The following was taken from The Register-Herald online. The whole article can be found here.

By Amelia A. Pridemore  March 6, 2010

Cleanup begins this week at Stotesbury historical sites

Local church representatives and a group of volunteers will begin restoration work on three historic Raleigh County locations this week.

Deacon Tom Cox of Stotesbury Community Church said a group that includes 15 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers will be in the community from Monday through Thursday, working to restore the sites. They include a cemetery behind the destroyed St. John’s Baptist Church, New Salem Church and the Mark Twain School.

Cox said the group of VISTA volunteers include students from locations such as Illinois and Columbia University.Work will include resetting the cemetery’s gravestones, clearing brush and removing debris, Cox said. This particular effort has been in the works about a month. He said Dewey Cox, board president for the Mullens-based Rural Appalachian Improvement League, told him VISTA volunteers were coming and asked if he was interested in having some come to Stotesbury.

Altogether, 55 volunteers will participate in the Stotesbury cleanups, as well as projects in the Mullens area, Cox said. These include cleaning up streams still damaged from previous floods.


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In September 2010 RAIL volunteers began initiating a plan to invigorate Community and Economic development in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. In the past ten years RAIL has studied the needs of families in Appalachia as well as available resources and other accessible opportunities that can help their community become sustainable. Gaining a better understanding of what is needed has culminated in the Coal Heritage Trail of New Commerce Action Plan. Those implementing this plan, an organization at the grass roots, well understand their work cannot be successful without the help of volunteers and generous resources providers. Anyone interested in participating in this bold undertaking of helping families living in the Appalachian coalfields improve their economic and social conditions may contact for more information. RAIL gets its name from Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc. and can best be described as Volunteers coming together as an organization to find ways to best benefit their community

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