Here we are once again — on the precipice of a new year and a new beginning. We have 365 fresh days on the calendar before us. All that’s left to decide is what we’re going to do with them. 


Of course, most of us tend to focus on ways we can improve ourselves over the next 12 months. That might be hitting the gym three times a week or drinking more water. It could be cutting back on sweets or alcohol. All of those are valid and worthy goals, but in keeping with the theme of this first issue of 2022, Love + Service, I’m suggesting a different route. I suggest we explore a path of service. 


Now, I know that there are only so many hours in a day — far too few for the majority of us, and the idea of cramming one more item into an already over-packed schedule seems completely impossible and maybe a little self-detrimental. Don’t misunderstand me, I truly believe in stepping away from the chaos of the world on a regular basis. In fact, I occasionally designate a full day where I do nothing but lay in bed — all day long. I’m entirely healthy and feel fine but these “rest days” offer the sweetest reset you can imagine — 10 out of 10, would recommend. 


So this isn’t a push to overextend, but I hope you’ll be moved to take a moment to ask yourself — what cause matters most to me? There are few things in life that hold as much value as finding a purpose and dedicating yourself toward it. It doesn’t mean you have to log in 20 extra hours every week to support it. It can be something small, a couple of hours a week or even a couple of hours a month. Tapping into a personal passion can really change one’s life for the better, and that’s the primary focus of this edition of Golden Isles Magazine. We sought out several individuals and groups to feature, focusing on how they discovered enriching and meaningful ways of giving back. 


We visited Darlene DeMayo who established New Paths Horse Sanctuary after purchasing a horse who was unridable. Rather than sell her, Darlene built a nonprofit that provides a space for horses, as well as other animals in need of a safe place to spend their golden years. We spoke with Caroline Blackshear, a dedicated volunteer for No Kill Glynn County who devotes countless hours helping the organization arrange rescues for homeless dogs and cats. 


We beeped by Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen to hear about how owner and Chef Alan Ramirez used his gift for cooking to help customers craft healthier lifestyles. We sat down with the formidable ladies of The Brunswick Links, who live and breathe service, to talk about their founding 55 years ago and their mission today. Finally, writer and film maker Tyler Bagwell shares the story he crafted surrounding The Wanderer, the last slave ship to dock in the United States — on Jekyll Island. We wanted to include this piece as a bit of service on our part and commitment to continuing to share the stories of those who for so long remained voiceless.   


We hope you enjoy reading these truly inspirational stories. May we all find our own new paths toward supporting those things in life we love. 


With heartfelt wishes for all good things —