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Building a Vibrant Community

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” COVID-19 has hit Elkins and every other community in the United States. How Elkins and Randolph County recovers is up to us!

The weather is nice and people are tired of staying at home. Whether locals or out of towners, people want to get out. The Elkins Welcome Center indicates an increase in the number of people reviewing their website. Quint Studer recently discussed the rediscovery of Rural America. People are looking for driving trips where they do not have to rely on airlines and other public transportation.

Elkins can be the vibrant community that readjusts and reopens while meeting the needs of locals and tourists. How do we take positive action?

Every day more is learned about COVID-19. Many guidelines, while not required, are suggested best practices. People are looking for a safe environment. We must realize everyone has a different comfort level, health risk, and knowledge level about COVID-19. Be understanding and patient as we move toward common ground.

As a community, make Elkins/Randolph County presentable.Take pride in our appearance. Improve the appearance of property by cutting grass, pulling weeds in the sidewalk, cleaning windows and overall freshening up. Look at your “curb appeal” by adding flower-pots and trimming trees. Encourage others to be pro-active and compliment them on the actions they have taken.Pick up trash when and where you can. Several individuals pick up trash as they walk the Elkins streets. Trash is not just the responsibility of the City and County.

Also, a vibrant community requires a vibrant local economy. Whenever possible, shop local! If a local business does not have exactly what you need, talk to them. Chances are they can order the item just as quickly and conveniently as you can. Plus, they are there to stand behind their products. If something is not right, you can see and talk to an actual person. Dollars spent locally stay locally. Local businesses provide local jobs and contribute to local charities. Local businesses spend their dollars locally which creates more jobs.

Remember, whatever you believe about the future of Elkins – whether positive or negative – you’re right! Let’s hope your belief is positive. Creating a vibrant community is intentional, it does not just happen. Attitudes are contagious – what’s yours?

Concepts from the book, “Building a Vibrant Community,” by Quint Studer. Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of the book available to those who are interested.

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