Beehive of Arkadelphia

The+Beehive+is+a+local+resale+shop+focused+on+helping+the+developmentally+impaired+since+1973.

The Beehive is a local resale shop focused on helping the developmentally impaired since 1973.

Cle’Varus Oney, Copy Editor

 “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees plays in the background as customers are greeted by smiling faces. Located in downtown Arkadelphia, resale shop the Beehive partnered with the nonprofit organization Group Living provides a place for the developmentally impaired to earn money and learn skills that they can use in future jobs.

 

“We are teaching them to work in the midst of distractions so at some point they can go out in the community and work another job,” manager of the Beehive Courtney Horton said.

 

23 participants of Group Living run the Beehive with help from four staff members. Their major tasks include cleaning donated items, organizing and cleaning the store, running the cash register, and picking up donations.

 

“They almost completely run this store,” Horton said. “We just assist them and make sure that they are safe.”

 

The mental and physical functions of Beehive employees range from low to high. The Beehive is beneficial to Group Living participants because they are learning good work and life habits such as following directions, adhering to a schedule, reporting to work on time, and getting along with coworkers.

 

“Oftentimes the Group Living employees teach us more than we teach them,” Horton said. “They know what is going on here better than we do.”

 

 According to their specific needs and interests, some work full time while others work part time. A worker may remain working there for as long as they need. For some, it only takes a few months to learn necessary job skills. The longest standing Group Living employee has been there for 40 years

 

“This place is like home to them,” Horton said.

 

There is another Beehive store in Gurdon. No Group Living participants work at this store but they do clean and sort merchandise before it is transferred there. Most funds generated from the store go back into Group Living.

 

The Group Living staff not only allows clients to work for the Beehive, they give the developmentally impared an environment where they can feel important and involved. Group Living helps clients do daily tasks like shopping, attending education classes, making medical decisions, and doing their hobbies. The staff also help clients and their families form successful and healthy relationships.

 

“They absolutely and completely trust and love you once you help them make decisions and guide them along the way,” Norton said. “They become family; it’s like I have 23 extra kids.”

 

Horton has been managing the Beehive for seven years. She has witnessed many individuals transform from completely dependent to living and working on their own. Most people would not know that these individuals are a part of Group Living.

“I didn’t really realize the magnitude of it until I started working here,” Horton said.

 

The Beehive is open Mon. through Fri. from 8a.m.-5p.m. and Sat. from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Those who would like to help Group Living may donate items such as clothes, furniture, and kitchenware to be resold at the Beehive locations. They also accept cash donations.