The mission of the Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc. is to implement sustainable projects for positive social change in the southern West Virginia coalfields. For more than a decade, RAIL has served as a hub for nonprofit enterprises in Wyoming County. RAIL also works with local and visiting volunteers to channel good intentions into tangible projects that benefit the community.
A group of Mullens-area volunteers founded RAIL to respond to the disastrous floods that decimated Wyoming County in 2001. With the assistance of AmeriCorps volunteer groups and state support, RAIL renovated the ruined Mullens Grade School to establish a community center and headquarters—the Mullens Opportunity Center (MOC).
Since then, RAIL has used the Mullens Opportunity Center as a testing ground for meaningful social entrepreneurship, from starting the Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association to operating a local Farm to School program. RAIL operates the Wyoming County Diabetes Coalition and community gardens for disabled elderly residents, and employs retirees and young people through Experience Works and WorkForce WV respectively. RAIL has partnered closely with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) and NCCC (National Civilian Conservation Corps), college and universities, faith-based groups, and the Wyoming County school system on service projects in the southern coalfields.