Let’s talk about the word “local,” shall we? Local means right here, right now. It means the people who are my neighbors, who live within a few minutes of me. It means the food that is grown here. It is about supporting local businesses and schools. 

But is that all? 

 What about the things that the local people care about? What about those things we should care about? What about our empathetic children who are watching our reactions to the suffering around the globe – our actions regarding the things they care about and worry about matters in their development as humans. 

We’re impacted by events, laws, and politics from all over the nation and world. No matter what our politics, we are first human. If there is a volcanic eruption in South America, the ash will cause weather changes that will have repercussions everywhere, including here. If children are orphaned by war or disease or desperate families sending them to travel alone — and they are not nurtured and educated well during their formative years, they could end up becoming criminals or terrorists. Might that someday reach right into our little communities? 

Ripples. When I was a child, I remember stones thrown into a still lake… Some ripples flowed across the small lake to the other shores. Some stopped in the middle of the water. But some came back to me, where I stood.  

So, while we are thinking local, maybe we can consider where we are in the larger picture of this big blue marble. Perhaps we can send big beautiful and positive ripples out across the globe. If we stop for a moment and let our hearts open, we might feel the ripples coming our way and appreciate the gifts from other places. And maybe we’ll feel the pain from far away and find a way to help — sending gifts out on the wind and tide. 

At Marietta and Beyond, we’re thinking local-global. Here’s how. We want to promote organizations that feed, clothe and educate local children and youth. But we want to promote help to children elsewhere too. For one year now, I have been following two men who have a passion for the orphans in their local area, and who know that some of the resources they need can not come from their impoverished communities. I have waited to promote them until their legal paperwork has been finalized, and for me to have an established on the ground organization vet them. One of these men is in Uganda, and one is in Haiti. Both are doing amazing work with very little. I’ll be saying more about these organizations soon. I’ve been invited to Haiti and Uganda to visit, but as of this moment, I cannot. In this issue, we take a peek at GoPacks, a dynamic and multi-faceted organization impacting hunger in Marietta, as well as helping families connect to helpful resources.  

Part of our plan has always been to mentor students interested in publishing or marketing fields, and so far we’ve had students shadow, and we have a second writing intern at this time. You will find a very well done the first article by Kiteara Sinnet in this issue. Previously we shared a writing intern with Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C), Hannah McDole. As part of the BB2C programs, I have attended Family Career Awareness Day, done mini writing workshops at a local school, an entrepreneurial workshop at Eli Chapman, and promoted the Makerspace programs. 

Our plan is to have regular articles about area educational “staycation” destinations that include information about what families can do to enhance the learning and fun when they go to these places with their children. As a teacher myself, I know children learn best and retain more when they have fun while learning in an emotionally safe environment. 

These articles will be written for local families, but also for outside families considering a vacation in a beautiful historic river town! We love the idea of making Marietta a destination for people to visit (or put down roots in)! So, we hope that these articles will contribute to all of the local efforts at making this happen. 

We also want to do a little traveling outside of the area and provide information about vacations beyond Marietta that local families might be interested in. We want to know what places you’d like to explore! So, please tell us! 

We’re also very passionate about helping to promote any businesses that are providing information and help to individuals to help them prevent or reverse chronic diseases. At this writing, I am searching for the statistics I have read in the past that place this area in the not so healthy category. In this issue we review a new and unique local restaurant that provides multiple options for people with various dietary restrictions. Also we’re promoting the “Try This First” series that feature local health practitioners giving the community free information on how to change lifestyles and diets to a healthier version. And there is much more to come. 

Why does health matter in the local scheme of things? Did you know that health improvement is linked to economic development? It is! We’ll be discussing this more in future issues. 

I wanted to fill you in on how we’re different from other local publications. We think we’re a good complement to what’s available in the area. We’re seriously not interested in turf wars! We want to work together with other publications to promote the area, each in our own ways. There may be some overlap, but that’s because we all love Marietta! So we will be telling the stories of local businesses too. Marietta and Beyond is not meant to be a comprehensive cover of everything type of magazine. We have our specialties, and we do a lot behind the scenes – participating in programs, organizing Try This First, mentoring young writers, writing, designing websites, editing, tutoring, teaching kids in China. Most of these activities are local, but not all. We’re citizens of this nation, of the local area, and of our global community. 

Please tell us your thoughts. They matter. You matter. Your children matter.