By Julia Trupp
It’s that time of year when gifting is on everyone’s radar. In two weeks, Northwest Arkansas can ring in the giving season at The Berry Farm in Bentonville at the Help One Now Gala.
Jenny and her husband Dave Marrs, founders of The Berry Farm and partners with Help One Now (and soon-to-be hosts of a restoration show on HGTV), will welcome and interview guests John and Orpah Chiynowa from Zimbabwe about their story and how the relationship with the Bentonville-based farm and work with nonprofit Help One Now has benefitted their village over the past decade.
There will also be a blind wine and bourbon wall pool, casual drinks and catered dinner, and music, according to the invitation. Along with the guest interview, the plan for the evening includes discussion of ideas to inspire education, create jobs around the world, keep families together, and improve lives as a whole.
“Our goal for the evening is to raise $125,000 toward continued restoration and empowerment programs globally. This specifically includes building Phase 1 of the new dormitory building at The Gatehouse Project which The Berry Farm funds in Zimbabwe,” Jenny says.
North Carolina-based nonprofit Help One Now hatched from a relationship between founder Chris Marlow and Pastor John, after meeting some children at a gas station in Zimbabwe. Since that day, the organization has been committed to rescuing vulnerable children, offering them a new chance at life.
After many years of friendship and support, the families behind Help One Now and The Berry Farm decided to partner up in 2015.
“We believe in the work that they do, they really empower leaders,” Jenny says. “They’re the voice on the ground. They aren’t coming in as the Americans with all the answers, but coming alongside people doing good work.”
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Now, about 10 years since the start of the organization, the needs at the Gatehouse Farm and in Musha Wevana, Zimbabwe, are growing like the children that inhabit them, and a new dormitory is needed to aid the growth.
“This dormitory is important, not just for separation between young and old,” Jenny says. “This space will allow these older children to stay longer so they can be trained at The Gatehouse Farm.”
The farm offers valuable education and experience in farming, trade, and business administration so children can learn how to build a sustainable income for themselves. The plan is to give them a space for empowerment to flourish into adulthood and impact their future.
“Interacting with our local community and sharing our passion for holistic orphan care around the globe is a joy for us,” Jenny says. “Also, the fact that our entire family has been involved with this project from day one has been awesome. Our kids have sacrificed their summers to plant blueberry plants or pick weeds or help with the harvest. And, they know why our family sacrifices our time and energy and our resources.”
The Marrs children have met and played soccer with children around the world who live in different circumstances than they do in Northwest Arkansas, and through their experiences, have learned that even though their lives seem different, they are all one in the same, Jenny says.
“It’s hard to see someone as ‘different’ when you’ve become their friend. Dave and I hope to instill a generous and obedient spirit in our kids’ hearts and we love how the farm helps us live this out in a very real, very tangible way.”
The Help One Now Gala at The Berry Farm is set for 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Nov 9. Tickets per person are $125 a piece. Tables for 10 seats are $1,000. More ticket and table information can be found at the Help One Now website.
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