The Eighth Street Motel Ministry began as a grassroots cooperative effort led by Natalie Tibbs (Executive Director of Restoration Village and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County), Beverly Engle (Founder of Restoration Village), and Sister Lisa Atkins (Mercy Hospital Nurse Practitioner and Community Health Liaison) in 2015. They began this work with a few simple goals:
- Feeding individuals and families suffering from food insecurity
- Creating advocates who connect the homeless and those living in poverty with community resources
- Raising awareness in the community of the plight of the homeless and those living in poverty
Six years later, we now work side by side with Northwest Arkansas churches, nonprofits, businesses, and civic groups. These meals are served at the Eighth Street Motel in Rogers, AR. We do not own this hotel, but the owner has graciously allowed us to serve our meals and advocate for others there on Thursday evenings.
Jonathan Engle (Operations Director) currently leads this ministry as the point person present every Thursday evening to assist groups serving food at the motel. If you have any questions, concerns, or insights about serving your meal, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-721-5273. Kristopher Adams (Development Director) manages this sign-up page and communications for the ministry. If you have any questions about a date, using the sign-up, or potential new ministry partners looking to serve, please contact him at email@example.com or 479-402-0036.
Please help us provide continuity each week among all of the groups who participate by observing the following guidelines:
- Use the sign-up options below to pick your date to serve a meal and/or provide a donated item.
- Prepare to serve your meal from 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM on Thursdays.
- Begin to serve your meal at 5:00 PM. Please do not start serving early.
- Serving takes approximately 1 hour and usually concludes by 6:00 PM.
- Plan to feed 150 individuals.
- Please try to provide healthier options and preferably home-cooked meals.
- Please bring takeout/leftover containers (approximately 30) to leave any excess food in the lobby.
- Please bring 2 tables to serve the food and 2-3 tables with chairs for those coming to eat if possible. If you do not have access to tables and chairs, please contact Jonathan, and he can help secure these items for you.
- Along with your meal, please provide these additional items: 6-7 people to serve the meal, disposable utensils, takeout containers (see above), tables and chairs (see above), napkins, drinks, large serving spoons and spatulas, several large plastic garbage bags, and gloves for the serving food.
- When knocking on hotel room doors to invite guests or take meals to rooms, please travel in groups of two or more. Never go into a guest’s motel room.
- Please feel free to bring the following items to donate to guests of the motel: toiletries, snacks, Wal-Mart gift cards, and non-perishable food/meals.
As of May 2021, we encourage partner organizations to serve their meals in person again as they are comfortable. However, if you will still like to remain socially distant for the time being, please know that you are welcome to do so. If this is the case, please follow these guidelines specifically for dropping off meals and staying socially distant:
- Prepare 150 to-go boxes containing complete Thursday night meals.
- Place your meals and drinks on an existing table (provided by the motel) outside the front lobby door.
- Simply drop the meals off in 150 individual to-go boxes on the designated table and leave. Thank you for your dedication and generosity in helping the families at the motel.