Jake Lynch is the Director of Network Communications for the Vandaleer partner: West Virginia Hub.  

You might not know it, but the image above is a photograph of hope.

It’s a photograph of determination. And of commitment, And of passion.

This is a photograph of West Virginians refusing to let the present and the future just happen to them.

I took this photo a few Thursdays ago, when The Hub staff and board spent a couple of days in the small city of Grafton, in Taylor County.

“We wouldn’t be meeting today, or any of the days we have met, if not for The Hub.”

The Hub has been working with the people of Grafton since 2014, which is when the people of that city decided they wanted some help making positive change however they could, and became one of the first Turn This Town Around communities.

In Grafton, just like in the many other cities and towns across the state we have helped, The Hub didn’t come in with a magic wand and a million dollars. We didn’t parachute a Buffalo Wild Wings into the main street, and we didn’t just tell the people there what they wanted for their community. We asked them.

Far more powerfully, we showed the people of Grafton how to organize themselves, how to make plans and follow them, and how to recognize the assets they already had.

If The Hub has helped you or your community over the years, now is the perfect time to give thanks. Click here to make a small donation.

We empowered them to create their own future, and not to just accept one prescribed for them by outside forces who, well-meaning though they may be, aren’t going to still be in that community six months from now, 10 years from now, who aren’t going to grow up and grow old in that community, who aren’t going raise families there.

This photograph, above, is what this empowerment looks like. It’s a photograph of All Aboard Grafton.



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