FOCUS: Community

Sometimes, I just decide to write about an important word that everyone should know about and find out how it affects their lives. Today, the word is community. Mr. Webster says a community is a group of people living together or in one locality and subject to the same laws, having common interests, etc.  Community is the district or area in which one lives. These words define community.  The United States is full of communities where folks work together, plan together, care for each other, play together, and make their communities better by their support of the laws in which they live by. 

Buckhannon and Upshur County is such a community.  We come together for special interests, fun, celebrations, support agencies who help those in need and work together to make our community a place where everyone has the opportunity to be involved.  Our community is a place of beauty with all the wonderful plants and flowers all over the area.  Our community is a place where everyone has opportunities to worship in a variety of churches who welcome all.  Our community is a place where our history is remembered and honored.  We have problems like any other place but there is discussion shared to see how the problems can be answered.  Our community is blessed with Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, Emergency Services, special attention for those who have substance abuse problems, and those who need assistance in many ways.  We are blessed to have many talented volunteers to make our community better for all who live here.  Our leaders work together to strive for progress.  Our leaders listen to new ideas and sometimes change laws for the betterment of those who live throughout the area.  Yes, there are disagreements and not everyone is always happy.  These disagreements are brought before the public to listen to both sides.  Not every person is happy with the solution selected.  However, the folks in our community have respect for one another and try to work out their differences.  I am proud to live in my community and am thankful for all the wonderful people who work together every day to make it the best community possible.

When we watch the news or read the newspapers and watch the internet, we see many communities who are not thriving.  Many communities do not agree with the laws they have, they do not come together without violence, and have lost the common interests that made their community where everyone respects and works together. I wonder if these communities have special projects to work on together, special Fridays where they can eat and enjoy the company of their neighbors.  I wonder if the folks in these places work as volunteers to help those in need.  I pray for the communities who have people living in the streets.  I pray for the citizens in communities who never feel safe and loved.  I pray for the communities who continue to have protests and shootings. Many communities are faced with substance abuse and I pray for families who must deal with the daily issues with drugs.  Folks, we need to pray for our neighbors all over the country who have issues that cannot be addressed in their communities.  We need to be thankful for the community we live in and never forget that we do have voices to share and to make changes that keep our community the best it can be.                    

Buckhannon and Upshur County has been noted as a welcoming and friendly community.  When working with the West Virginia Strawberry Festival, I have spoken with visitors from all over the world who tell me how friendly our town is and how special our community looks to those who are visiting for the first time. Many of our visiting band students stayed on the WV Wesleyan College campus and returned here to attend college.  If many people see our community in a special way, it must be true.  We are truly blessed to live in a community who welcomes all who come to visit.  We have many in Buckhannon and Upshur County who have lived here their whole lives and would not want to live anywhere else.  That makes our community even more special.

If you love your community, take the opportunity to participate in the many special events planned by the talented folks in our area.  Step out and get involved in one of the organizations who support those in our community.  Visit the many businesses who are owned by local residents.  Volunteer for one of the agencies who help others.  Volunteers are always needed at the Parish House, the Salvation Army, in our churches, at our local hospital and local schools.  There are so many great opportunities for those who have time and talent. Being involved in the community in which we live gives our citizens a better understanding of how special our community is. The one great solution to any great community is the involvement of those who live and work together to make their communities shine.   Buckhannon and Upshur County do shine.  Thank you for your support for the community you call home.  You make the difference.  We make the difference together.  Think locally and be a good neighbor.  This is community.

I leave you with these thoughts.   

“Every day we are called to small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” Mark Twain


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