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ISSUE 1710

Depending on Discipline instead of Drugs

A bright move forward to a new

era of tourism in the county. 

This year the county came together

to celebrate community.

You Can Beat This,

I Believe in You.

by Jay Wilson

Six years ago I was told by my doctor that I was diabetic. When I asked him if I could reverse it by diet and exercise his answer was that I would be on medication for the rest of my life. At that moment I could only assume what he said was true. I received four prescriptions that day. He even thought of putting me on insulin, which I now realize was absurd.

By the time I returned to his office 90 days later, after much research, I stopped taking three of the prescriptions.  At that time my blood sugar had returned to normal. I had developed a regimen of diet and exercise and had been taking Januvia for those 90 days. I requested to drop Januvia as well but he again said I would be on it for the rest of my life. He did write me a new prescription with a lower dosage.

After 3 more months, my blood sugar level tested within the normal range. The doctor said it would be OK to stop taking the medicine. When I admitted to him that I had not filled that prescription, he was astonished. "You mean you went 90 days without medicine?"

Fast forward six years, I have not taken any pharmaceuticals for anything. Unfortunately though, I have not stuck to my diet and exercise regimen and have gained weight, yet my blood sugar continues to test within the normal range. Three weeks ago, I recommitted myself to diet and exercise to become physically fit. For me, indeed for all of us, it’s important to our calling and to the One who called us to be good stewards of our health. The last thing I need is to sabotage my own health.

I share this as an encouragement to so many who are told that there is nothing you can do but take these pills. You have to ask yourself why do we dislike drug dealers but embrace drug pushers, when the pusher is an M.D.? Ultimately, we need to do our homework and take responsibility when it comes to our health. We also have to do the hard things. Taking a pill is easier but more times than not it leads us to more complications and more pharmaceuticals. By the way, I am not super human, if I were, I would have not found myself in trouble 6 years ago.

Long before I prayed for help, God had already answered with an incredible help meet, awesome family, and supportive friends. Some days are harder to stay motivated than others. On my most difficult days, I recall my father’s final words to me before he was hurt and passed away: “You can beat this, Jay, I believe in you.”  As encouraging and important as having people believe in me, I need to believe in myself even more.

I have learned a lot in the past six years, some of which I've listed here: Things I Learned Along the Way.

Here are my reflections in a blog post, One Year as a Diabetic, from 5 years ago.

You Can Beat This


Building a Strong Parents As Teachers Affiliate Advisory Committee
A gathering of enthusiastic and committed Agency and Community members joined us in September to offer advice and counsel related to PAT program operations, quality, awareness, collaboration, and advancement of PAT in McDowell County. We discussed Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), our Annual Performance Measure Report, and the Quality Endorsement next steps. We looked at our Parent’s Survey Feedback reports to help guide our program in the coming year. A lively collaborative discussion related to enhancing Group Event attendance and helping families create a safe and healthy home environment led to setting a date to discuss this in more depth. In attendance were representatives from The Community Crossing, Parents As Teachers, WVU Extension, Unicare, Birth To Three,
Right from The Start, Headstart/Universal Pre-K, local OB nurse, and community, with WVU, Regional Early Headstart and Tug River Health were unable to attend.

The Community Crossing has been designated as an Official Seat Check/Fitting Station for McDowell County and we look forward to helping keep babies safe on the road! Shannon Pace was certified as a Car Passenger Safety Technician and will be hosting a Free Car Seat Check station at Goodson’s parking lot in November. Kyler Wilson will be re-certified in November as well. Any donations of new car seats to help families in our county transport their children safely would be a blessing!


Five Community Crossing staff are being Re-Certified in Keys To Interactive Parenting (KIPS). This is a tool that helps parents track their family strengths and support them as they work to practice 12 Key Parenting Behaviors related to building relationships, promote learning, and encourage confidence in their children.

Carseat Safety
Keys To Interactive Parenting (KIPS)
What We're Learning
In recent years there has been an effort to increase tourism in McDowell County. This month the The McDowell County Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new tourism campaign Meet McDowell, providing a comprehensive online resource for visitors to plan a trip to our County. This new effort includes a website and social media presence aptly named Meet McDowell. We say aptly because in all our research of tourism websites we've seen a trend of names like "Visit Scotland", "Visit Dubai", "Visit Ireland", "Tourism" this "Travel" that etc... One phrasing we found extremely uncommon is "Meet" anywhere... Well you may be thinking positively: "Well Meet McDowell makes sense because they start with M!" Or maybe you are thinking somewhat negatively: "Well that is strange naming it that seeing as you can't truly MEET a place..."  

And that is precisely why this name is so aptly put. You are right, you can't normally meet a place, but here in McDowell County the one thing we hear the most when anyone asks: "Why do you live here?" "Why does anyone stay?" "What is the attraction?" "What do you love about McDowell County?" is "The people." The people here are the kindest folks you'll ever meet. They will give you the shirts off their back. It's what makes this place unique, it's is our most precious asset, and it's what makes it worth a visit. 

That being said we wish to thank Betty Jones and JJN Multimedia for creating the new website and sharing our home with the world and encouraging more people to discover our County. We invite you who read this to take a look at their work and invite you to come meet McDowell, a place of wild and wonderful adventures surrounded by people you will want to visit again and again.

Their Mission:

The McDowell County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) mission is to promote tourism within McDowell County, serve tourists traveling for both business and recreation, aid in advertising for local businesses and events, and most importantly to showcase all that McDowell County has to offer.

Check out more of Sherrie's fantastic work on Facebook!

Meet McDowell
Welch Autumn Festival

Welch Autumn Festival

The Community Crossing set up early on Saturday across from Martha Moore Riverfront Park during the start of the Head of The Dragon, The Chamber of Commerce served breakfast and we served regular and our specialty coffee! All proceeds went to the Welch Chamber of Commerce. The Head of The Dragon, spearheaded by the Council of the Southern Mountains, was an event that took months to plan, and more than a hundred bikers came from surrounding states to trek through McDowell County on the winding and beautiful mountain roads. 

After that we packed up to go set up again at Linkous Park for the Autumn Festival, which was a warm and fun event that lasted until evening. There were bouncy houses for kids, cart rides, and booths of food and hand crafted items. An incredible opportunity was provided to ride in a helicopter! Taking off from the Welch Parking Garage, Senator Chandler Swope, a Welch native and pilot for more than 40 years, graciously shared his gift with residents here. "I haven't counted the number of people I have given helicopter rides until recently. Just since June I have given 861 people rides. I estimate over the past 10 years or so over 10,000 people have enjoyed the sights from above," Senator Swope told us. He loves to see the faces of those who have never had such a unique experience. This was a true highlight of the day for many of us. Seeing our towns, rivers, mountainous terrain, and winding roads in the hollows was breathtaking. West Virginia is beautiful but truly incredible when viewed from above.

We want to thank Senator Swope for this gift and for all who made it possible!  

The Parents as Teachers program loves to celebrate the holidays with families in McDowell County with our annual Thanksgiving dinner. We invite all of the families currently in the program (50+ families) to this event. We are hoping you can help us make this a wonderful event by providing some food or contributions. We are in need of 3 turkeys and 3 hams for this event. Our parent educators will cook the full dinner and serve our families. We look forward to these events because they provide an opportunity to fellowship and encourage these families. If you would like to donate a ham or turkey or funding to help cover food cost for this event please let us know. Our event will be November 16th and we will begin preparing food on the 15th. You can donate two ways: mail a check to Community Crossing, 225 Maple Ave, Welch WV 24801 (make checks to The Community Crossing) or donate online and designate the funding “PAT THANKSGIVING 2017”.

How you can help families in
McDowell County this season!
PAT Thanksgiving Needs


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

Would you prayerfully consider giving

$30, $50 or $100 per month

in support of Community Crossing?

How YOU Can Help

In case you missed it...

(A collection of social media posts from the past month.)

Darling handmade baby hats and burp cloths -Thank you Muriel! #thankful #givingseason

Collaborative meeting with McDowell DHHR/CPS and In Home Visitation agencies. Working together to help families! #mcdowellcounty

Group photo from State Supervisor’s CQI Academy Certification! #Parentsasteachers

Strange weather this month. #autumn #fallweather #appalachianmountains

Head of The Dragon event gear! We set up a coffee booth for the chamber of commerce who put the event on. We were so glad to have been able to participate! #headofthedragonwv #motorcycle #coffeeplease

Head of The Dragon participant this year! We love the helmet. #motorcycle #headofthedragon

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Video published last week was created by JD Belcher to
"share the change and impact volunteers can make in our schools." Which we here at CCX agree with wholeheartedly!
Click here to see the video. 
Be The Change - VO
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