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Street Talk

Water Valley Main Street Needs Your Help

By Alexe van Beuren

I have a confession. I’m writing this nearly a week before deadline, since I’m going on vacation over the holiday weekend. Who knows what will have happened in Water Valley by the time I get back? Hopefully, the Pep Rally will have gone well. And even if it didn’t, we’re having another one in September– right before Homecoming.

Since I have no current street talk to spill, I’m going to go ahead and get something that’s been on my mind.

Water Valley is blessed with a good many people who work hard for this town. Parents in the Booster Club. The gentlemen– and ladies!– of Rotary and Lions Club. The people who keep things running at the churches.

But despite all the people already working, there’s a good more left to be done. And I sometimes run into a community perception that our organization is an endless reservoir of money and volunteers, just waiting for someone to point them in a direction.

Direction isn’t really the problem at WMVSA (and I suspect at these other organizations too). We’ve got projects aplenty: banners. Better BackStreet. The second pep rally; October 25th, when we hope to show a movie downtown; the Farmers Market; grant-writing; website improvement; an expanded Christmas Tree Lighting celebration.

And like most projects that rely on volunteers, we call on the same people (many of whom are involved in Chamber and Rotary and Garden Club as well) over and over and over again. I am the sole paid employee of the WVMSA, and so we rely heavily on our unpaid members (who are full time workers, parents, and spouses, just like everyone) to accomplish most everything.

So if you have a great idea for Water Valley, please share– and then be willing to put some hours behind it even if you’re really, really busy.

I am not trying to discourage people from sharing their ideas, because the best events and projects we’ve done start out as one person’s idea and then people got involved, the idea was expanded and refined and worked out, and then we ended up with something really special.

Founder’s Day began with Bill Norris asking us to help the City plan a Water Valley birthday party.

The Farmers Market began with Justin McGuirk collecting names.

Better BackStreet evolved when WVMSA got wind of a grant and sat down to brainstorm.

But we need more than ideas. We need man power. (And money. Always money. What else is new in the world of non-profits?).

So this Labor Day week, I am calling y’all to make a commit to LABOR. Even if you are busy, even if your kids are in school, even if you’re not sure what you have to contribute.

By the time you read this, I’ll be back from vacation. Come by the office; call; email.

We can use your help.

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