Chris Haynes is a Youth Home board member and chair of this year’s Eggshibition gala. He is also a 20-year employee of the heavily philanthropic Ben E. Keith Foods.
Ben E. Keith prides itself on the philanthropic aspect of the company. Could you tell us more about this and how they support organizations in the local community?
Perhaps it is “kindness” that best defines Ben E. Keith’s North Little Rock operation. The atmosphere at the distribution center is friendly, helpful, and our employees love to jump in and help when asked. Few workplaces exude the spirit of giving like Ben E. Keith Foods.
In addition to monetary donations, employees are encouraged and even given time to participate in area fundraisers and to support special events that provide needed assistance for persons or organizations; paying it forward seems to be our unspoken creed.
How did you become involved with Youth Home?
Several years ago I received an email about attending an Eggshibition planning committee from a friend. I simply showed up and was assigned a committee to work with and quickly realized how much of an impact could be made just by volunteering. Soon after that first event I was invited to take a tour of the campus, and I learned quite a bit about what Youth Homes does and who benefits from their services.
After my second tour I was asked to serve on the board and have been active with the organization ever since. I currently participate in Eggshibition each year, The Next Course event each October, and my family volunteers each year at the Greek Food Festival. OPAH!!
Eggshibition is the annual gala of Youth Home. Could you tell us about the work that Youth Home does?
Youth Home is a private, non-profit psychiatric facility in Little Rock that provides intensive residential treatment, community residential treatment, day treatment, outpatient counseling services, and school-based programs. We serve adolescents (ages 12 to 17) through programs on our Colonel Glenn campus, and our outpatient clinic serves individuals ages three and up, including adults and families.
Youth Home aims to help families function more effectively, help patients attend school regularly with passing grades, and help clients maintains employment.
What can people expect from this year’s Eggshibition event?
This year’s event is going to be fantastic. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the Eggshibition event, and it was recognized as the Arkansas Times’ “Best Local Charity Event” in central Arkansas.
We’ve been working very hard for the past few months making sure that we maintain that level of quality event this year. We have incredible food lined up with plenty of libations for people to enjoy.
One major change that we’ve made this year is we’ve incorporated a much more diverse collection of art to be auctioned off in our silent auction. Typically, we’ve highlighted artist’s eggs only at this event, but we’ve broadened that this year to include ceramics, paintings and other forms of art made by artists from Central Arkansas.
What scope is there for people to get involved with Youth Home, and what do they most need to keep serving the community?
As a non-profit we rely heavily on our community for support in our mission. That support can include purchasing tickets to one of our events, making a donation, volunteering or simply talking up the services that are available. We are looking for people willing to jump in and lend a hand, whether they serve as board members, help plan an event over the course of several months, or spend a few hours building garden beds with the adolescents and teens on our campus. Anyone interested in getting involved can learn more at YouthHome.org.