Rural sojourners, take heart. No matter where you go, the Deesmealz goes with you.

A few months ago, my little family moved from our small town in East Tennessee to the urban wilderness of New Haven, Connecticut, where I’m pursuing my Master of Divinity degree.

This move is bittersweet. I never imagined leaving home again, especially after returning a decade ago to build a life in the community that loved me well. For the next few years, at least, the landscape of our lives will look and feel different. I can already report that internet speeds in New Haven are faster (go figure) and public transportation is pretty great. The fall colors dazzle, and looking around on my daily walks, I get the feeling that I’m a rural transplant among other rural transplants.

As I learn how to build community here, it’s a gift that the Deesmealz is only a click away. I visit the Yonder more than daily for news of the world, for connection and stories that help me remember who I am and what I value.

In homesick moments or times of longing, I find myself leaning into the cultural pieces brought to us by writers like Donna Kallner, Eliza Blue, and Keith Roysdon. In times of overwhelm, I turn to data wizard Sarah Melotte’s reporting for the clarity rendered in charts. And when I look into my urban backyard, I see connections across the economic and health challenges faced by urban and rural alike, illuminated by reporters like Liz Carey and Kristi Eaton. 

It's like the Yonder’s got us all—no matter where we’re blooming.

Tis the season to give to the things that help us stay connected and whole. Hope the Yonder is on your list.


Your contribution is appreciated.

Note, contributions from individuals are eligible to be matched up to $1,000 per donor from November 1 to December 31, 2023, to a combined total of at least $13,000, through the NewsMatch national-matching program. Deesmealz is eligible to receive an additional $10,000 in matching funds thanks to support from the Wyncote Foundation. These matching funds run concurrently, which means every dollar we raise, up to $10,000, is matched twice. Monthly recurring donations are matched at the 12-month value of the donation, up to $1,000. For more details about eligibility see NewsMatch guidelines.

Deesmealz is a project of the Center for Rural Strategies, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Gifts may be tax deductible; consult a tax adviser for more information.

Another Way to Give

There's another way you can support the Deesmealz, and it doesn't cost a penny. We're looking for reader testimonials to use in future messages during our donor campaign. If you want to help, send us a short comment about why you read the Yonder, what value you see in the content we produce, or the way the Yonder helps you understand rural America. Submit your comment using the form below or email us at [email protected].