Stepping into Coal Camp Creations (CCC) in Kimball is an adventure. It's a wonderful expression of where art meets history and culture. We were greeted by Jay Cox and Felicia Blevins who have been working at CCC for only a matter of months. Nevertheless, in that short time they have managed to innovate and build upon the established business in a number of exciting ways.
They have jumped in with a mindset focused on a balance between quality and resourcefulness. After talking with Jay Cox we learned about how they create the unique coal statues. Now instead of throwing away the damaged pieces he is starting to develop a process that restores them, which will aid in CCC's long term viability.
Towards the back of the room there is a workstation where Felicia walked us through how she makes her soap. This is a brand new venture for CCC and in conjunction with this enterprise they also make candles. She has made many batches but only very recently felt comfortable enough to sell them because she wanted them just right.
Something we truly admire about both of them is their love for creating things that reflect the unique heritage and history of the area. We have always recognized the need for young people from the county who understand the culture to have a desire live here and to make this community the best it can be. Jay and Felicia personify everything we hope for McDowell and we want to encourage you to support them in their dream!
Take a look at their website and buy a statue that will always remind you of McDowell County. You can also like their page on Facebook!
Talking to Felicia about McDowell County she had this to say:
"Recently I really feel like people are starting to try.
They are trying to make this place better, and I'm seeing it a lot more now."
- Felicia Blevins
Boxes of Love
If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Knowing what it is like to struggle to make ends meet and feed the family sparks one family to give to others in times of need.
“All I do is collect coupons for free or reduced cost items. It just takes a little bit of time and energy. We have been in this type of situation before and I want to make things just a little bit easier for others facing difficult times”.
This is one example of a family in McDowell who quietly reaches out to help people in time of need showing kindness and encouragement to her community. This family--who wishes to remain anonymous--calls The Community Crossing when she has collected a few boxes available to distribute. The Parents as Teachers program serves 85 families a year and we are able to share these boxes of love with the families who could use the extra help.
What a simple way to help others! This is a perfect demonstration of the circle of giving that abounds in this county. We see over and over people accepting assistance in times of need and then turn around and help the person next door or across the county out of compassion for their situation. McDowell County people really will “give the shirt off their back” for you!
2 Corinthians 8:14
Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.
April Snow and Cold brings…Community Baby Showers!
Babies will not conveniently wait for warm weather to enter this world! They make their grand entrance exactly when God designates it, whether we are ready or not. Our hope is that every Mother in McDowell County welcomes their baby into this world equipped with the essentials for caring for their precious gift from God.
Big Creek People In Action sponsors a Community Baby Shower annually to help families in their preparation for the little tyke that will change their world. This year the gymnasium at BCPIA was filled with resource tables and representatives ready to assist them on their journey. They enjoyed a nice luncheon, a Car Seat Safety demonstration and really nice door prizes!
The Community Crossing also sponsored our Biannual Baby Shower on a smaller scale with emphasis on keeping babies safe. Educational demonstrations were given on safe sleep, safe swaddling techniques, baby wearing options and keeping your baby’s environment safe as they grow. Unicare presented vital information for pregnant mothers, WIC provided a nutritious “Mountaineer Caviar” for the guests, KVC shared foster care opportunities and WVU presented an opportunity to participate in a Dental Health and Pregnancy Study. After a nice luncheon, each mom went home with oral health items, resource table gifts, a Mom’s care package, a laundry bag of diapers, wipes, baby items as well as a large door prize such as an infant swing, baby bath package, etc. for each mother in attendance. Donations make these baby showers possible! Thank you to all who help us in this endeavor!
The Community Crossing can do so much more with your help. We are very fortunate to have the Parents As Teachers grant through WV DHHS, however the grant does not cover the cost of our key supportive ministries:
Home repairs to ensure children have a safe environment
Black Diamond boxing club to encourage fitness and discipline in youth
Men's basketball and other community sports for all ages
Support and resources for entrepreneurs in our county
Healing for drug and alcohol addiction - presently we are praying for the development of an effective ministry
CCX Missional Magazine covering McDowell County in monthly issues
Would you prayerfully consider giving
$30, $50 or $100 per month
in support of Community Crossing?