Volunteers join community to help make Wallace a better place
"Most people forget about Wallace," says Robin Norman, who has lived in that West Virginia community for seven years. "Cops refer to Wallace as the 'hubs of hell' because the troublemakers keep coming back here."
"There hasn't been as much troublemakers since World Vision started improving places around here."
World Vision has been improving the community of Wallace since 2006, partnering with local community churches to identify families who need help making improvements to their homes. Each year, mission teams from around the country work through World Vision to complete the various improvement projects.
Monroeville United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania has sent a mission team to work with World Vision for many years, the past four years in Wallace.
This year, some of their team worked on Robin and David Norman's house to fix a leaking roof and install a new bathtub.
Ruth Woods, a member of Monroeville United Methodist Church, enjoys coming back each year because the kids of the community remember her and she gets to improve the lives of a family. This year, it's the Normans.
She has seen the community flourish and come together to help on the projects around town.
"We have more material things than they do, but we don’t have the relationships they have," notes Woods. "People here know everybody in the community and we lack that, and that's what they are rich in."
The Normans are one of those families that help out when a community member is in need. David, Robin, and their two children, Isaiah, 8, and Makayla, 7, have been able to see the improvements that mission teams and World Vision have made throughout the years.
As the community improves, the hope is that it will begin to thrive and become a safer place for families to live. Robin won't have to worry as much about troublemakers making Wallace a dangerous place for her two children and the community's other children, too.
"It's important to work with the youth and the children," Woods says. "We want to get them into the churches and start helping and serving others. They are the life of the community."
Learn more about World Vision's mission trips in Appalachia and other parts of the U.S.