Appalachia

 

Appalachia ReLaunched from Hope Force on Vimeo.

Hope Force Appalachia exists to alleviate the effects of systemic and generational poverty in McDowell County, WV.  It is a place that is filled with beauty, not only in the landscape but more so in the people who call it home.  In January 2020 Hope Force International reintroduced their vision and mission for this part of America by bringing Brian Wagner back on staff to oversee the work, relationships, and partnerships in McDowell.  We are excited to announce that beginning this summer, 2021, we will be opening up the division to facilitate teams that wish to partner with Hope Force in the work here.

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As an organization we seek to build strong, lasting relationships with the people of the county, coming alongside them to help from a grassroots level in addressing the many challenges of McDowell.  It has been cited as one of the poorest places in America, suffering from extreme food insecurity, lack of infrastructure, and high unemployment because of the lack of jobs.  It is estimated that 75% of households do not have a gainfully employed individual, and 45% of kids do not live with either biological parent because of drug addiction, incarceration, or death.  All these statistics and realities pale in comparison to the grit and resiliency of the people who call McDowell home.  Carved within these mountains are hollows filled with beautiful people doing the best they can to make ends meet.  Their struggle is real, but their hope is greater.

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Hope Force Appalachia places relationships ahead of projects, emphasizing and empowering ongoing partnerships between those in the county with those who serve alongside them from outside the county.  We understand that God is already at work in the lives of the people here, and it is our intention to come alongside them to accomplish what God has planned in this wonderful part of southern West Virginia.

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This summer I will be introducing teams to four different people.  First, we will be serving Ms. Bettie by putting a new roof on her home.  You will be overwhelmed by her hospitality as she bakes, cooks, and provides for every sweet tooth you have.  Second, we will be serving Patsy, by either rebuilding her home from the ground up or by placing a mobile home on her property.  Last, but not least, I want to introduce you to Emmit and Elsie, a couple in their late 80’s who are in need of a new front porch that ensures their safety as they come and go from their home.

So pick up your hammer, and maybe a nail gun or two.  Bring your 4wheeler, a sleeping bag, and maybe some bug spray.  Bring your team.  Be a part of God’s work here in McDowell, and join the people who make this place so special! 

Wild and wonderful…West Virginia!