We’re nearing the end of the year, and my news feed is full of “Best of 2022” lists: books, music, films, internet videos. Have you seen “The Woman King?” Read “Babel” by R.F. Kuang? Watched that #cottagecore video of sourdough bread rising to Howard Shore’s music from “The Lord of the Rings?” Me too!

I welcome all of these “best of” lists, but my heart also longs for something I can hang onto beyond 2022, and, as Robert Frost writes, “stay my mind on and be stayed.” The past year yielded some great content, but what can we take with us into the new year that will keep us oriented toward a future together? What can give us something deeper than a hashtag and truer than a hit song? Maybe we call this list “The Best of Holding Onto Hope.”

Dolly Parton makes the list, obviously. 

And so does The Daily Yonder, every year since its inception in 2007. 

As director of the Rural Assembly, I look to the Daily Yonder on the regular for inspiration, connections, and care. The Rural Assembly often draws ideas from the Yonder — many of the guests on our Everywhere Radio podcast and the voices and organizations we spotlight in our blogs and virtual events are first amplified in the pages of the Yonder.

Graphic journalist Nhatt Nichols contributes mighty news comics to the Yonder and illustrates a series for the Assembly called Drawing Resilience. Musician and rancher Eliza Blue writes a column for the Yonder and sings and performs for Rural Assembly Everywhere events. The Walker River Paiute Tribe was featured in the Yonder for its unique response to Covid-19, and the Rural Assembly will feature leaders from the tribe in its newest episode of Everywhere Extra in 2023. 

We look to the Yonder because we find hope there, in stories that reveal how our lives are connected across zip codes and culture; in analysis that deepens our understanding of what’s working and why; in authentic perspectives from the prairie, holler, and coast. The Rural Assembly will keep looking to the Daily Yonder for the best of hope in the coming year and in the years to come.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating with a gift to the Yonder, something we can “stay our minds on and be stayed.”


Your contribution is appreciated.

The Daily Yonder 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. The Rural Assembly is also a project of the Center for Rural Strategies.

About NewsMatch
Contributions from individuals are eligible to be matched up to $1,000 per donor from November 1 to December 31, 2022, to a combined total of at least $15,000, through the NewsMatch national-matching program. The Daily Yonder has been selected to receive an additional $15,000 in matching funds from NewsMatch for its dedication to providing coverage of rural Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and highlighting issues that impact residents’ lives and support civic engagement. These matching funds run concurrently, which means every dollar we raise, up to $15,000, 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.

About the Joe and Helen Pickering Challenge
Joe and Helen Pickering, the father- and mother-in-law of publisher Dee Davis, were among the first donors to the Daily Yonder when it began publishing in 2007. Helen was a journalist and an activist. She edited the Stanford Daily when the boys were off at WWII. Later, she worked for reproductive rights and environmental protection. Joe was a WWII vet and a businessman who began the challenge to honor Helen when she passed away in 2017. Joe died in 2020. The Joe and Helen Pickering Challenge reflects their commitment to making things better, and Dee and his wife Mimi have kept it going in their memory.