Open Arms Shelter will sponsor its annual barbecue and auction at the Lonoke Primary School cafeteria from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Lonoke.

Catered by Bubba’s BBQ, a $10 adult ticket includes a barbecue plate dinner with a $5 children’s ticket providing a hot dog plate. The live auction begins at 6:30 p.m. and the silent auction closes at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from any Open Arms board member, by calling the shelter at 501-676-6166 or they may be purchased at the door.

Live auction items include an official autographed Razorbacks football (including Tyler Wilson); two tickets to anywhere Southwest Airlines flies; an autographed Cliff Lee baseball. The silent auction includes tools, home décor, gift baskets, gift certificates and more.

Beginning in 1986, Open Arms Shelter began providing emergency safe housing for Arkansas’ children who have been abused and/or neglected. These children range in age from birth to 18 years.

Open Arms is one of the few emergency shelters in the state that will accept children under the age of 8, teenage mothers with their children and large sibling groups. Although children have come from across the state, the majority of them are from Central Arkansas.

Recognizing the need to mentor teens for a longer period of time and teach them independent living skills equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in adult life, the facility’s new wing was added.

"Today, Open Arms Shelter has the capability to serve 24 children at a time whether under emergency situation or long-term care, depending on the needs of children under the care of DHS," Nancy Hamlin, director, said,

"Children come to our facility from every imaginable type of crisis.

"It is not unusual for a child to hide food because they have grown accustomed to not knowing when or where their next meal will come.

"Many times a child will arrive in tears because of their tragic situation and then leave in tears because Open Arms Shelter was truly the only caring environment they have ever experienced. Their stay with Open Arms may provide the basis for hope that will stay with these children and positively influence them for a lifetime."

Open Arms Shelter not only serves as a "stepping stone for children in Arkansas awaiting placement in foster homes, treatment facilities or with relatives, but also long-term care and as a critical source of education, rehabilitation, love, attention and discipline," Hamlin said.

She urged everyone to "Please consider helping Open Arms Shelter by either donating monthly items such as food or paper products or contribute financially to this private, nonprofit 501(3) organization."

Donations may be mailed to Open Arms Shelter, P.O. Box 161, Lonoke, AR 72086. To learn more about Open Arms Shelter, visit the website: www.openarmsshelter.org.