I see that your competitor the Independent has officially declared itself the only newspaper in Arkansas to support marriage equality. The Eureka City Council approved a resolution in November supporting the same issue. Why has the Citizen not done so as well?
[From its first issue in 1999, the Lovely County Citizen has been a strong advocate of marriage equality and continues to be so now. Hopefully anyone who reads its pages regularly or goes through a stack of back issues to see, will agree that our coverage of Diversity issues, including marriage equality, is as comprehensive as we know how to make it. And so, yes, if it needs to be said, the LCC absolutely endorses marriage equality, and with any luck at all, the High Court will agree with what most people are coming to understand on a practical, everyday level: If you wish to be married, it shouldn't matter to whom. The real pity is that the marriage equality resolution lacks teeth; ideally, same-sex marriage legislation should provide LGBT taxpayers with the same government services and make financial demands on them comparable to those afforded to and required of male-female married couples. Same-sex marriage should also give them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights. Maybe soon this will be the case everywhere.]
For those struggling with the post-holiday, January gray-sky blues, may I offer at least a partial solution: volunteering at the Good Shepherd Humane Society in Eureka Springs! Sounds depressing, I know...all those unwanted dogs and cats, kittens and puppies...in cages, too, for the most part.
Yes, it is emotionally wrenching at times. But as a volunteer I have found that the satisfaction outweighs the sadness, really! I look forward to my visits and appreciate the shelter so much that some days I even clean out the litter boxes (which by the way are changed daily.)
For those who have never visited, I assure you that the staff always works hard to provide a clean, bright and comfortable environment. There are toys and treats for each animal every day, outdoor runs for the dogs, individual dog beds inside, and a comfy living room and porch set up ("The Lighthouse") for many of the adult cats.
The shelter welcomes volunteers on both an occasional or regular basis, and for as much time as you choose -- even 20 minutes of snuggling some very young kittens who need extra attention would be wonderful, for example. Housebroken dogs would be grateful for even a quick walk in the woods (plastic poop bags provided!) and puppies would love to play fetch with you.
Given that the shelter gets no money from the city or county, it does an amazing job. But there are not enough hours in the work day for the staff to give all the love the dogs and cats could soak up, and that is where the shelter needs YOU. Call the shelter any afternoon at (479) 253-9188 for more details. Not to worry, you won't need to clean any litter boxes!
Carroll County has no abused shelter for women and children.
According to the Carroll County coordinator for battered women's cases, Carroll County has no safe house for abused women and children.
Wildflowers Christian Chapel, an all-volunteer ministry that has never in 18 years had a payroll, has been fundraising to purchase property for SAFE HAVEN, a Carroll County shelter for abused women and children.
Currently $24,923 has been raised for the Safe Haven Safe House. As soon as Wildflowers can raise another $297,000 they will be able to pay off the mortgage on the planned shelter properties and take possession. This will also provide $30,000 start-up operating funds. Shelter volunteers are available to get the shelter open and fully operational within a month or two after taking possession.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Carroll County to finally have its own shelter for abused women and children. Please send your donation to the Wildflowers Chapel Safe House Fund, 6789 Highway 62 West, Eureka Springs AR, 72632, or call Bill Grissom at 479-253-5108.