Last Thursday Williamson welcomed a team of seven guests into the community. For the second time this year a team of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) arrived in Williamson for an extended stay, to work on projects throughout the area.
This will be the second group of this kind that has stayed in Williamson, the first of which visited last September.
Maria Arnot, who works for the Mingo County diabetes Coalition (MCDC), said that the volunteers are between the ages of 18-24, and that they will be working in our community until December 3rd. The Williamson Redevelopment Authority (WRA) and MCDC are co-sponsoring the team.
“They will be working at the community garden in east end for the first two weeks,” Arnot said. “We are really excited because we hope that we will be able to complete much of the construction work during this time. We encourage everyone to stop by to meet the volunteers and to see the hard work that they are completing!!”
Arnot said that after the volunteers are through working at the gardens, that they will be volunteering their time at City Gym, the Williamson Housing Authority and the Williamson Park and Recreation board. They will also do some work for the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) program, located at the community services building where they are staying.
Jenny Gannaway, coordinator of the Mingo County VOAD program, said that they felt “very lucky that they have this dorm space to accommodate service teams.”
“It allows us to bring people from all over the county to help not only Mingo County and Mingo County residents, but also the West Virginia State VOAD program. “I have worked with teams from all over the state, and its great to see them here in Mingo County. We appreciate the help that they are able to give us, and are glad that we can provide something in return to them,” Gannaway said.
The community services building, which used to be the Coal-Field Community Action Partnership facility, has been open since January. It received its first service group in March—- and has hosted six teams since then.
This Saturday, to welcome the volunteers and to celebrate the success of the community gardens and Farmers Market this season, the MCDC, WRA and the Farmers Market will be hosting a Greased Pig event at the community gardens in East End.
Starting at 1pm, there will be a variety of events taking place at the gardens—- including a greased pig chase. Farmer Doug Dudley will be bringing a live greased pig, and will be giving prizes to individuals that can catch it.
“A lot of people have been telling me that they will be able to catch it,” Dudley said with as laugh. “All I keep telling them is, okay, just come down and try. Come down and catch it.”
Additionally there will be bobbing for apples, kids activities, and a diabetic-friendly cook-off. A $25 gift card will be given to the top dish in four categories in the cook-off, which includes entrée, dessert, side, and appetizer.
Anne Lambright, WRA Commission said that Williamson is looking forward to the volunteers being here for the month of November, and that this event will be a great opportunity to welcome the team into our community.
“I hope everyone will welcome them and join them in their efforts at the Community Gardens and elsewhere to improve our lives and health.”