A break in the weather allowed us here at RAIL to escort a faculty and administrative leadership group from James Madison University(JMU) around a local coal community. Together we met with several of our local garden participants, shared stories, and stopped for a sack lunch at the Wyco church.
JMU enjoyed exploring this 100 year-old gothic revival. Our very own, Tim McGraw, even gave the old church bell a ring!
After a pleasant lunch work resumed. We, alongside our guests, were separated into small group according to our assigned jobs. We had teams taking measurements, teams performing soil tests, and teams running plows and tillers.
It was great getting to know our new friends from JMU while also getting to know more about our community!
The picture above shows our local AmeriCorps members working on a garden in the community. At the Mullens Opportunity Center, we are providing local people with their very own gardens through a Berea College Grant.This picture provides a great description of what we have been doing for the last few weeks. For the gardens our team tills the ground, sifts through the soil to rid of any rocks, and plant seeds. As a team, we get things done in an orderly manner. So far, we have eight gardens in the process of being ready to use. Our goal is to till twenty-five gardens and have them ready by Summer time.
From left to right, top to bottom: Charlene Cook, Jacob Stewart, Wyatt Smith, Matt Wilcox, Kody Lester, (Bottom) Whitney Mitchell, Meredith Helmick.
Hello, my name is Jacob Stewart, and I have recently been registered as a volunteer in the AmeriCorps program. We installed smoke alarms for the community January 16th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as our community day of service. We worked in tandem with the American Red Cross. All smoke alarms were free and installed quickly and efficiently. We all enjoy helping the community and doing what it takes to keep it alive and thriving. The AmeriCorps youth also assists in keeping the local food bank stocked and well kept.
AmeriCorps volunteers have been working with the American Red Cross to install fire alarms for those in need; additionally there is no cost for those who want to receive a fire alarm. The only information needed goes to the American Red Cross to help improve the safety of each home with an alarm installed. Anyone can get them and you can acquire four if needed. January 16th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while most citizens were home for the holiday, our combined efforts made a great outcome making the place from which people lay their head at the end of the day safer.
Throughout January, RAIL’s Healthy Lifestyles group sponsored “Walk the MOC.” Community members walked over 800 miles in the MOC throughout the month. We will continue through February as well, come down and get some miles in!
Mullens was Incorporated as a town on September 17, 1912. It was named for A. J. Mullins, who owned the land on which the town is built. The town’s original name was spelled with an “i” a recording error accounts for the error in spelling, which was never corrected.
This is a picture I (Kody Lester) drew last year that helped the Mullens Opportunity Center win first place for Wyoming County Day in Charleston for best booth. This picture is of the building that RAIL works out of, the Mullens Opportunity Center, and took around 6-7 consecutive hours to complete.
This picture shows the work we have begun on the garden at the M.O.C. We have dug ditches to drain the excess water out of the soil. On January 25, 2017 we began and finished the ditch shown. Our members of the M.O.C hope to be able to make the garden flourish with different types of vegetables for our Farmers Market.