This past summer, a group consisting of representatives of different organizations and businesses began meeting to discuss how we could deal with some of the current challenges in Centerville.
Initially our focus was the square and the number of vacant buildings there. As the meetings evolved, we broadened our focus to include other areas of town and an issue that is as tough as any to remedy — our community’s self-esteem.
We’ve had our share of negative publicity. However, the entire group felt so good about the number of people working to improve Centerville and Appanoose County. So much of the work was being done without any fanfare. One thing we are not good at is bragging.
So the Community Improvement Coalition was born. The group is a hub with spokes that includes the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation, City of Centerville, Indian Hills Community College, the BOB Group, Appanoose County Wellness Coalition, Appanoose Historical Society, Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce. Other groups have been invited to join as well.
Our mission is to encourage and coordinate positive efforts. Everyone can get involved in this initiative. The idea is that we are challenging every able-bodied person to contribute to the success of Appanoose County. We meet every Friday (almost) at the Chamber office at 9:30 a.m. The meeting is open to anyone.
As part of our work, The Community Improvement Coalition and the Daily Iowegian are recognizing people, organizations or businesses in the community that are making a difference by volunteering or investing in Centerville. We’re calling it Positively CommUNITY. Projects don’t have to be big or expensive — little things add up when we are all working together toward a better Centerville. If you know someone who has made a positive contribution to the betterment of the community, big or small, please contact the Chamber at 437-4102. Better yet, take a picture and text it to 641-895-1148. Just explain what is going on in the picture, and we will be glad to share it.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Centerville Chamber of Commerce, 128 N. 12th St., Centerville, 641-437-4102, www.centervilleia.com.