My love and concern for the aging population have motivated me to start a nonprofit called EPIC Compassionaries. EPIC, Embracing People In Compassion, was developed in January of 2014. EPIC’s mission is to provide random acts of kindness and compassion to people in need. It all began as I started visiting with a friend’s mother who was at Shiloh Health and Rehab Center in Springdale. As I talked and developed a relationship with her and the other residents, I became acutely aware of the lack of companionship, socialization, and creative opportunities available to the elderly. To gain understanding, I volunteered at other nursing homes and assisted living facilities, completed training as a Circle of Life Hospice volunteer, attended Ombudsman training, and received a CNA license from Northwest Arkansas Community College. I also gained experience while I worked at an assisted living facility in Bentonville as an Activity Director for six months and at LifeSource as a job coach part-time. After 18 years in the Bentonville School District, I have chosen to resign and put 100% of my energy into volunteering and growing EPIC Compassionaries.
EPIC’s mission is to provide random acts of kindness and compassion to people in need. The 3 tiers of EPIC include the elderly, persons with special needs and members of the community through random acts of kindness and compassion. The primary focus of the organization is to provide companionship, organize physical activities, and provide social opportunities for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and day centers for adults with special needs.
EPIC has been providing companionship and service throughout our area in some of the following ways:
Calling bingo and playing cards at assisted living facilities
Organizing and facilitating arts and craft projects
Providing transportation to The Adult Wellness Center, doctor’s appointments, and shopping
Volunteering with EPIC’s therapy dog at the Veterans Home, area nursing homes, and schools
Food Recovery services to 7hills Homeless Center
Mentoring women at the Arkansas Community Correction Facility in Fayetteville
Volunteering at schools in special education classrooms and on club days
Supporting adults with special needs by providing transportation and assistance with errands as well as providing volunteer opportunities for them to interact with others
EPIC operates solely through donations, personal contributions, grants, and local volunteers. To continue offering services for free, EPIC conducts fundraisers like this one to continue providing services to people in need.