Appalachian Dream Center Continues Battle Against Poverty

By , May 14, 2008

Seven years ago, when the doors opened in Logan, WV Appalachian Dream Center, there was a sense of awe at what was accomplished so quickly. In less than one year the Appalachian Dream Center went from a dream to reality including renovating a 40,000 square foot, four-story building. Everyone involved hoped this new concept in West Virginia would be a success against the fight on poverty in a region where 30% unemployment was common. The region’s economy rises and falls with the operations of the local coal mines. It is truly a region best of times, worst of times.

From the beginning, one goal was to serve the community’s food, both hot meals on a daily basis and food boxes on a weekly basis. Through the newly-installed commercial kitchen and dining hall, 25,000 meals are served on average each year to children, widows, senior adults and single parent families at ADC. In addition, more than 20 food boxes are distributed weekly to struggling families through ADC.

An added benefit of the Dream Center is its ability to service satellite food pantries in neighboring communities. ADC delivers pallets of food and other needed products to six churches scattered throughout West Virginia. Each month a pick-up schedule is established so that these areas receive product for distribution.

ADC mobile eye clinic in partnership with Lions Club
Another vision of ADC was to establish sleep rooms to house volunteers coming to work in the region. These skilled volunteers could help remodel and repair homes for widows and single parent families. Almost immediately, volunteers began to schedule weekend or week-long trips to ADC. Over the years, one home has been built from the ground up, three homes have been re-roofed and several others have had repairs of various kinds.

ADC, under the direction of Michael Hartwell, has made tremendous strides affecting thousands living in the mountainous area. During disasters, Hartwell and ADC were the first to respond to the needs of the community. In fact, ADC serves as a staging location for WVEMA and houses the National Guard working in the region.

People waiting for ADC distribution to begin
Twice a year, ADC sponsors medical, dental and eye screenings for children going back to school. Tutoring and mentoring after-school programs for assisting children struggling with learning skills. The list of accomplishments are too numerous to enumerate in a single article. ADC has far exceeded any dream or desire for success. Since its inception, ADC has lived up to its name: A Center Fulfilling Dreams in Appalachia!

Respectfully Submitted,

David Lorency,

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