Tag Archives: Community Resources Directory

Van Buren County

Taking a brief intermezzo from posting the articles featured in v.2.n.1. of Help YourSelf, we take this moment in time to acknowledge the volunteer work of the Editor & Publisher of the Van Buren County Community Resources Directory, Sue Pico.

For starters, here is the current edition of the VBC-CRD in PDF format.

And here is a great example of the of the community resources that Sue catalogs, indexes, and spreads the good word about: 3 publications for SUCCESS… a program that, as Sue explains, provides a variety of seminars to help folks become more independent and find employment with cash incentives for participation and the money paid directly to the learner’s power company!!!

Success Brochure

OOI Brochure

Energy Assist Flier

Anyway, our hat is off to Sue and all the fine folks making great strides with helping people to help themselves achieve and sustain a comfortable, rewarding and convivial quality of life…

PS-S-S-S-S-T… Maybe its time for YOU to start-up a Community Resources Directory in your town…??? Sue says that compiling a directory for her hometown area has been of great value to her church-work, knowing what types of assistance are available to help meet local needs. (((hugs))) ~Christine




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Two more articles, as published in V.2.N.1., April 2016, Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory:



Pedestrian bridge spanning the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Right now … if you leave prison, you get $100 and a bus ticket,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson laid out his plan for the state prison system Feb. 18, 2015.

“That is really not going to help reduce repeat offenders from going back in,” he said. “They need an opportunity. The reentry centers will help them find their way back into society.”

On Wednesday, April 13, several dozen civic and social advocacy groups and many members of the general public who are affected by these issues rallied on the front steps of the Capitol in a show of support for proposed reforms, such as the hiring of additional parole and probation officers, the creation of a transitional reentry center program and alternative (non-prison) sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Coordinated by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition, the rally featured several distinguished speakers representing various agencies and organizations which actively provide reentry support service.

“Because the impact of incarceration is so great on the individual, their families, and society as a whole, it takes an array of service providers, public policy experts, faith-based groups, community organizations and support services to assist with transition to return to society and avoid the situations that lead to recidivism,” Robert Kim Combs, Chair of CARE’s Policy & Law Committee, explained the complexity of the problem.

“No one entity can do it all and do it effectively,” he said. “This rally brought together a number of the people and organizations that are helping and to tell the story of the 56% of people who successfully return to free society without re-offending. And it is important to acknowledge that many of these groups are working without government support.”
In appreciation of these collaborative efforts, an official Proclamation of the Governor, declaring April 13, 2016, as ARKANSAS COMMUNITY REENTRY DAY, was read and, concluding the presentation, attendees toured the Capitol to meet legislators and learn about the General Assembly.

For more information, visit www.ArkansasReentry.com or call (501) 444-CARE.



“Fiesta” — statue at The Rivermarket in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Regina Strehl

A man was visited by the Archangel Gabriel and invited to tour both heaven and hell so he could report back to his brethren and give a firsthand account of what the afterlife was like.

In hell he found a beautiful earth-like land, replete with towering mountains, deep-green forests, babbling brooks and sunny blue skies.

Rows and rows of tables, stretching as far as the eye could see and piled high with the most delicious food imaginable, stretched across the gorgeous countryside, yet masses of emaciated people roamed among the tables, moaning and weeping.

Every person had a huge fork strapped to each arm, above and below the elbow, which made it impossible to bend their arms to get any of the food into their mouths.
Try as they might to feed themselves, everyone was starving.

“What a horrible fate to endure,” said the man.

“Yes,” said the Archangel Gabriel. “Perpetual starvation in the midst of abundance. That is why we call it hell.”

Then POOF!!! The man was whisked-away to heaven where the view was nearly identical: rows and rows of delicious food spread upon tables across the bucolic land.

There, too, huge forks were double-strapped to the people’s arms which stopped them from feeding themselves, yet all were healthy and happy. “Because in heaven,” said Gabriel, “we all feed each other.” ~author unknown

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Volume 2, Number 1

With a hale and hearty ‘hip-hip-hooray’, Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory for Little Rock & Pulaski County, went to print (thanks to the awesome professional wherewithal of ALL the fine folks at Leader Publishing) on April 11, 2016…!!!

Nearly half of the 20,000 V.2.N.1. full-color 24-page newspapers are now in distribution (see Find Us for locations), thanks to the diligence and shoe leather of Help YourSelf Publisher & General Manager, Robert Kim Combs, who has been hot-footing it all around the community delivering bundles for the last month whilst I — being the lazy editor I am <smile> — vacationed with my kids in Japan.

Long story short, the PDF edition of V.2.N.1. is readily available for your online download, perusal and sharing. And if you would like to join our ever growing list of distributors, contact Kim, rkimc@hotmail.com

(((hugs))) ~Christine

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Fresh updates…

Happy to announce double-header updates <smile>… for starters, the most current PDF of the Van Buren County Community Resources Directory, compiled by all-around-good-person Sue Pico, is now available: click here. Huge thanks go to Sue for her diligent tenacity with updating and expanding the valuable community resource which, when she first published it in November of 2014, had barely 3 pages of listings and now is up to a whopping 10 pages….!!! Great work Sue….!!!! Now if we could just inspire the other 73 counties in Arkansas to follow suit…!!!

Also, the most current PDF of the Little Rock / Pulaski County “Compassion Resources Directory” (Resource Provider Edition) which contains all the service provider listings that will soon go to print in V.2-N.1 of Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory is now available for you to download and share: click here 

And if you ever wonder about what goes on behind the scenes of Help YourSelf… or what our illustrious Publisher does with (most of) his free time… just look to the nearest good-works project, community event or educational rally and somewhere there you will likely find Kim…


Open Door Outreach recently volunteered with the City Wide Cleanup on Saturday, March 12. Volunteers adopted a section of Main Street and made it look wonderful. An amazing group of ODOers (Kim is second from the right) came to help!

Open Door Outreach recently volunteered with the City Wide Cleanup on Saturday, March 12. Volunteers adopted a section of Main Street and made it look wonderful. An amazing group of ODOers (Kim is second from the right) helped!



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New edition in the works…

Dear Help YourSelf Readers, Supporters and Advertisers:

Many thanks to all who have asked about when our next print publication will come out. We are happy to announce that this is now in the works.

We are humbled that our debut edition of Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory, 20,000 copies of which went to print in October of 2014 and was freely distributed throughout Pulaski County, was so warmly welcomed by professional social service providers, community advocacy networkers, and individual people seeking the means to help themselves become thriving members of a healthy society.

As you may (or may not?) know, we were preparing to go to print with our second edition in February of 2015. Then, in January that year, our Editor-in-Chief, Christine Beems, experienced a sudden-onset respiratory failure, clinically died, was resuscitated and took the past twelve months to recuperate. Happily, both of us are now busily at  work getting things in order for our next edition to go to print.

Still, ours is a tripartite business model and the third cog in the wheel of ”making things happen’ is you…

You, being a person with a good-works group, governmental agency, or private enterprise who has a budget to spend on educational outreach, dissemination of public information, or promoting community good will… we can only go to print with the dollars that come from your support as an advertiser in our publication.

Thus even if you, yourself, are not an advertiser, we invite you to take a look at the PDF of our debut edition and also at the PDF of our purchase order

Then share this information with someone you know to be supportive of this kind of collaborative community enrichment effort… and ask them, as a personal favor to you, to support the print publication of our Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory.

Again, thanks to each and every person who has shown and continues to show such tremendous enthusiasm for us to again put Help YourSelf in print.

~Robert Kim Combs, Publisher & General Manager, Help Yourself Publishing

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Dancing with life after death.

Wednesday last, I died.

At least that’s what I’m told, having no recollection of the event which, as per various news clips, occurred at the Arkansas State Capitol on the afternoon of January 28, during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting

“A woman had a heart attack,” 5NEWS reported. “Arkansas Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, performed CPR.”

“The woman (who would be me) was slumped back in her chair, taking small gasps of air,” Woods told reporters.

Accounts continue that when my face went pale, I was laid down on the floor so that Senator Woods could administer CPR until a medical crew arrived a few minutes later to stabilize me. Also, that Dr. Jim Bledsoe (spouse of state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers) and Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, assisted in the life-saving intervention, which at one point involved the use of a defibrillator.

And there were obviously many others onsite at the Capitol, along the way of Emergency Medical Transport, and at UAMS where I was admitted who had a hand in my survival. Yet the truth is, I remember nearly nothing about any of it except that I am forever appreciative of all quick and sincere efforts given by so many people to saving my life.

For the record, as I regained conscious awareness of my surroundings and what had taken place, I was informed of treatment options and consulted with my adult-children about what course of action to take. Thus on Thursday afternoon, about 24-hours after my admission to UAMS, I was released to travel home to Van Buren County and begin my recovery.

Now, being one full week into my rehabilitation, I am thrilled to say that things are going great. I slept really well the last couple of nights and breakfast this morning –- which I prepared for myself – tasted totally great.

A few big things have changed, however. Most notably the February publication of Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory, which I edit and layout, is temporarily on hold. And I don’t plan to be doing any Can-Can dancing for a while!

What I do plan is to continue reclaiming good health and expressing my appreciation for all those aforementioned who helped rescue me, especially including my five fabulous adult-children, three of whom reside out of state, flew home immediately to be at my side and have been pampering me ever since.

Also I am compelled to especially acknowledge my dear friend, professional colleague and business partner, Robert Kim Combs, who was at my side from the moment I succumbed at the capitol straight through my release from the hospital and beyond, making multiple trips from the Little Rock airport to my home near Clinton, chauffeuring my incoming kids.

Thanks & (((hugs)))… ~Christine

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Happy Holidays

Fireworks at the Arkansas State Capitol

Fireworks at the Arkansas State Capitol

Happy Holiday (((hugs))) from all of us here at Help YourSelf…!!! Hope your days are filled with sublime excitement, abundant effervescence and tons of fun…!!!In addition, we joyously share HUGE THANKS for your warm and welcoming reception of the debut edition of Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory. So much wonderful stuff is blossoming from all of our combined energies. It is gratifying, humbling and inspiring to do this dance with you, accomplishing collaborative goals.For one example, we fully support and are actively working for the implementation of the “Eight Point Plan for a Safe Arkansas” developed by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition — about which we’ll be sending out a special update subsequent to the ‘special strategy meeting’ of CARE’s general assembly slated for Wednesday this week. (Hope to see you there!)

For another, our debut edition has attracted new talent to the Help YourSelf team. Billy Tad Earnest, 36, a family man from Jacksonville and skilled sales professional, has stepped forward to head-up the Help YourSelf marketing team.

Arkansas State Capitol Christmas Tree

Arkansas State Capitol Christmas Tree

You’ll learn more about Billy via first hand experience on Thursday, January 15, at our “Learn to Earn” orientation luncheon, being held (10am / 2pm) at the Help YourSelf administrative headquarters (aka: my home/office in the lovely foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, 2 miles east of the City of Clinton in Van Buren County, GPS: 223 Primrose Lane, Shirley, AR 72153 <grin>), about which full details are forthcoming in a note you’ll get next week.

Also, we are actively soliciting YOU to write something pertinent to your unique bird’s-eye-view of reentry issues, abiding the following editorial guidelines:

<> 600 to 1500 words (longer articles considered for serialization)

<> Addresses an issue (housing, employment, health care, probation, etc.) of the multifaceted reentry dynamic and proposes a solution.

<> Highlights a ‘success story’ about overcoming homelessness, unemployment, educational challenges, addiction, abusive relationships, stigmatizing social issues or any reentry issue.

Kim Combs, Publisher of Help YourSelf, views one of the 4 showcased exhibits of Black Dolls on display at the Arkansas State Capitol thrugh February 2015.

Kim Combs, Publisher of Help YourSelf, views one of the 4 showcased exhibits of Black Dolls on display at the Arkansas State Capitol thrugh February 2015.

Help us to sing the praises and inspire the hopes of real people coming through tough times and surmounting difficult circumstances to achieve a ‘new and improved’ lifestyle that at one time seemed beyond their reach.

Just to be clear, for an article and/or display-ad to make print in our next edition, submission deadline is the same date as our Learn to Earn luncheon: JANUARY 15, 2015…. however RSVPs and layout space for articles and ads are being accepted NOW… So please, if you have even a glittering of an inkling about doing any of this, let’s schmooze…!!!

Lastly for now on our ‘much to be thankful for’ list, may I gently point your attention to three facts which have made us happy and proud:

<> At this writing, more that 16,000 copies of our debut edition have been distributed to over 100 locations throughout Pulaski County. Many locations have been restocked several times and new requests for bundles come to us several times each week. Wow… simply amazing!!!

<> In mid-November, just weeks after our debut edition made print, Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory was inducted to the archives of the Sequoyah National Research Center of the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, by Daniel Littlefield, Director, because our Publisher, Robert Kim Combs, is by birthright-heritage a proud citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, thus by law officially making Help YourSelf a Native American Publication.

<> On December 6, a magnificent collection of Black Dolls, privately curated by Mary Swift, went on exhibit at our State Capitol and will be on display through the end of February, 2015. Truly, we are thankful to have played a small but vital role in the facilitation of this display and we are proud of our state officials for installing this eye-opening exhibit as an element of ongoing holiday festivities. It is our most sincere hope that it will build stronger bridges of appreciation among every member of our whole community and thus we encourage you to bring your friends and family for a visit to our glorious State Capitol building while it is all decked-out with the season’s grandeur… and to experience this soul-tingling exhibit for yourself.

A small example of the fascinating Black Dolls collection privately curated by Mary Swift.

A small example of the fascinating Black Dolls collection privately curated by Mary Swift.

Beyond that, please contact me anytime via email to christine@gozarks.com or at my home/office phone (501) 745-4153 -or- we can visit in person during the (previously mentioned) SPECIAL STRATEGY SESSION of the CARE Coalition, 10am, Wednesday December 10 at the Willie Hinton Community Center on 12th Street.

With many happy warm-wishes for your joyous holiday season, high hopes for good things to befall us all in the coming New Year and a bushel of (((hugs))) ~Christine
Robert Kim Combs, Publisher & General Manager
Christine Beems, Editor-in-Chief
Billy Earnest, Marketing & Sales
Help YourSelf Publishing

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