By Hayley M. Cook
MATEWAN – The “Turn This Town Around” campaign is nearly half-complete as Matewan, West Virginia, buckles down to complete revitalization projects by the end of the year with financial assistance from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
Director of Community Strategies Amanda Yager said turnout has been steadily increasing, and that she has been receiving phone calls consistently from residents who want to know more about “Turn This Town Around” and how they can help.
“We can definitely see it’s picking up,” said Yager, who said that more than 50 people showed up to the last meeting.
Through the Benedum Foundation, Matewan will receive up to $50,000 in mini-grants to help pay for as many as 20 revitalization projects in the community this year. The remaining $25,000 is predevelopment money for larger-scale projects that will take a longer period of time to complete.
According to Yager, the next meeting will focus on “the different tools and things people can use, group work, and peer exchange via working together to give everybody a better idea of what everyone else is working on.”
Matewan community members are quickly creating their mini-grant proposals, as they are due to the West Virginia Hub by Aug. 1. On Aug. 15, the TTTA sponsors - West Virginia Focus, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Hub - will announce the winning projects from all of the proposals. For more information about applying for a mini-grant, contact the Hub’s Director of Community Strategies, Amanda Yager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (681) 404 6053.
The next “Turn This Town Around” meeting in Matewan is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the UMWA Hall in town, and all members of the community are encouraged to attend.