On Monday morning, May 1st, a special "Lillian Swartz Pearce Grant" was presented to the Arkansas Dream Center of Cleburne County by Rotarian Jerry Jackson of The Rotary Club of Heber Springs. Rotary's Special Grant Committee had determined the Dream Center would be one of the local non-profit organizations to receive a portion of funds recently bequeathed to the Rotary Club through the Estate of Lillian Swartz Pearce.
Across the state, each Arkansas Dream Center is started as a local mission outreach of a New Life Church. They are currently financially supported by multiple churches and have a volunteer base from churches across the county. The goal of the local all-volunteer staff is to serve the needy and help restore dreams by focusing on solving the moral decay, crime, homelessness and poverty throughout Cleburne County. The Dream Center facility, located at 817 Hwy. 110 East in Heber Springs, houses an office, a main conference room, a private prayer room, classrooms, and a food pantry.
During 2016 the center provided food for more than 2,000 residents of Cleburne County which totaled approximately 21,000 meals. Other programs such as the DC Diner, the After-School Program, and the Food-For-Good Program have blessed thousands of children, families and shut-ins within the community. Coat drives, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and their annual Christmas Mall are among the special projects that help the Arkansas Dream Center reach out and serve local residents who are less fortunate. Classes are also offered on prayer, finances, resume writing, sewing and Microsoft Office.
Co-directors Dave Hill and Brenda Hill of the local Dream Center reported to Jackson that the generous funds from the Rotary grant allowed the center to purchase a much needed van. Shown with Rotarian Jerry Jackson, and the newly acquired vehicle, are (front row, left to right) SarahAnn Gates and Diane Winter of the Dream Center Advisory Board, and (back row, left to right) are Advisory Board Members Larry Winter, Daniel Lightle, and Clyde Gates, Co-directors Brenda Hill and Dave Hill, and Advisory Board Members Jessie Green and Bob Bee. Further information on volunteering at, or making tax deductible contributions to The Arkansas Dream Center of Cleburne County is available on their website at www.ardreamcenter.tv or by calling 501-270-4008.
This article concludes the Special Grant reports by The Rotary Club of Heber Springs. Through numerous interviews with local non-profits, Rotary's Special Grant Committee came to a better understanding of the financial needs and goals of Cleburne County's service-oriented organizations, realizing these organizations can only survive through the compassion and generosity of our local residents and businesses. Regretfully, our funds could not assist each organization interviewed, but through the generosity of the Lillian Pearce family, the Rotary Club of Heber Springs was privileged to contribute to the Breakin' Bread Soup Kitchen, the CALL of Cleburne County, the Freedom Way Ministry, the Other Side Mission, and the Arkansas Dream Center of Cleburne County.