goal of this guide is to assist agencies and businesses that make client referrals. Learn More »

United Way Video Library

We have created a video library for the 2013 campaign.
We have videos that show what your United Way dollars made possible in our
six-county area in 2012. Please click here to view the videos. If you would like a dvd
copy of any of the videos for your workplace campaign, give Mitzy Little a call at 479-783-1311.


United Way of Fort Smith Area provides funding to non profit agencies in a six county area?
Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian counties in Arkansas, Leflore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma.


United Way Area Map