Put a little love in your heart

With recent events, such as; Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, it is hard to stay positive.  So many lives have been lost in all of this devastation.  The death toll for those four events alone, has reached more than 200.  How do we move on from such tragedy?  When the media mostly reports on horrific events and politics, how do we begin to see the world as good again?  There is far more good, than bad, in the world.  We simply must look for the positive.  Check out these examples of humanity at its finest, and put a little love in your heart.

When 4-year-old Sidney moved in to her new home in Colorado, she was certain there were monsters in her house.  She called on police officer, David Bonday, whom she met at a community fundraiser for help.  Bonday was happy to help put Sidney’s mind at ease. Check out the video below for more on this heartwarming story.

In Columbia, Maryland, grandmother Stacy Lee, was out shopping for a dress for her granddaughter.  Money was tight, and she couldn’t afford the dress.  The grandmother asked the shop owner to hold the dress.  When she did, a stranger walked up and offered to pay for the dress.  Lee said, “Thank you, but I cannot accept such a gracious gift.”  The stranger replied with a story.  She informed Lee that she was once homeless, and if it weren’t for the kindness of strangers, she would not have survived.  Since that time, the stranger’s situation had improved and she wanted to pay it forward, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug.

Lebanon, Connecticut resident, Donna Kachnowski’s 6-year-old grandson, lost his home to a fire in January 2006.  He lost everything, including his Christmas presents.  A classmate from his school had a birthday around that time and gave the boy all of her birthday presents.

Hallie Twomey of Auburn, Maine, lost her 20-year-old son to suicide in April 2010. She and her husband, John, donated CJ’s organs.  But Hallie felt she had to do more.  She made the decision to donate one of her kidneys to a stranger.  Hallie was proud of her decision, “Not only did I give life to someone else, but my life has changed as well.”

Collin Carlisle, owner of Collin’s Lawn Care Service, saw a post on the Facebook group, Texarkana Cheers and Jeers, complaining about a neighbor’s yard being overgrown.  According to the complaint, the neighbor had not mowed their lawn all year.  Collin decided to go cut the woman’s grass, free of charge.  The resident was not home at the time, but she took to social media to thank Collin and the countless others who offered to help her, “I just want to take a moment to thank every single person that reached out to me about helping me with my yard work, odds and ends around the house, and any other things you to offered to help with.”

These are just a few examples of the kindness that is still residing in this world.  Please keep all of these stories close to your heart.  I ask you all to spread compassion and love through random acts of kindness, and put a little love in your heart.





Fans rally behind popular DJ

Popular radio DJ Mimi Campbell was dismissed from her position with Townsquare Media almost three weeks ago.  Following a post by a disgruntled fan in the Facebook group Texarkana Cheers and Jeers, Campbell’s fans and friends rallied to show her support.

Campbell had worked as a radio DJ for nearly 17 years when she was told that the station was going in a different direction.  Listeners could hear Mimi on Power 95.9 in the mornings and Magic 93.3 in the afternoons. “I guess those corporate folks just didn’t know how much of a chameleon I can be. I can go with the flow; just tell me what needs to be done,” Campbell said in a Facebook post regarding her dismissal.

When a disgruntled fan heard the news, she took to Facebook to air her frustrations on Texarkana Cheers and Jeers.  Neither the disgruntled fan, nor Campbell, expected such an overwhelming response.  The post generated over 300 likes, 23 shares, and more than 90 comments.  Fans posted moving messages, such as; #teammimi, #bringmimiback, and “I WANT MY MIMI AND MORNING SHOW BACK.”  The general consensus of the commenters was that, without Mimi, the listeners were changing the channel.

Attempts have been made to contact the management at Townsquare Media Corporate Office in Shreveport.  No one was available for comment at this time.

Posted in A&M

Animal rescue saves lives

There is more to animal rescue than puppy breath, furry faces, and unconditional love.

Animal neglect and abuse are responsible for a large number of rescue animals. According to Whitney Harrison Stokes, Director of Ark-la-tex Animal Rescue, they get two or more calls a week regarding animal abuse or neglect. Recently, the rescue responded to several dogs abandoned in Nashville, Arkansas. In two separate yards, a total of nine dogs were left on chains to starve.

“There is a lot more going on in our rescue than just giving dogs second chances,” Stokes said.

Ark-la-tex Animal Rescue currently has 37 dogs in foster care. Stokes fosters six of them herself. With only 20 volunteer fosters, each volunteer has an average of two foster dogs each. The rescue is always looking for volunteers to foster.

“Would it be a big deal to allow a dog to come stay with you instead of sitting terrified in a shelter, or starving on the streets, or neglected at the hands of some idiot,” Stokes pleaded.

As badly as fosters are needed, each volunteer has to be carefully vetted. This strict rule was invoked following a horrendous tragedy where more than a dozen animals lost their lives at the hands of a once trusted volunteer and her boyfriend.

Since June of 2016, unbeknownst to Stokes, an established volunteer, Whitney Smither, had been pulling countless animals from the animal shelter in Fort Worth, Texas. Smither and her boyfriend, Brian Moore, had pulled close to 130 animals.

“I can’t tell you how many animals she actually had in her possession,” Stokes said. “I keep hearing that she was pulling dogs from shelters all the way up in Arkansas.”

In November of 2016, after receiving a call from a concerned neighbor, Stokes learned that Smither had skipped town, leaving countless animals to fend for themselves. When Stokes arrived at the deserted home, she was met with more than just abandoned animals. There were more than a dozen dead animals, skeletons, and tufts of fur scattered around the property. The bones told a story of cruelty and abuse.

“If I had any inkling of an idea that she was doing this, I would have shut her down real fast,” Stokes said. “This kills me, it’s devastating, sad, makes me mad, there’s just not the right words out there.”

Smither has not been located to answer for her crimes. The boyfriend, Brian Moore, was charged with eight counts of cruelty to animals and is scheduled for court on March 14, 2018. He could face a fine or up to 10 years in prison for each misdemeanor charge.

Following this tragedy, the surviving animals from the property required veterinary care. In fact, every animal brought in to rescue usually requires some form of medical attention. The rescue spends an average of $500-$700 per month on vet care.

“We spend right at $250 just getting a dog their shots, a fecal exam, heartworm test, and their spay or neuter,” Stokes explained.

With the average adoption fee being $150 per animal, the vet expenses are rarely fully covered. Expenses must be covered in other ways; such as fundraisers and adoption events.

“Adoption events are fairly successful, but we really don’t want to do on site adoptions,” said Stokes. “We prefer to do the home check and interviews before anybody takes the dog home.”

Running an animal rescue is a lot of work and it comes with more than its fair share of heartbreak. However, Stokes believes it is worth it.

“My favorite part is getting updates on dogs that have been adopted,” Stokes said. “Some of them have the most amazing lives compared to where they came from. It takes my breath away.”

Posted in A&M