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Hometown Heroes

  • Episode 1 | Making Magic: Inside Local Nonprofit, Pathfinder, Inc.

    19 JAN 2024 · In this kickoff episode of the new Hometown Heroes podcast from The Bridge Business Media, co-hosts Adam and Elisa introduce their vision to highlight community members making a difference. They welcome Kristen Walker, Director of Pathfinder's Northwest Arkansas branch, an organization providing critical services for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults. Kristen details Pathfinder’s offerings, spanning residential facilities to waiver case management allowing at-home care. She outlines eligibility criteria and clarifies commonly misunderstood parts of the process, like securing spots on lengthy waitlists. Kristen then explains her journey into the disability services field, crediting a lifetime of exposure through family ties to Pathfinder. Spotlighting her current role, Kristen describes the typical weekday program with nearly 100 regular attendees. She emphasizes Pathfinder’s new space and opportunities for community members to get involved by volunteering to lead activities. From gardening and fitness to Dungeons and Dragons and WWE wrestling, she welcomes any group with passion to share. Kristen also discusses plans to expand their life skills training coffee shop and increase attendance. As a Medicaid-funded nonprofit, growth depends on maximizing client participation. But with this comes the reward of changing lives by providing purpose and friendship. Kristen says despite demanding roles, staff feel they rarely “work” because "our people make it magical." Overall, the episode embodies Hometown Heroes' goal to applaud unsung individuals improving the region while connecting them to more people eager to help.
    Played 21m

There are heroes that walk among us everyday, people dedicating themselves to bettering their communities through selfless acts of service and perseverant leadership. These hometown heroes may not make the...

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There are heroes that walk among us everyday, people dedicating themselves to bettering their communities through selfless acts of service and perseverant leadership. These hometown heroes may not make the evening news or trend on social media, but their quiet contributions ripple out in waves that uplift entire regions.The Hometown Heroes podcast tells the stories of these inspiring yet overlooked individuals so that their work garners the awareness and assistance it deserves. Through weekly 30-minute episodes, host Elisa Seratt sits down with people nominated by her and the Hometown Heroes team for their community-oriented work. Elisa talks to folks like Sanjay, who converted the abandoned lot on his block into a community garden that brings fresh produce to a nutrition-poor food desert. There's Claire, the high school teacher using her summer breaks to rebuild homes in the economically-depressed county next door. We meet people like retired nurse Joan who visits homebound seniors each week, giving free medical care while providing social interaction to isolated members of her small town.The goal is to shine light on those creating grassroots change out of simple care and conviction. Elisa draws out their philosophies on civic duty and creates intimate portraits of average heroes. Each interview unveils the initial spark behind their endeavor as well as current roadblocks threatening their progress. The conversational format allows guests to vocalize precise needs for bolstering their charitable efforts, priming listeners to provide aid through donations, volunteer work, social media campaigns, and any other supportive engagement.While telling profoundly human stories, Hometown Heroes also explores how self-started altruism can shape landscapes. Because the grassroots is the level where most innovation happens as visionaries build better tomorrows modeled on their values. We discover what compels these hometown heroes to identify struggles then step up despite having no obligation. Through understanding their motivations, we clarify our own. Their ingenuity and empathy prompt us to cultivate these traits so that more people feel empowered to create supportive systems that spread.Each week, Hometown Heroes delivers a dose of optimism by revealing the good emerging all around us from the most unassuming sources. It opens conversations around civic responsibility and shows how even small-scale action borne of compassion can have multiplicative effects. The podcast nourishes inspiration on societal and personal levels so we elevate ordinary individuals doing extraordinary work as role models. Hometown Heroes reminds us we all have heroic potential to become the change we wish to see, one humble act at a time in our own neighborhoods.
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Author Adam Robison
Categories Non-Profit
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