NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Thousands of people are expected to head out to Northshore Riverwalk Park in North Little Rock for the 5th annual Legends of Arkansas festival.
This year is unlike any year before because all the proceeds go to help people in Central Arkansas. The One Inc., the nonprofit who runs The Van, is taking over the event and the profits will go to helping people in Central Arkansas who have no place to call home.
Volunteers spent much of Friday setting up for the big event. That includes Aaron Reddin, the man behind the van. He’s the guy whose heart has quite motor of its own. Although he and The Van volunteers have spent years helping people all across Central Arkansas, Reddin remains humble to the core.
“I may have started it all, but I have a small army of incredible people that make everything happen,” he said. “We just want to do everything we can to make sure folks who have to sleep outside are okay and we want to do whatever we can to find ways to rehouse them before they get stuck in a shelter system.”
Reddin and other volunteers spend most nights giving blankets and supplies to the nearly 550 unsheltered people living in Central Arkansas. He said they have teams out working every night in different geographic parts of the metro area meeting the immediate needs of people and building relationships with them.
But, in order to keep doing what they do, they need financial support. Now, people can come out to Legends of Arkansas and enjoy live music of all genres, many family friendly activities, unique vendors, and delicious food, all while helping the cause.
“It’s going to help us keep fueling the tank, keep blankets on the shelf, and keep us going in the wintertime,” said Reddin.
Some of the volunteers that came to help set up on Friday, said The Van helped them get a new start on life. Roger Mauldin said the organization was his "leg up" in the world.
“I was on the street for like six years, but I’m not anymore thanks to the van,” said Mauldin. “I used it as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.”
Now he has his own camper and even has air conditioning and a TV. He also has hope.
“I got my life back,” he said.
He is encouraging people to come out to the event to help others like him who need a second chance. If you’d like to attend, tickets are $5 at the gate and it is a family friendly event. It lasts from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday September 16, 2017. Check out the Facebook event page here. For more information about The One, Inc. and The Van click here.