Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What I Wish my Community Had

Yesterday I had the honor of doing a small phone interview about the City of Marble Hill, Missouri.  Another Missouri lover is planning to write a book/ road trip series and is looking to include my hometown.   It was an honor to have the opportunity to speak to him and brag on my community....I truly LOVE my community! 

On the same not it brought heartache thinking of all the things that we use to have, but no longer do.  Our community has been bought up, closed down, and basically destroyed for one reason or another.  I am almost sick of hearing that it is the economy, it is because we are isolated, it is this person's fault or it is because of politics.....in reality it is all of it. 

Last week as I drove through town late of night we passed a very young (maybe 12) year old girl walking the streets.  The person in the car with me said, why would they be in the streets this late....my response, what else is there to do, we have nothing here in anymore.

While I am often very positive about what we do have and we do have some fabulous things, those things either close up, shut down, or are not available to our youth and families in the hours we need it.  This could be part of the reason our area struggles with such a high crime and teen pregnancy rate.

I began yesterday making a mental note of all the things that I use to take advantage of when living in a bigger town, things that were always available, and I believed helped me grow strong bonds with my kids and community.

Recreation Center - The family who plays together stays together, we have no place during the winter available for our youth and families to go.  If only we had a place with indoor basketball courts, ping pong tables, movie nights, or really just anything that families could do together.....I would donate the things I do have to help with this if there was anyone willing to do it, but as always when the topic is brought up it is shut down fast.  

A coffee shop - people really think I am just a coffee snob, well I am, but there is another reason our community needs a coffee shop.....a great deal of world problems are solved with a coffee shop full of older wiser men handing out advice.  As a young child I remember sitting at Woodland Steakhouse with my grandpa while my grandma went to the eye doctor, Grandpa would talk about crops, price of hogs, and church news.  These older men would dish out advice to younger generations and often helped make our community stronger.

A children's museum - We have a FABULOUS Dinosaur Museum, however, the hours are limited and they are often closed when we really need them to be open.  I wish so often the museum could be open for after school projects, family night, and snow days....giving our community a place to go.

A better communication system - now you are thinking police or 911 system, I am talking about a way to spread the news of what is important....events, organizations, and things that are available for families.  Facebook is a powerful tool, but often people don't get the word out to those who actually spread it.

Playgroups, Play-dates, and Kid's Hour - I often question how much it cost for a place to host art hour, romp n stomp, or something that would help young families.  I use to pay $2 a day for my kids to go to romp n stomp....that was the best $2 I spent.  Why couldn't a local church or community building host something like that, of course it wouldn't make you tons of money, but it would be giving back to your community.      

Less Police MORE Advocates - Last week as I pulled into the McDonalds to get my coffee there was 4 BoCo Sheriff Cars and 1 Marble Hill Police Cars at the gas station....Coincidence?  Maybe, but it made me wonder why we have so many law officials on duty at once....well because obviously we have so much crime.   We have crime, because we are poor, we have nothing to do, and often our youth is bored.   I feel like if our community took a positive roll, invested in our future, we may still need the same amount of police on duty, but we may have less crime.

Last but not least - a way to help people work together.  We have about 30 clubs/ organizations that put on fabulous programs.  We have a Park board, a Fair board, an Optimist, a Caring Council, a Library Board, a Chamber, and the list goes on...........rarely do those boards actually talk to each other, or work together...............I am not about dictatorships, but I often wonder if there was 1 organization with subbranches, would our work be more effective and our communication be better.

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