Impact deep learned about Breathitt County’s history and the hardships in the time of coal depletion. The team introduced the SOLOMO campaign and the importance of buying local in communities to provide a different type of sustainability rather than to rely on coal. During our time, we visited over 12 businesses in Jackson, also, contacted the Mayor Rose Wolfe, Chief of the fire department Roger Friley, Dan McIntyre President of Chamber of Commerce, and Karen Bunn, and Berea Alumni David Kash. All of these people and many more welcomed and guided us during our time.
We learned that many of the businesses were located in downtown Jackson many years ago, now there are more commercial businesses; they moved everything on the strip, where everything is located on one main street. One place the team kept visiting was Rose Bros; it is a mini department store which carried clothes, shoes, home décor, and much more. We met the owner Phyllis Rose; a respectable woman that serves your customers’ needs. She discussed the social aspect of the community affect due to the lack of money. There has been increase of theft and drug usage and has really affected the community. However, she remained hopeful that things will turn around for the better.
In result for the problems, Karen Bunn, director of United Methodist Mission and a member of the drug court team. She expressed her passion to serve the community dearly. She thought the drug court team would be an effective way for people in the area to restart their lives after drug abuse. She was interested about bringing the digital platform to each opportunity store throughout eastern Kentucky. The stores operate on clothing donations, each store sells the clothing to the community. I would definitely say that this place is a county asset because it provides service to people in need.
During our time in Jackson, our team presented the SOLOMO campaign to the city council meeting. Also, Mayor Rose signed the proclamation and put in the Jackson Times newspaper. We expressed the importance of supporting local businesses and for them to collaborate as one.
One thing my team noticed that businesses would carry business cards from people that worked in their homes. This showed the support of others, which is important to build the strong community.
Even though Breathitt County is having a difficult time economic and socially, they have strong leaders to support them throughout this difficult time.