August Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner helps foster children and others in need

Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 10:51 PM CDT
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MANILA, Ark. (KAIT) - A servant’s heart is seen through actions and deeds.

Have you ever noticed that some people just have a gift for giving?

This month’s Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner has found her niche doing what some would never do.

Shoes line row after row of shelving inside the Manila First Baptist Church.

In another room, rack after rack of children's clothing hangs neatly on hangers.

From the smallest baby to adult-sized clothing, it's all here.

It’s a treasure trove made available to anyone in need...

“It’s all donated,” Paula McArthur said. “Every bit of it is donated.”

Dropped off here at Manila First Baptist Church in Mississippi County.

“Not just for foster families in our church,” Dr. Matt Pryor, pastor of Manila First Baptist Church said. “But also in this community and all of Mississippi County.”

And who has made it her mission to organize all this?

"Mrs. Paula?" I said to her.

She nods in agreement, but looks confused as to why I am standing in front of her.

Paula McArthur is the volunteer extraordinaire behind all of this...and was just a bit surprised when our cameras showed up.

“You’re a little overwhelmed,” I said.

"You really got me wondering here," McArthur said.

“Police have to go get children in the middle of the night,” I said. “They leave with what they can put into a bag. Sometimes it’s a trash bag.”

“Sometimes, it’s no bag!” McArthur said.

“You have organized a place here where they can get clothes, formula... all kinds of things,” I said. “That’s why we are all gathered here today because you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness!”

The room erupts into applause.

"Four hundred, five, six, seven, eight. Four hundred eight dollars!"

McArthur’s face turns a bit red as she blushes with excitement.

"Mrs. Paula, we would just like to say thank you for your caring spirit and you are certainly an angel to this community," Allen Williams, Community President of First Community Bank said.

“Thank y’all! … I had no idea,” McArthur said.

What Paula McArthur has been able to accomplish here is nothing short of amazing.

"I think the thing with Paula is that she loves the Lord and the Lord has gifted her in a special way," Dr. Pryor said.

With organizational skills beyond compare! She started with just one room of clothes...

Paula McArthur works in Manila to help provide everything from clothing and shoes for people in...
Paula McArthur works in Manila to help provide everything from clothing and shoes for people in need to formula for children.(Source: KAIT-TV)

“This is my girls stuff on this side and this is boys stuff and girl’s in the middle,” McArthur announces.

If there’s a fire, a family in need, a child in foster care...

"We try to provide everything. Socks, shoes, underwear. Soaps," McArthur tells me. "I have gotten a lot of joy out of it. It just breaks my heart when you see them come into care."

"One of the things that has always stuck in my mind is sitting in this chair right here with a young boy that was in an emergency situation and all he had on was his pajamas and we were able to get him everything that he needed for a couple of days," Dr. Pryor said.

"My daughter is a foster mother," McArthur said as she talked about the experience from the standpoint of a grandparent.

“The little girl we have now. We’ve had her for a little over a year now,” Tracy Millian, McArthur’s daughter, said.

McArthur and her husband moved to Manila to help their daughter, but it turned into a mission for helping others.

“I feel like the Lord moved me to Manila to be next to her and put me here to do what he wants me to do,” McArthur said.

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