A Thanksgiving to remember: one couple’s journey to restoration

Shawn & Bonnie McCown

“All I ever wanted to be was a dad.” That was one of his last thoughts before making a decision that could end it all.

Shawn and Bonnie McCown’s story began innocently enough. But theirs would prove to be a roller-coaster journey of love, pain, addiction, and heartache.

It was 1994 when Bonnie first caught his eye at their workplace. “I showed up every day at her office just to talk to her,” he recalled.

But Bonnie wasn’t feeling it. “I had just gotten divorced and had three young girls, so I wasn’t really interested.” After all, Shawn was seven years younger, and Bonnie came with plenty of baggage.

Shawn was not deterred, however. If anything he felt challenged and made the daily choice to keep coming back. That’s a phrase that would hold special meaning years later.

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Arkansas leaders making a difference, one family at a time

Blue lights are alarming to most adults, especially when they’re in the rearview mirror. But blue signals hope for children who have been abused. That was the message sent earlier this year when the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion lit up in blue.

The State Police’s child abuse hotline received more than 30,000 calls in 2018, but that number is likely nowhere close to the whole story.

This past spring, all 100 Arkansas House members, and all 35 Senate members sponsored a resolution to make April 11 Children’s Advocacy Center Day in the state. Elizabeth Pulley, Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas, welcomes the attention and appreciation for the tireless work of the 17 regional centers which comprise the state chapter. But in her heart, she knows there remains much work to do.

From her administrative offices in downtown Little Rock, an unassuming Pulley downplays her title and authority, instead expressing admiration and respect for the many employees who do the lion’s share of burden-bearing for children and families of abuse.

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