On Getting Out More

memorial garden

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There’s something about spring that seems to wake people up. We’ve been hiding in our homes, cloistered in our lives, for a long time, but when the first warmth comes we’re all out and about, having friends over and catching up with the world.

Though it’s not really spring yet (and I hear we might be getting snowed in again this weekend) a bit of the spring spirit has caught us lately, with briefly warmer temperatures.

And after lots of being stuck at home and then just being at home because I was busy working, this week has been a lot about things happening outside of my house. Which has led me to the conclusion that I both literally and metaphorically need to get out more.

Politics is Local

mike ross
Mike Ross and my amazing blogger friend Jacqueline.

Monday morning I got the chance to spend some time with a handful of other bloggers and the democratic candidate for governor of Arkansas, Mike Ross. Ross is a businessman who has served in Congress, and I admire his dedication to our state and willingness to step forward in a time of great divisiveness in our state and our country.

It was great to get a chance to meet him and to feel like we were being listened to.

No matter your politics, I think it’s really important to be involved, especially in local and state campaigns, and even more especially in non-presidential election years. So few people vote in these cycles it really is possible for small numbers of votes to count.

Helping is, Too

memorial garden
The memorial garden at the CAC remembers children who have died from abuse.

Yesterday I spent lunch with another group of bloggers at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County learning about its mission to help kids involved in or suspected to be involved in physical or sexual abuse.

The organization has its offices in a house that’s painted like springtime, meant to be a warm, comfortable environment for kids. When a call is made to the child abuse hotline, families are brought to the center, where a physical exam is done on the child and a forensic interview is done by a person trained to be non-leading but also to help the child tell his or her story.

The interviews are recorded and viewed by investigators in another room, so the child only has to tell what happened once. Because the advocates are impartial the interviews are admissible in court.

They also offer free counseling services to kids who have been abused. They do amazing work and truly help save lives and turn the lives of these kids around.

The point here is that there are amazing little organizations everywhere that you’ve probably never heard of. No matter what your passion is or who you want to help, there’s probably a charitable organization or a nonprofit near you that serves that need and would love your financial support, your time or even just your sharing about them online.

And Friends, Too

Yesterday evening was the monthly meetup of our local blogging group, a night I look forward to all month. It is so fun to get together with other people who do this kind of strange thing and just talk and laugh and be silly (oh, so very silly). I always feel better about life after spending time with them.

They are truly a great group of smart, funny, sweet people who are so dear to me, and there’s no way we would have met if we didn’t have this blogging connection.

How are you stepping out into the world now that it’s almost spring? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!

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