I bet you’ve been wondering where we’ve been.
The thing about small towns ¬– at least here in the Midwest I’ve learned – is we care about each other.
When the company that owned The Carthage Press let me go in the spring of 2017 I received an overwhelming amount of love and messages expressing sadness from this community. I feel like I never got to thank you for that – so thank you.
Then when the company shut down the paper the summer of 2018 I received another round of condolences … I use that word because it really was like I had lost a loved one. I thank you all for your understanding of what The Press means to me.
It’s going to be difficult to explain what’s been happening in my life this past year because we can’t fully explain or understand the miraculous ways God moves. But He certainly has moved in mine.
I’ve been working for a ministry called Christ In Youth, and I have decided to continue to do my “Kingdom work” – as they call it – to serve the Lord. CIY has changed my life. This ministry hosts youth conferences and mission trips across the world – impacting thousands of lives every year – and I’m honored to be a part of it.
I’m also honored to be sharing my words today in this exciting new chapter for Carthage.
You know what this new paper means?! To me it means this town’s heart is bigger than any corporation or business dealing. As a united, diverse community, the people have stepped up and said, “We will not lose our voice.”
This is something special. This is a strength not all communities have. This is a Tiger’s roar! And it’s my hope that other communities – who lost their voice – hear it, be inspired and restart their local news services – be they radio, physical publications or online websites.
I hope they include stories about the Boy Scouts. I hope they write about people who live to be 100. I hope they take pictures of kids winning awards. I hope they capture the heart of their communities, because that’s what The Carthage Press will do.
My aspiration is that The Press be a representation – a glimpse – of what it means to live in this community. It’s documenting history. It’s giving a megaphone to a little kid and letting their sense of sincere generosity and innocent love come through to inspire others. It’s about letting the elderly feel young again, connected, involved and important.
You know what makes a quality newspaper? There’s a lot of factors, but I think the most important thing is for it be genuine. When it comes to this newspaper, let your words and efforts come from the heart – let it be personal – because that’s what makes it real. That makes it impactful and inspiring.
That same heart is the beating pulse of what made this newspaper come back … You can’t kill the heart of a Carthage Tiger.
Rebecca Haines is a 2003 Carthage High School graduate and 2007 Missouri Southern State University graduate. She currently works for Christ In Youth in Joplin, Missouri, and contributes to The Carthage Press. She is married to Chris Haines, and together they are raising Nolan, 7, and Nora, 5, in Carthage.