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Who says that small gifts can’t add up to something? Ark Valley Helping Hands has announced that it received an $11,900 donation from the members of Women Who Care, the organization formed to make a difference for local non-profits.

“This is an extraordinary amount that will free up the time of board members and staff to concentrate on recruiting members and volunteers to help seniors of our community thrive in the homes of their choice,” explained Program Coordinator Sara Ward. “Thank you to the generous women who show they truly care about our community.”

Presenting the $11,900 check from Women Who Care to Ark Valley Helping Hands is front (left to right) Marilyn Bouldin, Dee Dubin, Bev VanKampen. Back row Tom Syzek and Sara Ward. (Courtesy photo)

The Women Who Care organization got its start in the valley a year ago, when Bev VanKampen, who had recently moved to the Arkansas River Valley, introduced the program here. She had an initial goal of 100 members. The group is now up to 118 women, with each member agreeing to donate $100 per quarter to a deserving valley non-profit.

That non-profit is chosen from presentations selected from a random draw of those members who enter and then by secret ballot vote to decide who receives that quarterly meeting’s donation.

The Ark Valley Helping Hands organization also sponsors “Let’s Talk” gatherings to address issues of concern to seniors. Some recent topics have been common elder fraud scams, and “Creating a Vibrant Third Third” about growing old.

Ark Valley Helping Hands will sponsor an ice cream social from 2  to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at First Presbyterian Church, Salida. Those looking for more information about the programs and projects of Ark Valley Helping Hands can go to, or call 719-530-1198.