I was once told that there are two types of people in this world: Pioneers and Plodders. Pioneers love the challenge of new and untested ground. Plodders love to perfect what is tested and true, and are content with the status quo. A healthy society requires both, and the mix is influenced by the degree we develop our communities.
In McDowell County we have suffered a long downward slide since our peak several decades ago. Growth and prosperity may have been due to Pioneer leaders with vision, but once decline set in, they moved on. Leaders in every arena must now plod along, each with crisis management and the application of band aids, The one law we trust is Murphy’s Law, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. We have been wounded so much that we stay in victimhood. It is time to reject the identity of victim and develop a new mentality. As I read Jeremiah 29:7 “Pursue the well-being of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the LORD on its behalf, for when it thrives, you will thrive,” I wonder how that applies to Welch and McDowell County.
We have excellent people running our government, businesses and non-profits. Could we together embody again the spirit of Pioneering and reinvent ourselves and our County? Pioneers see the reality of the present but focus on the vision of the future. They ask Where do we want to be 5 and 10 years from now and how do we get there? We don't need to wait for someone on a white horse to ride in with large band aids.
This relates to another issue that is not easily recognized. Poverty is a huge money-maker for entities outside the County.
Here are some examples:
University Research Team gets a large grant to study our county. They may or may not come here in person. Their intentions are good but the money stays at the university for the most part.
Short-term mission agency charges each volunteer a fee around $300 for a 4-5 day trip. Over 8 weeks they bring in $120,000. Of this amount, $4,200 stays here, $14,000 goes to Lowe’s in Bluefield, Virginia, $16,000 goes to Sam’s Club in Bluefield, Virginia, and $85,800 goes outside the state to a corporate home office.
Media and Ghetto Tourism is about bringing people here to see how bad it is or to publish reports and articles on the issues of this poor county.
While intentions are clearly good, the reality is we are no better off.
If McDowell County and the City of Welch are to rise above our current situation, it will require a fresh vision, a pioneering spirit and unity in leadership. To succeed in building a better future we must have a unified plan and agree to work hard!
Please pray for new projects underway and continued meetings with the Mayor's office and the County Commission.
Unlike Jeremiah and the Jews, I was not deported here, but called to serve. I am proud to call McDowell County home for the past 17 years. God has called us all to pursue the well-being of our city. Let’s do it now.
Family Pool Party
Once a year we are able to treat our families to an evening of family fun at the Welch City Pool!
Lots of laughs, babies experiencing a pool for the first time, toddlers romping in the Kiddie Pool, brave preschoolers sliding down the water slide and adults enjoying water blaster fights.
Parents as Teachers encourages social connections and family recreation. Finding recreation options in McDowell can be challenging. The pool party allows playful exploration and physical activity as well as memory-making moments with their family.
This year we were able to give out pool toys and floatation devices to each child for added fun in the pool. Each family went home with Baby Bucks to use in our baby pantry and information on water and pool safety.
Thank you to CocaCola for donating drinks for the 85 people in attendance!
Crossview Covenant Church
in Mankato, MN has donated adorable pillowcase dresses! This is the second year in a row they have blessed us with dresses for little girls in McDowell County. Hours of TLC went into hand making these sweet little dresses. Thank you!
Instilling the Love
of Reading From Birth!
Parents as Teachers connects parents with helpful resources in the community. We are fortunate to have a wonderful program encouraging school readiness in our county. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a unique early years book gifting program that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years of age, creating a home library of up to 60 books and instilling a love of books and reading from an early age. Our Parent Educators encourage families to read together and extend the learning experience with activities related to the books. Our goal is to have every child enrolled in this valuable program!
Thank You Coke (CCBCC)!
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC), headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. Their commitment to serve others, pursue excellence and grow
profitably is how they fulfill their overarching purpose: “To Honor God in All We Do.”
CCBCC has demonstrated this commitment generously to our community by donating beverages for several of our events and awarding a grant to support the ministries of CCX! We are incredibly thankful for our friends at CCBCC!
and the 5K
Let’s face it, in our cynical world, it seems that the only super heroes we have left are in the movies. Yet, if you look carefully, you might find someone who embodies what makes a person a hero and some a super hero. Ironically Brenda Goodson is a huge fan of Wonder Woman. It must be true that it takes one to know one.
Brenda works in the trust department at MCNB Banks in Welch by day and as Board chairperson for Stop the Hurt (STH) by night. Stop the Hurt is the McDowell County Child Advocacy Center in Welch. Unfortunately, we rank very high in child abuse and neglect in the State of West Virginia. If there was one agency that we need most, it would be Stop the Hurt.
A few years ago, as a result of a multitude of factors, including political issues, Stop the Hurt lost their funding from the WV Department of Justice. STH ended up operating an entire year without essential government funding. This is where Wonder Woman was much needed. Evidently, we needed a hometown girl with a golden lasso to fight in faith to retain our child advocacy center. As a result of Brenda's efforts, most of their funding has been secured. STH continues to work hard to obtain more needed funding. To address this need, STH has sponsored several local fundraising events. Recently, they hosted a 5K color run that was a great community event and raised money for this important cause.
Our champion Brenda recently received the National Children’s Alliance Volunteer Leadership Award. The NCA is the national association and accrediting body for more than 800 Children’s Advocacy Centers in all 50 states.
Obviously, the word is out that we have our own Wonder Woman in McDowell County!
The third annual color run in Welch, West Virginia for Stop The Hurt was held in July. Many people from outside the county participated! The Community Crossing had staff enter the event. One couple walked while others ran the 5K, and all had a great time! We also set up a pop up coffee shop to sell Italian cream sodas and donated the proceeds to Stop The Hurt. There were raffles and prizes given out, as well as a ride for the children throughout the race. Afterwards, there was a lip sync battle, and the prize went to Ladre Stallworth, one of the boxers from The Mac Center's Black Diamond Boxing Team!
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?