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Updated: Sep 12, 2019

Jill Adkins and Denny Deters from the New York Says Thank You Foundation met with Marty Knight, Chairman of Rebuild Vilonia, about the potential of hosting a rebuilding effort in Vilonia near the anniversary of 9/11.

At the meeting a discussion about Rebuild Vilonia, the recent efforts to build a recovery document, next steps, and project priorities for the city. One of the top items of conversations was about building safe rooms in Vilonia. Currently the public safe rooms are in the schools, but if the schools are in session there is a risk that people would not be able to use the safe rooms.

One concept that was discussed was using a shipping container and reinforcing the door so that it could act as a public safe room. Vilonia would like to have a safe room within a 5 minute walk for every resident. Jill and Denny were invited to attend the Rebuild Vilonia meeting where projects identified through the public meetings will be prioritized.

#StormShelter #Vilonia #NewYorkThanksYouFoundation

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

On March 21, 2015, five families in Vilonia were given a second chance Saturday, after Habitat For Humanity placed them in their new homes. Volunteers have been working for three months in the city that was ripped by 2014's tornado.

The program started after Habitat for Humanity in Faulkner County decided to help those families most affected by the April tornado. They received requests from 50 families, so far they've been able to help 12.It's the second time Barbara Mullin's home has been hit by a tornado, the first time being in 2011. "It does not sound like a freight train, it sounds like a huge vacuum."

Shenel Sandidge, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Faulkner County, said that after the tornado, 50 families applied to get new homes. Sandidge said that their focus is to help those who were most vulnerable.

"The ones that were out there, that were renting, that owned mobile homes and the mobile homes were totally destroyed. They didn't own the land nor the mobile home, so a lot of the renters pushed to the side because they didn't have insurance," said Shenel Sandidge.

It's an 18-month process, after the application process, until these families get to move into their new homes. They will be paying around $350 a month. Sidney Walters, 14, said she already has a growing sense of community. “This house is built on nothing but God and helping others, and it's not for themselves. They're coming together to do all this stuff for us, and I think that's awesome," said Walters.

Sandidge said Saturday that most of the funds to help these families have been exhausted, and that she hopes more businesses and people step up to donate.

  • Vilonia Disaster Recover Alliance

  • Apostolic Christian World Relief

  • Catholic Charities

  • United Methodist Committee on Relief

  • United Way

Next steps:

Habitat for Humanities and VDRA plans to build a total of 40 new homes for tornado survivors that lost their homes due to the tornado that occurred on April 27, 2014.

Source: http://www.thv11.com/story/life/2015/03/22/new-homes-for-vilonia-tornado-victims/25167499/


Updated: Sep 12, 2019

The City of Vilonia was awarded a KaBoom! Grant and Kimberly Clark was named the funding partner for the playground project.

To help promote community involvement, the city and the Vilonia School District asked Vilonia local youth to design their dream playground. Of the designs that were turned back in, a selected amount of children were invited to attend design day, February 24, 2015 to draw their idea of a playground they want. Parents and other adults reviewed the designs and put all the children’s ideas to create the future playground.

Later that week, a set of three designs were submitted and a vote for the future playground was posted on Facebook. One design was selected along with the name of the park. The “Soaring Eagle Memorial Park” will be built on April, 18, 2015.

#playmatters #KaBoom #Playground #Vilonia #KimberlyClark