Aug. 19, 2016: Are you really going to bring out the big guns? by Sarah Jenkins

August 19, 2016 by  

Sarah Jenkins

Sarah Jenkins

For nearly seven years, I have been the editor and coordinator of the “Year of Peace” columns that have been published in the Blade-Empire since the end of September 2009.

That means I have read every single word of every single column, written by young teens, college students and their instructors, Catholic sisters and social workers, even gardeners and graduates of impressive-sounding universities.

In fact, this is the 200th column.

Some have been incredibly well written.

A few have been truly touching.

A handful were inspirational.

And another handful were philosophical.

All have been heartfelt.

But in six-plus years, only one made me stop and honestly assess one aspect of “nonviolence” in my life — and what pulled me up short was just one line in that one column. It was in a column written by Kaleb Pounds, then an eighth-grader at Concordia Junior High School, and published on Feb. 26, 2010. This was the headline: ‘Disarming the heart’ means replacing negatives with positive action

And this was the one line:

“Practice using peaceful words.”

Maybe it’s the three decades I spent as a reporter and editor, including a short stint writing sports headlines. Maybe that explains why I favor action verbs — a sports headline writer can only use “win” so many times.

Then we start looking for verbs with more action, with more clout, if you will, with more oomph.

Like “beat,” “trounce,” “wallop,” “crush,” “conquer.”

(Come to think of it, the same verbs are often used in election coverage.)

In the wake of this summer’s violence — with Milwaukee being the most recent addition to a litany that now includes Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., North Miami, Chicago and Dallas — there has been almost endless angst about a connection between violent language and violent action. But my own epiphany from Kaleb’s column was much more simple than that.

How often do I use violent language and imagery when peaceful words would work just as well?

I check out that latest killer app.

I want traffic to our website to explode.

I pull the trigger on a plan.

I blast through a meeting.

I’d kill for a pair of those shoes.

And then I wonder, is this really just semantics? Am I needlessly worrying about words when I know I’m not literally bringing out the big guns?

Maybe not.

The fact that I worry about it, even a little, means I stop to think — more often than not after the words have left my mouth, but I still stop to think.

I think about how the language of violence pervades so much of our speech; I think about how our speech portrays violent action without us even recognizing the fact.

And I worry that if we listen to kids talking to each other, it’s even worse.

(Much of what they say can’t be printed in a family newspaper, but trust me — it’s crude and violent and they don’t think we’re listening.)

But I am listening, and with my grandkids I ask them what the words mean, and I challenge them: Do those words really reflect who you are and how you act?

Then I ask them to join me in following Kaleb’s suggestion:

Practice using peaceful words.

 

— Sarah Jenkins was a newspaper reporter and then editor for 31 years. Today she is communications director for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

 

 

 

 

Aug. 5, 2016: Community Foundation says, ‘Thanks, Cloud County!’ by Robert Steimel

August 5, 2016 by  

Robert Steimel

Robert Steimel

Thanks to the citizens of Cloud County, the Community Foundation for Cloud County was able to award grants of more than $445,000 to charitable organizations and charitable causes during its fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. Since the Foundation was established in October 2002, it has awarded grants of more than $1.7 million.

This is only possible because the citizens of Cloud County have taken to heart the “Keep 5 in Kansas” theme in their charitable giving. The citizens of Cloud County have donated more than $6.2 million to the 50-plus active funds in the Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has received donations from 1,366 donors, with memorial gifts ranging from $5 to more than $1,960,000. Fourteen individuals or organizations have donated more than $100,000 each to various funds in the Foundation.

During the one-day 2016 Match Madness drive, some 240 individual donors made gifts ranging from $10 (10 each) to 10 gifts of more than $1,000. In one day, gifts totaled $63,000 for the 25 Match Madness participating funds.

Thanks to all 1,366 donors, the Foundation has awarded 661 grants, including:

  • 125 interfund grants (ranging from $16 to $60,000), totaling more than $272,000;
  • 46 grants to the Cloud County Community College, totaling more than $152,000;
  • 27 grants to the Brown Grand Theatre, totaling more than $192,000;
  • 39 grants to the Cloud County Community Resource Council, totaling more than $102,000; and
  • 14 grants to the Concordia Rotary Club (park project) totaling, more than $152,000.

None of this is possible without the generosity of the citizens of Cloud County.

Thanks also go to all of the grant recipients who put the monies into action and provide the services to their clientele. Without you their needs would not be met.

The impact these contributors have on our county is unbelievable, but the most important part is that the total endowed assets of $6 million as of June 30, 2016, will continue to pay out a base of 5 percent — or $300,000 — each and every year for the charitable benefit to the citizens of Cloud County area. That does not include the $100,000 “pass through” monies the Foundation has received for each of the last two years from the Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund.

Thanks must also go to the 52 “Founders” who had the foresight and vision to donate $5,000 each to establish the Community Foundation for Cloud County. And thanks go to the 44 “Builders” who donated new endowed monies to the Foundation so it would earn and receive the $300,000 matching grant from the Kansas Health Foundation Grow II Program. Then, thanks to the 240 individuals and businesses who participated in the 2016 Match Madness program and thanks to all of the 1,366 contributors over the past 14 years. Without you, none of this would be reality.

This is just the tip of the generosity of the citizens of Cloud County. It does not consider the charitable giving to the churches and to the nonprofits directly. Nor does it consider the volunteer hours donated to the various charities, activities and projects here in Cloud County.

Thank you! Please feel free to join us.

— Robert Steimel is a retired CPA and partner with Kennedy and Coe LLC who serves as the volunteer executive director of the Community Foundation for Cloud County. He and his wife, Lorene, live in Concordia and are members of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee.

 

July 15, 2016: National Night Out is a new summer tradition, by Patrick Sieben

July 15, 2016 by  

Patrick Sieben

Patrick Sieben

The long, hot summer days are upon us. The long postponed home improvement projects are finally starting to be addressed. The wheat is in and the beans will be soon. The Royals are defending their 2015 World Series title.

This is summer in Kansas.

There is one more event that is becoming a tradition in Concordia, and that is the National Night Out. This year, Concordians can join with the Year Of Peace Committee and the Police Department in observing this event on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Just what is National Night Out?

It is an evening to get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood. It’s a chance to step away from the television or computer screen and go out on your front porch, or attend one of the numerous block parties that will be held about town, and talk — face to face instead of Facebook, no email, no Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat. You can have an actual conversation with people who live around you! Get to know them, or get to know them better.

The evening is a great time for casual conversation about what’s going on in your life. But it is also a time for a bit of serious conversation about neighborhood safety. Things like locking up, turning on a light, trimming shrubs that obscure windows, etc.

But most of all, it’s a time to just be neighborly. Enjoy the company of the folks next door or across the street.

In 2011 — the first time Concordia took part in what’s called “America’s Night Out Against Crime” — more than 25 neighborhoods planned events and a number of others held informal front-yard get-togethers. Each year since then neighborhoods across the city have taken part.

National Night Out is now in its 33rd year, and more than 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide are expected to take part this year.

So we encourage you at least attend, or better still, host a National Night Out block party. If you are interested in hosting a neighborhood get-together and would like a visit from the Concordia Police Department to discuss safety or other concerns, you may obtain more information and register with Ambria Gilliland at 243-2113, ext. 1221, or agilliland@csjkansas.org. (And organizers who “register” their activities will get free National Night Out yard signs and balloons to mark the spot.)

We hope to see all Concordians taking part in National Night Out on Aug. 2.

Enjoy the summer, the harvest, the Royals, and most of all, each other!

 

— Patrick Sieben is the Director of Bands at Cloud County Community College and a member of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee.

 

July 1, 2016: ‘As an American,’ we too often take our freedoms for granted, by Patrick Sieben

July 1, 2016 by  

Patrick Sieben

Patrick Sieben

As an American, I am fortunate to be living in the greatest country on earth. This is not to say that America is necessarily better than any other country, but rather that as a citizen of this great land, I am afforded more opportunity to appreciate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Consider the following examples, stated only from the heart and not beholden to any form of statistical analysis.

As an American, I can appreciate the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, drafted more than two and a quarter centuries ago and still applicable today. These freedoms are not granted without responsibilities both by us and by our elected officials. As citizens, we must all be vigilant as to the intentions and actions of those elected to public office, holding them accountable to represent the people both respectfully and inclusively.

As an American, I can appreciate the rights guaranteed us in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. This Bill of Rights allows what the government cannot do to compromise my freedoms. Again, it goes without saying that these rights are offered only by privilege, as upheld by our three branches of government, with that government being installed through democratic process of the people.

As an American, I can appreciate the abundance of goods and services available in a land of plenty. We have so very much that we often take for granted what now seems essential but was considered a few short years ago to be the highest luxury. I am sure many Kansans can remember the summers before air-conditioning, sharing one automobile in each family or the single television that received only the three network broadcast stations. How would these conditions play today?

As an American, I can appreciate the value of accomplishment. This word “value” is not intended to be a measurement of cost but rather as a measurement of return on one’s personal investment of time, talent and personal resources. We have as a people done great things in the areas of invention and innovation, scientific discovery and artistic creativity. Only with a commitment to teaching and learning will this continue to define us as innovators, discoverers and creators.

This list could go on and on describing things to appreciate and even admire, but for now, you, the reader, should consider your own good fortune to be a resident of the United States.

On Monday we will celebrate the reading of our Declaration of Independence. This truly remarkable document states among other things, that we are all “created equal” and “endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These words are powerful and ominous in that they convey a concept of freedom and responsibility that in 2016 is as true as in 1776.

Give this some thought then as you are enjoying the celebrations about town. We as Americans would do well to consider always how blessed we are and not take for granted our freedoms, opportunities and abundances. Happy Fourth!

 

— Patrick Sieben is the Director of Bands at Cloud County Community College and a member of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee.

 

June 17, 2016: Longtime teachers offers a new lesson, by Gordon Morrison

June 17, 2016 by  

Gordon Morrison

Gordon Morrison

As I was reviewing some of my old “Learning Post” stories, this one stood out as being very timely, as spring seems to be a time many of our community consider and begin new challenges. Students advance. Graduates prepare to continue their studies and start careers. Several of our community professionals are announcing new directions for their lives. It’s a momentous time for all of us as we seek to encourage them; while encouraging them, we also prepare our community for those who will come.

 

Go Through the Gate

The main herd had been in the quarter section of grass for less than three weeks. In that length of time, the pond had become miry to the point it was becoming hazardous for the cattle to wade out in the mud to get a drink. Without rain or any new growth of the grass, the turf was down to ankle high. It was time to move the herd.

I opened the gate into a new pasture of 120 acres. By calling and honking the pickup horn, a few adventurous cows approached the gate and passed through it. As others saw the advance cows go to new, fresh grass, they came running, not to be left out. Soon, most of the herd had easily been moved, but then there were those few who were content to graze on the short, dry grass and struggle against the mud in the pond. It was surely hard to convince them a move would be good and they would like it.

It took a lot of coaxing, prodding and finally a good tongue-lashing to get them to move to the gateway and a fresh beginning. There are always the laggards that are satisfied with the status quo. But for the good of the grasses and their carbohydrate reserve buildup for the next year’s spring growth and also to prevent a cow or calf from getting mired in the mud, I was persistent that they all move to new grass and water.

It was a good move; none of the cows wanted to return to the old pasture. However, I overlooked one cow and her calf. They had evaded my persuasion by hiding in a thicket. That afternoon was spent on moving the calf creeps, oil rubbers and mineral feeders to the new pasture. The shepherd removed all the blessings from the old pasture and then shut the gate, not to return. The stubborn cow and her calf were all alone without support. They were having their way, which left them desolate and in an uncompromising situation. Each day the sun was hotter and the wind stronger. The little puddle of water was fast drying up. Life became lonely, the company of the herd was no more; the gate was shut and the shepherd gone.

How well I remember teaching vocational agriculture at Council Grove for 14 years. I was familiar with the countryside the roads and trails the creeks and river and most of all — the people who worked the farms or ran the businesses in town. It was a good feeling to belong and to be accepted, to be in control of one’s destiny. I felt very secure.

Then one day I received a phone call and was asked to consider a move — to become an agri-business instructor at Cloud County Community College. The gate was opened wide. Was I to leave my familiar surroundings and go into the unknown? Doubts and fears rushed into my mind. Would I be able to handle teaching the college courses? Would my children be able to adjust to new friends and a new way of life? What did my wife really feel about leaving her parents and moving to a new pasture? It all looked appealing and good, but could we adjust? Is the grass really greener in a new pasture and the water cooler and cleaner?

When opportunity knocks loud and the door to a new change of life opens wide, should one walk through the gate? This is when one must listen to the voice of the shepherd and know his voice. If he leads you into a new pasture but you refuse to go, it is then you may very well be without a shepherd who has been leading you beside the cool waters, making you to lie down in green pasture and pouring oil on your hurts. Go where the shepherd leads you — it will be OK.

— Gordon Morrison is a retired educator, author and local rancher. This “Leaning Post” story was originally published in “Grass and Grain,” September 2000.

June 3, 2016: ‘Avenue of Flags’ a reminder of what makes us great, by Susan Sutton

June 3, 2016 by  

Sue Sutton

Sue Sutton

I hope everyone was able to drive or walk past Concordia’s Pleasant Hill Cemetery on Memorial Day this past Monday and enjoy the annual (weather permitting) Avenue of Flags display.

For the past several years, I had thought of helping when the call went out from the American Legion Post but didn’t until this year. It goes without saying that it was difficult to ignore the numerous reminders provided by the local media asking for people’s help putting up and taking down flag poles and 200 flags. These were roughly one-third of the total individual flags in the Legion collection, all donated by the family of a veteran.

My best guess is that around 50 people came to help. Based on what a friend told me, similar events usually relied on the same 10 people. But it was a beautiful day, which didn’t hurt.

Right away, the brigades formed. Some were lifting the flagpoles off a specially designed trailer – 200 in all – and then sliding each into pre-installed holes along the main drive of the cemetery. Next, the flags were hung. Some volunteers worked alone and others in teams, and all were ever vigilant that the flags never touched the ground.

I’d guess the display stretched a quarter of a mile north and south on both sides of the drive. Appropriately, about the time the last flag was hung, the first breeze of the day began to flutter the red, white and blue visual symbols of our larger American commitment to peace and freedom. Dean Frazer spoke of this in his public remarks at the Veterans’ Memorial later in the morning.

I do hope that everyone got the chance to see the Avenue of Flags display against the backdrop of a perfect day. It was a joyous day among friends and strangers; a genuine coming together for a common cause that each participant personalized in his or her own heart and mind.

At 5 p.m., the poles and flags came down. Back on the special trailer went the poles, the flags stowed and taken to the Legion Post Home where each was carefully folded into the requisite triangle with the blue star field on the outside and the individual veteran’s name written near the flag’s top grommet. To be sure, the Legion’s flag inventory is carefully accounted for as each is individually numbered and listed in a master registry. The list is located on a large plaque at the Cloud County Museum, Annex location.

The snapshot of the day for me was one of three generations of the Everett Miller family departing Pleasant Hill on their way to the flag folding, Ev and wife Marlene (meant to be pronounced Marlene like German actress Dietrich), daughter Tauyna and her daughter holding hands as they swung along. Our town is an accumulation of everyday citizens capable of great things when we hold hands and share.

 

— Susan Sutton is a retired Cloud County Community College dean.

May 20, 2016: Glenn Miller concert begins a walk down memory lane, by Sue Sutton

May 20, 2016 by  

Sue Sutton

Sue Sutton

A friend and I recently took in a concert in Salina of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The opening number was Glenn Miller’s signature tune, “Moonlight Serenade,” and it only took a few notes to bring a lump to my throat. I was taken back to a time when my parents were young. Maybe my parents didn’t know one another when this song came out, but this music was in our home when I was young and I have kept a strong emotional connection to it to this day.

I’m sure “Moonlight Serenade” was my parents’ song. I may have been young at the time those romantic strains came floating from our record player, but I picked up on those sidelong glances. There was subtext there. This man and woman were symbols of what Tom Brokaw termed “the Greatest Generation.” They gave back far more than they took. They had children who were called Baby Boomers, and as we slide into retirement in greater numbers, some are spelling doom and gloom for the longevity of the Social Security Administration.

Glenn Miller’s music is forever tied to World War II, “The White Cliffs of Dover” being his most ironic – in the end. He was on his way to cheer the troops in Paris when his plane disappeared over the English Channel. Nothing and noone was ever recovered from the flight.

Keep in mind these were days before TV. People got most all the information they needed on the radio or by reading newspapers. If your home had a piano, and most did, you could buy sheet music at the music or department store, and play it for your folks. Today, sheet music is a relic of the past, and landfills are brimming with discarded upright pianos.

Another faded memory: dancing lessons. As a kid, I chose tap dancing over ballet. For practice, mom would pull out a square of Masonite so I could tap to my favorite tune, “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” That tune was tops for many weeks on “Your Hit Parade” and I still have the sheet music.

Back to Glenn Miller. His compositions were dance tunes. Couples danced close or threw their partners over their shoulders or through their legs. No matter, the band members and dancers had class. Everything about them shouted Style with a capital S.

In today’s hyper culture, there’s no time for learning to read music, no need to make payments for a parlor piano, no interest in learning dance steps from a mail order booklet or singing along with music where words can be understood. Pardon my nostalgia, folks.

Glenn Miller, thanks for the memories.

— Sue Sutton retired two years ago as Cloud County Community College’s dean of humanities, social sciences and business. She is active in numerous local organizations.

 

May 6 2016: Community needs all our unsung ‘second-fiddlers,’ by Gordon Morrison

May 6, 2016 by  

Gordon Morrison

Gordon Morrison

Recently I was given the opportunity to be a contributor to this series of columns, which is designed to give encouragement to those who are striving to build our Concordia community in positive ways. Hum, I thought. Where can I go for some inspiration? What should I write about?

Then I thought, Perhaps I’ll find something I’ve written before. You know, at 87, sometimes the old becomes new again. So I am recycling one of my articles from the “Learning Post” titled “Second Fiddle.”

My high school music teacher approached me with “Gordon, you have musical ability. Would you consider enrolling in band this year? You could learn to play an instrument that you could play for the rest of your life and at the same time help us fill a void in the band.”

It was a real struggle for the small high schools to keep their programs active and well attended during World War II. I felt flattered to be asked to join the band but I didn’t have an instrument, until the director informed me that the band had only one bass horn player and there were two horns in the cabinet just collecting dust. I could use one of them.

For the first several weeks, I was faithful to report to the practice room and take lessons. Blowing into the mouthpiece made my lips tingle and itch. It took a lot of wind to make a sound come out of the big horn that encircled my body – wind, I was not short of.

With only three valves, it looked fairly simple. I thought, I’ll be able to get the hang of this horn and then I’ll be able to march in the band.

As weeks moved into months, my interest began to wane. As winter approached, the band moved from the marching phase to the concert phase. The director let me sit with the band but asked me not to blow loud. Here is where I learned about first chair, second chair and continuing in order down the line. Since there were only two bass horns, I guess I was in the second position.

A girl I secretly admired played the clarinet. She was working hard to be first in that section. Soon she made that first chair and moved to the front where she could be seen and heard best. It became a real incentive to all the band members to practice hard and perform well for the higher chair positions.

As for me, my musical career was short and undistinguished. But it wasn’t a complete waste of time and I learned the meaning of the saying, “to play second fiddle.”

Not all, but most of us, like to be “up front and center.” It seems to be a natural, inherent desire to have a position of great exposure for the world to see us and our talents. Our society is also structured so the winner is acclaimed and rewarded with trophies, prizes, up front positions, headlines and bigger salaries.

I have watched “pecking order” function and I am sure it is for real. Most of us are pecked by some and we in turn peck others. The desire to play first chair or first fiddle enhances the curse of the pecking order. You see it occurring in our school systems, on our jobs, in civic organization and even our most devout churches. All can be plagued with this malady. One could say it is a great motivating force and that is true, but it also can create jealousy and discord among the troops.

I pass this thought on to you: It is often the persons playing second fiddle who bring harmony to the group.

For example, the individuals with their arms in hot water with stacks of dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned for the next big feed are the people who prevent the bottlenecks and keep things flowing to a harmonious tune. Transportation workers, usually unknown to most, keep our streets and roads in good repair, treat for ice and plow off the snow so everyone can get where they need to go safely. Sanitation and water treatment workers, also usually nameless to most of us, make sure our waste disposal is sanitary and our water supply is safe and plentiful. The nurses who empty the urinals, give the back rubs, get the patients up and walking, and keep the records play a vital role in the patient’s well-being, supporting the doctor who is playing first fiddle.

My hat is off to all second fiddlers; their quiet unsung work helps our community run smoothly.

 

— Gordon Morrison is a retired educator, author and local rancher.

 

April 15, 2016: Healthy Optimistic People Encourage a sense of HOPE in our community, by Patricia Gerhardt

April 15, 2016 by  

Patricia Gerhardt

Patricia Gerhardt

According to “The Oxford Thesaurus,” the word “hopeful” is an adjective that describes being optimistic, confident, assured, expectant and anticipating. Does this word describe how we feel about ourselves and the community we live in? I’d like to think so.

When an individual feels hopeful about the future, he is positive about life, what he’s doing and where he’s going. Hope propels the person through each day, especially when things become challenging. Things may go wrong, but hope allows the person to change direction and keep trying. Hope underscores the positive, learns from the negative and moves forward.

When a community has hope, the people who live there believe in their future. Hopeful people band together and work toward achieving their goals. Hope renews faith, energizes, gives self-confidence and promotes empowerment. It also instills pride and gives stamina to get through tough times.

Think of the letters H-O-P-E as standing for Healthy Optimistic People Encourage.

For a community to be hopeful, first we each have a responsibility to keep our own bodies and minds as healthy as can be. Do we take responsibility for ourselves? Do we take advantage of available services and products? Are we good role models for others? Are the words we use caring and positive? Do we applaud others on their achievements and offer encouraging words to those who are down?

Are we able to put aside personal pride, make the sacrifices and put forth the extra effort needed that’s necessary for the community at large?

Life has many twists, turns and even dead-ends. Without hope, people and communities founder and give up. Those with hope, though, have the will to keep trying until they find a strategy to reach the desired goal.

 

— Patricia Gerhardt is a Family Consumer Sciences extension agent for Kansas State University-River Valley Extension District.

April 1, 2016: Local agency works to end domestic violence of all types, by Tanya Paul

April 1, 2016 by  

TANYA PAUL

TANYA PAUL

The Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas is a non-profit agency providing free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and elder abuse. DVACK serves 10 counties and provides a variety of services to individuals in rural communities that have been affected by some form of violence. Available services include emotional support, crisis intervention and counseling, safety planning, advocacy, information/referrals, support groups, safe shelter, and assistance with protection orders.

In addition to survivor services, DVACK staff members conduct a multitude of free informational presentations and trainings to various community organizations, agencies, businesses, schools and individuals in an effort to raise awareness and educate our community about the dynamics of violence.

Awareness is the first step toward preventing and reducing family violence. Empowering individuals with the information, tools and resources they need to help victims of abuse is a critical component of any community engagement effort. Concordia community group members have recognized violence as a local issue and have taken steps to further increase community awareness. Last year, the Concordia Year of Peace Committee invited Don McPherson, a former NFL player and current social activist, to speak on men’s violence against women to the local schools and the general public. Local media, radio, and city commission members have supported DVACK’s awareness campaigns through articles, public service announcements, and proclamations.

DVACK is now in its third year of implementing the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program in local schools, primarily utilizing the Expect Respect Youth Leadership curriculum. DVACK was fortunate to work with the entire fifth grade at Concordia Middle School for three weekly sessions during fall semester 2015-16. The students reviewed the dynamics of bullying, took part in team building activities and learned how to be active bystanders. Studies have shown bullying behaviors often lead into abusive behaviors in future dating and committed relationships, so working with youth to help eliminate bullying will help prevent future domestic and sexual violence.

DVACK greatly appreciates this collaboration with Concordia Middle School and hopes to provide Teen Dating Violence Prevention Services and Presentations to any and all of the area middle, junior and senior high schools.

Community engagement to end family violence is complex work, but changing society happens in small increments, one family and one step at a time. In order to reach survivors, it’s important to have strong connections with local service providers and various agencies. DVACK is grateful for the increase in collaborations in Concordia and has reported an increase in interagency client referrals.

DVACK depends not only on the assistance of local agencies in supporting survivors and raising awareness, but also our volunteers and community donations. Thanks to contributions from people in Concordia, we are able to give individuals and families the items necessary to provide for their health, safety and basic needs in order to move on to a violence-free life.

For more information on how you can help in or around Concordia, please call (785) 243-4349 or visit our website at www.dvack.org.

 

— Tanya Paul is a DVACK outreach specialist in Concordia.

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