Sheep Dog Impact Assistance

SHEEP DOG – noun

1.Protector of the flock. Killer of the wolf. Willing to sacrifice life and limb in defense of the Sheep.

The mission of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance is to improve the lives of our nation’s veterans and first responders in need by helping them Get Off The Couch and reengage in living an active, meaningful and productive life through their outdoor adventures and disaster response mission programs.

How it began…

SgtMaj Lance Nutt was sitting at home after a bad deployment, watching hurricane Katrina unfold and was shocked by the realization that people sat for days without help; hungry, thirsty, exhausted, injured and some even dying. He realized that screaming at the tv was not going to help and decided that he needed to get out there and do something. Nutt ended up getting a couple of Marine Corps buddies, family and friends together and went down to Louisiana to assist in any way they could. His Marine mentality set in and before most organizations were ready to mobilize, SgtMaj used his years of emergency and logistical training to lead a strategic relief effort straight into the heart of the destruction. Upon seeing the immense devastation and delay of relief to the victims, he realized this was something he really wanted to pursue and made the decision to act. Fast forward a few years and a couple more deployments, Lance filed for a 501c3. He was deployed in Ramadi when the paperwork was finalized in 2010. Welcome, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.

What started out as a “hobby” quickly became a full time job. After years of self-funding and helping veterans and first responders Get Up Off The Couch, SgtMaj realized how big and impactful his mission had become. Word of mouth spread rapidly, and he was soon being contacted by people in other states asking how they could help their veterans and first responders in the same way. Chapters and teams across the nation started to develop and today there a total of 22 teams and chapters. 

The territory that comes with any natural disaster can be detrimental. To date, SDIA has responded to 60 disasters. The most recent response was the tornado that hit Nashville, Tennessee. Over the past 10 years they have acquired numerous trucks, trailers, tools, boats and chainsaws to better prepare them for when the next disaster strikes. One of the most challenging responses for SDIA was Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston, Texas in 2017. This was a very large scale operation. They had 600+ members and volunteers working through the neighborhoods. This mission consisted of 3 different deployments over a 4 week span. To name a few, they assisted with boat rescue, chainsaw work and debris removal. There was no limit to the work that needed to be done. They also helped cook for the community and handed out water, gear and supplies. 


Because disasters don’t happen every day, they knew they needed to do something else to keep veterans and first responders engaged. There were a couple of years of no disasters to respond to and they were all sitting around having chapter meetings with nothing else to do. This is when the idea of outdoor adventures came into play and it gave them the opportunity to bring back moral and camaraderie during their down time. If they couldn’t deploy, then they wanted to go and do something else, something social. A few of the trips have included scuba diving, sky diving, spartan races, hunting and fishing trips. Team Rubicon, another veteran service organization, calls the time between disasters “deployment blues.” This is a time that veterans and first responders feel down and out because they are not with their brothers and sisters. One of the first outdoor adventures was a Spartan Race ran by 2 Marines that SgtMaj found from the wounded warrior battalion. In 2019, SDIA partnered with the vet centers and were able to achieve larger scale adventures; including and not limited to New Your Tunnel to Tower, Buffalo River excursions and snowmobiling at Yellowstone. For the larger outdoor adventures, they can accommodate up to 80 attendees. They have learned that the magic number is 36 to ensure each veteran and first responder is receiving the attention they need and deserve. These adventures help instill there is a healthier lifestyle out there. All they have to do is be willing to
Get Up Off The Couch, go out and do within their community. 

As a community, there are several ways we can help Sheep Dog continue in their disaster responses and aiding in outdoor adventures. The most common need are monetary donations. They need that stability to pay all the overhead, to assist the men and women that they take on adventures and disaster response missions. Not only that, but fuel, travel and food are huge expenses that they can’t necessarily pay for without those donations. Another way to help is with in kind donations. Gifts in kind is a type of charitable giving in which, instead of giving money to buy needed goods and services, the goods and services themselves are given. Gift cards are also a great way to give. During each disaster response, many trips to Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot happen in order to purchase necessities during that given time. It is very expensive for the organization to transport a lot of goods needed. With the hardship of any disaster, there are veterans that just had their house flooded or destroyed that need those specialized items to store their family pictures, memorabilia and important paperwork. Having those gift cards allows the teams to purchase containers, rubbermaids and any other needed items to lessen the heartache and stress the victims are undergoing.

Besides outdoor adventures and disaster responses, Sheep Dog loves to get involved within their community throughout the year. One of their biggest fundraisers is the Turkey Trot. Held every Thanksgiving morning, their Turkey Trot for Heroes 5K is an exciting event that garners the full support of local runners, running organizations and our communities. In addition to the traditional 5K run, they have a Wild Gobbler 5K (a 5K with 5 stations of exercises throughout the route dedicated to fallen heroes,) a 1-Mile fun run/walk, and a virtual 5K. Proceeds from the race fund their disaster response and outdoor adventure programs, allowing SDIA to help fellow Sheep Dogs Get Off The Couch and reengage in living a meaningfully productive life with a renewed sense of purpose. Another great fundraising opportunity is their holiday assistance program. This allows them to feed veterans and first responders along with their families. They also provide toys for their children. These small acts of kindness go a long way, especially during the holidays.

For more information about Sheep Dog Impact Assistance please visit www.sheepdogia.org

With all the bad in the world, let’s do our best to spread some good!

Business Feature – Greenbird Design

Meet our newest business feature, Carrie Wilson. She is the owner and licensed interior designer at Greenbird Design. Carrie is well known in the Northwest Arkansas area and has delivered nothing but professionalism over the last 15+ years. Greenbird Design provides professional interior design services from conceptual layouts to managing all phases of construction. They work alongside the client every step of the way. 

Wilson attended Kansas State University from 1997-1999 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. Prior to Kansas State, she attended JCCC and graduated in 1997. As a child, she clearly remembers being creative with anything she could find. “My dad told me I had shoe boxes full of paper and would sit for hours cutting paper to make objects and create patterns,” Carrie stated. This is one of those cases that she knew from the start what her career path would be. Wilson said “I always remember rearranging furniture and helping people with color palates at a young age. I could see what a potential space could look like when I walked into a room.”  

Prior to Greenbird Design, Carrie spent over 14 years honing her design skills in a well-established architectural firm. The firm taught her how real world architecture and construction is designed and executed. “Without the previous experience and amazing mentors at that firm, I would have struggled with execution of functional design,” Wilson stated. Today, her portfolio boasts more than 150 completed projects. When asked what her favorite piece/project she was most proud of in her portfolio she said Hershey Company of Bentonville, Arkansas. “They were a dream client,” Carrie said. Executive Flooring Solutions was honored to collaborate with her on the Hershey building.

Carrie’s brain-child, Greenbird Design, was created to take the sterility out of business environments and create comfortable, fun, functional spaces that foster happy patrons and productive employees. Wilson began to specialize in commercial design when she realized residential interior design was not her strong suit. “I found my passion and went for it,” Carrie stated. 

Many decisions and hours are put into each project. When working with a new client, functionality is her go to. Appeal is always a plus, but Carrie says function always. “You can have the most beautiful space and if it doesn’t work, your client will never be happy. You can make anything appealing but you can’t always make something function for the end user,” Wilson said. 

In today’s industry, things change daily. This can be hard at times to try and keep up with the ins and outs of any design. Her reply to keeping up with all the changes was “research, research, research!” A vast majority of her time is spent researching new materials and products so she can better serve her clients and their needs. “If you’re not knowledgeable on what a material can do and how it functions, you’re doing your client and the project an injustice,” Carrie said. 

Inspiration is also key when working in the interior design field. It can come from anywhere at any time. Carrie tries to stay away from social media formats for ideas. “I feel social media can cloud your vision which prohibits exploration outside of that boundary,” she stated. Inspiration can strike differently for each client. One of her most recent projects was at the Farmington Public Library. The children’s reading area has a wall with circular cut outs that host seating areas for children and rings of color around each circle. Carrie said “The idea came from lightning bugs on a summer evening. The glow from the lighting bugs created the colored circle rings and the overall look of the lightning bugs created the floating orbs on the wall.”  The smallest of inspirations can lead to thinking outside the box. 

Carrie is an avid volunteer, donating her time and skills alongside other local interior designers. This led her to help with the Magdalene Serenity House, a home for women who are survivors of sexual exploitation and addiction. She is past chair of the Northwest Arkansas Design Community of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Outside of work, Wilson enjoys teaching yoga and spending as much time with her daughter and husband as she can. She enjoys the outdoors, including hiking, kayaking and camping.

For more information, or to start your future project with a worthy and reliable designer, make sure to contact Carrie Wilson at Greenbird Design!

www.greenbird.design