The activist wants to create community ties

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To learn more about Stacy Harper’s work, or to volunteer or donate, visit Lighthouse Solutions on Facebook at facebook.com/Light-House-Solutions-258443104655791 or on the web at lhsolutions.org

The sign on Stacy Harper’s storefront desk on Sunbridge Drive in Fayetteville says “The Connector” in big, bold print – and what a fitting title. Over her 10 years of community service, Harper – the founder of nonprofit Lighthouse Solutions – has become adept at meeting clients where they are and connecting them with the resources they need to improve their lives. .

“We are bridging the gap between resources and community,” says Harper. “This area is rich in resources. But a lot of our people in Northwest Arkansas, in Fayetteville, State, don’t know how to navigate the system to access those resources. And so they’re frustrated. and tire mentally and emotionally. That’s where I come in. I can be that bond. So I’m here, and I listen to stories and I listen to the needs, wants and wants of people, and I helps them navigate to the right resource. “

However, Harper doesn’t just connect people with existing nonprofits. She is also in the community to provide services herself. A certified fitness instructor, she created a program called Accelerated Achievers, which links physical exercise with mental health.

“Accelerated Achievers is all about helping children become young entrepreneurs, inspiring motivators and successful students,” she explains. “I can take a kid from shyness to, at the end of class they laugh, they talk, they are motivating.”

Lighthouse Solutions’ mantra, according to the website, is “See a need, meet a need.” So when food activist Nate Walls came to her with a need he had heard in the communities he nurtured, she was ready to help.

“He was gaining this trust from people in those communities, and eventually the women started asking him, ‘Do you have access to menstrual products?’ », Explains Harper. “So we created a program called the Life Cycle Project. Karen McClard is my project manager. She got started. And she really took control of this program and contacted an organization called Period Alliance – they’re going after menstrual poverty. We found out they didn’t have a chapter here in Northwest Arkansas. “

Harper and his team organized a vintage drive and were able to distribute 40 boxes of vintage products. Today they are the first chapter of the Period Alliance in Northwest Arkansas.

Harper’s work is particularly impressive when viewed in the context of her own health: she has been on treatment for breast cancer since August 2020, but she refused to stop her work in the community – she thus fought two episodes of covid-19.

“It was meaningful before, but I cherish every moment now,” she said. “When I listen to conversations of children, individuals, family members who need some type of support, I do all I can to bridge that gap. days, and I think that’s what’s holding me back, from not giving up my battle to rid my body of cancer. Every day that I wake up, God says, “This is your world – what is it? what are you going to do with it today? “

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