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Williamson Forward: Living Local

When Williamson Forward was formed, the mission was simple- Help move Williamson forward in new, exciting directions by showcasing our town and surrounding communities. To do this, we feature articles about local businesses, groups, events, and local residents that are making a difference in our communities. When we first started this journey, we didn’t know what to expect, or where each month would lead us. Of course, during the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives and work, just as it has yours. However, through our articles, we still see the good happening all around us. That’s part of why we love working on Williamson Forward.

Why We Love WIlliamson Forward

Recently, while talking with content writer Zoe Yates I asked her why she enjoys working with Williamson Forward.

“By far my favorite thing about working with Williamson Forward is that it makes me feel close to the people in my town. I’ve gotten to meet and talk to so many great people, and learn things that are important to them. It also makes me feel good to share their stories and help them promote their businesses or the events they’ve started for our town,” Zoe says.

After hearing this from Zoe, I thought about our 2019 summer intern, Haley Blackburn. So, I asked Haley what she enjoyed about her summer internship with us.

Haley replied, “I enjoyed working with Williamson Forward because it gave me the opportunity to see my hometown through a different lens and explore it in ways I’d never done before.”

For me, as Local Coordinator for Williamson Forward, it’s much more than just a blog or social media page. Williamson Forward is the opportunity to show everyone the great things that happen here. With all the negativity we’re exposed to daily, it’s nice to read about a young entrepreneur, an event that’s happening, or a local business that’s making a difference in our town. Although our title is, Williamson Forward, we also love showing off all of our great towns in Mingo County. There’s so many wonderful things happening here, it’s a privilege to share these things with you.

We See You

While we realize the importance of staying informed on what’s going on around us, and being up-to-date on the latest news, we also know it’s important to many of you to take a break and enjoy some positive news. It’s times like these when we need one another, even when we’re physically apart. We look for those moments of joy and times we can celebrate one another's accomplishments.

While talking with Zoe and Haley, we discussed how much positivity we’re seeing, despite that challenges our residents are facing during the pandemic. So much has changed, but we see you pulling together, supporting local businesses, and lending a helping hand wherever you can.

Zoe says, “ I think one positive for me is seeing how everyone has really come together. We can’t be together as a community right now, but more than ever I’ve seen that none of us are alone.”

Haley follows up with, “Appalachia has a way of preserving like no other place I can think of. With our hospitality, ingenuity, and hard work, we’re bound to make it through this just like we’ve made it through everything else: together.”

(See why I’m so proud of these two?)

We love our hometowns and we’re excited to show others how great you are! For us, living local isn’t just something we say, it’s something we do. We appreciate your support, not just of Williamson Forward, but the support you show one another. Great things are happening here, and we’re thrilled to be a small part of it.

Chris Dotson, Local Coordinator

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