When I think back over my life about the things that have made the biggest difference to me mentoring is at the top of the list. The men and women who have poured into me through the gift of their time have shaped my life.
I always notice it when the temperature turns colder, the ringing in the air. I’m sure you’ve heard it too as you're trying to complete your Christmas errands. Maybe like me, you’ve dug cold fingers into your wallet looking for some change to drop into the Red Kettle. Its become as much of a Christmas tradition for me as putting up the tree and making cookies with the kids.
Sometimes pain can be the catalyst that God uses to completely change the course of our lives, and for Sammy that’s exactly what happened. Sammy lost her best friend since 3rd grade, Deborah, in 2012. Deborah had been adopted and Sammy wanted to do something to honor her memory that would help other foster kids like Deborah. That is how the DEB project was born.
When my grandmother was in her final days of life I was afraid to go see her. As a young woman I had never experienced the loss of a loved one and I didn’t know what to expect. But when I walked into her hospital room to say goodbye there was something that felt “right” about it, and although my heart was hurting it was also filled with peace. Death comes to all of us, and when it does come there is something comforting about having people beside you to help answer all of your questions and provide your family with the care they need.
For more than 15 years patients and their family members have turned to Circle of Life for care and comfort. It’s clear when you walk through the front doors at Circle of Life that patients and families come first. From the beautiful surroundings to the friendly staff you instantly feel welcomed and cared for.
The NWA chapter of The American Heart Association is making an impact in our community by changing the impact of heart disease. While we would all like to believe heart disease will never affect our lives, statistics prove that isn’t likely. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans.
He was sent to the office because he had been caught stealing, but when they question him about the incident they realized he wasn’t a bad kid, he was a hungry kid.
The SnackPack for Kids Program Coordinator, Bonnie, was sharing with me an email she had received from a school counselor at a local high school. A teen boy had been sent to the office for stealing another kid’s lunch. As the counselor tried to get to the bottom of the story she realized that this was more than a disciplinary issue… it was a hurting kid who was scared of facing another weekend with nothing to eat. That’s where Bonnie and the team at Samaritan Community Center came in. Now, this young man doesn’t have to worry about where he’ll find food every weekend, because he’s being supplied with a weekly SnackPack every Friday.
Mamie moved to Northwest Arkansas in the mid-1950s. She said things have changed a bit since then. Can you imagine? I’ve lived here since the mid-1990s and things have changed drastically in that time, I can’t imagine another forty years of growth that Mamie has experienced. When Mamie moved to Fayetteville she came with her husband and children. She’s now a widow, and her kids have moved and have busy families of their own.
Shoes. Something most of us take for granted every day. Something that in my house can honestly be a nuisance. The fact is, I don’t have enough room in my closet for all of my shoes. And then there’s the size 12 sneakers my 16 year old boy leaves laying around the house that I trip over at least a few times a day.
It’s hard to believe that something most of us have in excess is the very thing that can change the life of a child. It’s also hard to believe that right here in our community almost 3,000 school aged children were in need of shoes to start this school year.
When you pull into the property at Restoration Village it’s like entering another world. Surrounded by thick groves of trees; flowers, birds, and butterflies greet you. As you continue up the driveway you’ll notice the lodge, further in is the pond, stables for the horses, and lots of quiet places to sit or walk. This 70 acre oasis in the middle of Northwest Arkansas is a place of healing.
Nowhere is that more obvious then when you step into the dining room; a room where restoration beings to take shape. A room where nutritious meals are served family style, where conversations are loud, and laughter pierces the air. In this room children are learning what family looks like.
Last night my 3rd daughter spent almost an hour sitting on the foot of my bed talking to me about college applications, visit days, ACT scores, and financial aid. Even though I’ve already sent two daughters to college, it’s still overwhelming. The choices… the paperwork… the second guessing and need to talk through everything.
I confess, I was tired, and really wanted to table the conversation and go to sleep, but I’m her mom, and a mom’s job is to help their child navigate the muddy waters of leaving home and finding their future at the school of their dreams.