The Farmers Bank Foundation of Magnolia, Arkansas, donated a total of $5,000 to five affiliate offices of The CALL, a non-profit organization that mobilizes and equips local churches to serve children and youth placed in foster care.

The Farmers Bank Foundation granted $1,000 to the following The CALL offices in Arkansas: Hempstead & Nevada Counties, Miller County, Columbia & Lafayette Counties, Saline & Perry Counties, and Ouachita County.

“I have seen first-hand how The CALL can make a difference in a child’s life,” said Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Burns Anderson. “They work endlessly to provide safe Christian homes for children in foster care.”

A living and meeting space inside of The CALL home office located at 2010 Military Road in Benton, AR.

The giving priorities of the Farmers Bank Foundation are to support local nonprofits whose mission is to purposefully enrich the quality of life in the communities where Farmers Bank & Trust customers and employees live.

The CALL is a statewide organization and is active in 44 counties around Arkansas. They partner with the Division of Children and Family Services to recruit, train and support foster and adoptive families for children and teens in foster care.

“The generous financial support from our community enables us to focus on finding healing and supportive homes for children in foster care instead of having to focus our time and energy on fundraising,” said Julia DesCarpentrie, County Coordinator for The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties. “We appreciate the support of Farmers Bank & Trust!”

(L to R): Farmers Bank & Trust Content Specialist Cara Knight, The CALL County Coordinator Julia DesCarpentrie, Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson

DesCarpentrie said the money donated for Saline & Perry Counties will be used to finish out a back patio and a new swing set before the spring for their home office located at 2010 Military Road in Benton, AR.

For ways you can get involved with The CALL, please visit TheCallinArkansas.org/volunteer.

The CALL of Saline & Perry Counties Foster Care Closet located in Benton, AR.

Hempstead & Nevada Counties

(L to R): Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Market President Jacob Jones, The CALL Administrative Assistant Julie Lively, The CALL Financial Coordinator Bill Coffee, The CALL County Coordinator Dixie Coffee, Famers Bank & Trust Commercial Loan Officer Janet Choate

Miller County

(L to R): James Bramlett, Farmers Bank & Trust Texarkana Market President
Laura Smith, The CALL Miller County Coordinator
Cala McCool, Farmers Bank & Trust Mortgage Loan Processor

Columbia & Lafayette Counties

(L to R): Monty Harrington, Farmers Bank & Trust Magnolia Market President
Krista Hamlin, The CALL County Coordinator
Brenda Holley, Farmers Bank & Trust Retail Loan Officer
Maggie Harrell, Farmers Bank & Trust Teller
Jason Ray, Farmers Bank & Trust Commercial Loan Officer

Ouachita County

(L to R): Farmers Bank & Trust Camden Market President Blake Fain, The CALL County Coordinator Makenzie Hayes

About Farmers Bank Foundation: Created in 2021 for Farmers Bank & Trust’s 115 anniversary, the Farmers Bank Foundation’s giving priorities are to support local nonprofits whose mission is to purposefully enrich the quality of life in the communities where Farmers Bank & Trust customers and employees live. The foundation’s funding is made possible by the bank’s shareholders and employees across Arkansas and Texas. The Farmers Bank Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that will operate independently from Farmers Bank & Trust. For additional information or to apply for Farmers Bank Foundation funding, please visit HERE.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Santa is coming to Farmers Bank & Trust! Mark your calendars to bring the family for a merry good time!

Texarkana, TX

23rd Annual Bramlett Beans & Cornbread Community Fundraiser
Thursday, December 2 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Texarkana Texas Convention Center – 2910 S. Cowhorn Creek Loop
All proceeds benefit the Christmas Basket program
Click HERE for more details

37th Annual Main Street Christmas Parade
Monday, December 6 | 7 p.m.
This year’s parade route has changed! Click HERE for the new route.

Pictures with Santa
2900 Saint Michael Dr.
Friday, December 10 | 3 – 5 p.m.

New Boston, TX

Farmers Bank Free Entry Night – The Grinch
Thursday, December 23 | 6 p.m.
New Boston Cinema
142 N. Elm St.
*Up to 150 people

Paris, TX

Pictures with Santa
1375 NE Loop 286
Wednesday, December 22 | 2 – 5 p.m.
*Special goodie bag given to first 30 kids!

Prosper, TX

Pictures with Santa
750 N. Preston Rd.
Friday, December 10 | 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Camden, AR

Pictures with Santa
116 Jefferson Dr. SW
Monday, December 20 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hope, AR

201 East Third St.
Chamber Coffee
Wednesday, December 8 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Pictures with Santa
Tuesday, December 14 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Community Christmas Parade
*Farmers Bank & Trust is the Parade Presenting Sponsor!
Monday, December 6 | 6 p.m.
For more details and parade entry form, click HERE

Prescott, AR

Nevada County Christmas Parade
Thursday, December 9 | Begins at 6 p.m.
215 East 2nd St. South
Click HERE for more details

Magnolia, AR

Magnolia’s Christmas Parade 
Thursday, December 2 | 5 p.m.
Parade Route: Jackson Street
Farmers Bank & Trust is sponsoring the $250 Christ in Christmas Award
Click HERE for more details

To find a branch near you, visit HERE.

Exciting news for Camden, Arkansas!

The Farmers Bank & Trust branch located at 116 Jefferson St. SW has a fresh new look. This renovation enhances and modernizes the banking experience for customers in the Camden community.

“Folks seem really excited for us,” Blake Fain, Farmers Bank & Trust Camden Market President said. ” We have even had a few former employees stopping by just to check out the updates!”

One of the biggest changes is new teller pods that function just like the traditional teller line but will allow employees to easily build relationships with customers without a wall in between them.

“This new lobby has a whole new look and feel. It is light, bright, and welcoming for our customers,” Joe Pieratt, Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Operations Officer said. “We want them to feel comfortable when they walk into the Bank.”

One of the more exciting parts of the newly renovated Camden Main branch is the customer lounge, featuring free WiFi, and a seating area where customers can relax and utilize mobile banking tools. There is also a Starbucks machine, offering free Coffee with HEART.

“The construction team and FBT facilities have gotten better and better with each renovation,” Fain said. “This renovation has made Camden Main the most modern business in town.”

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As we approach one year of living in a pandemic, we are interested to see how COVID impacts Camden businesses. Like restaurants across the nation, restaurants close to home feel the impact of COVID and take precautions to avoid the spread inside their businesses. In Camden, two well-known restaurants, Woods Place and Postmasters Grill, are still making the best with modifications and are continuing to operate and make a living.

James Woods and his team
James Woods and his team

Woods Place, which serves a mixture of seafood, hamburgers, steaks, fried chicken, and more, has had to look elsewhere from what they used to make on catering, said James Woods, owner. “First off, when we had to shut down, and that was a shock,” he said. “We wondered if we were going to come back and what we would come back like. We’ve moved to more to-go orders, and we’ve done really well with that.” Restaurants that were established with to-go ordering have been able to keep going, he said. “I’m thinking restaurants that didn’t have a good to-go business before the pandemic are having a hard time,” Woods said. “The ones that have drive-thru businesses like your Sonics and your McDonald’s are places that have to-go business anyways. And Woods Place has really done well. A lot of people get the food and take it home.”

The National Restaurant Association reported more than $120 billion of lost revenue in the restaurant industry during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Woods said his workforce has only changed by ten people because of the lack of catering events. When those people come back, he will have the 40 workers he is used to having. “We are still doing some catering, but not nearly what we used to,” Woods said. ‘When it is all over, people will have parties like they used to. People are still getting married, but they are putting them off and not having a reception.” Woods Place caters to company picnics that are no longer happening for large corporations such as Albemarle and Lockheed Martin. Other caterings that have been impacted are the parties and gatherings at the Woods Place event venue called River Woods. Luckily, Woods said his business, which is 37 years old, is doing fine without the catering, but it will be nice to hire his additional employees back and do more business when it comes back.

The inside of his restaurant has seen changes because of COVID. Tables have been moved to follow state guidelines for not having people sitting next to each other. Everyone at Woods Place wears a mask, including customers. “Customer wear their mask, and that hasn’t been a problem,” he said. Another thing Woods cites as keeping the restaurant virus-free is the ventilation there. “It seems like with our ventilation in our restaurant, the vent hoods pull everything up through the ceiling, and we have not had a problem with COVID-19 spreading through the restaurant, and I think it’s due to the ventilation system.”

About to celebrate its ninth year of operation, The Postmasters Grill is in the heart of downtown Camden, AR. Originally built as a post office in the 1880s and opened in 1896, the building was added to the National Register in 1977. The unique business has had to deal with COVID issues in its own way.
According to owner Emily Jordan-Robertson, a decline in special events was noticeable in the pandemic, especially in mid to early March 2020. “Everyone in the world started canceling rehearsal dinners, catering, baby showers, anything extra,” she said.

Just like restaurants across the state, Postmasters was closed for eight weeks, but when it reopened, it had the benefit of having a beautiful patio to sit people outside where they felt safer. “Folks felt pretty comfortable on the pretty days, but when it got cooler in the fall, the business all tanked. We felt it much worse as it got into the fall.”

Postmasters Grill employee serves up draft beer
Postmasters Grill employee serves up draft beer

During the state-mandated restaurant closure, we laid off about 85 percent of the employees, she said.
With her staff working hard to serve and keep the business flowing, much care is taken to seat everyone spread out in Postmasters’ different capacities. The new seating arrangement includes a downstairs basement area, the dining room on the main floor, and the patio open when weather permits. Because the restaurant is such a large one, it has been easy to spread out people inside. At full capacity, Postmasters can seat 230 people.

Jordan-Robertson said she is happy to hear any news about the vaccine and plans to get it herself. “It gives me hope for restaurants,” she said. “I know I can’t require employees to take it, but I’ll encourage them to get it, and I’ll be the first in line. The jury is still out on the vaccine, but the gain is better than not.”

Because the pandemic is still underway and people are likely not to go on vacations to the beach, Postmasters Grill hosted special days like Island Day thru the summer on the patio. They offered Italian, German, and English specials throughout the winter. This March, they are providing Irish specials. The restaurant creates unique specials to make customers feel happy with a chance for something different without leaving town. “We like to mix it up because maybe they aren’t getting to go to Little Rock or Hot Springs,” she said. “We are not trying to be competition, but we are just trying to do something special for our guests and give them something their taste buds may be missing.”

Farmers Bank & Trust stands ready to help you or your business with impacts from COVID-19. View COVID-19 resources online, here.