The town of Martinsburg (population 304) and the surrounding community is one of the best places in America because once it is your home it is always your home. I have seen time and again that when someone is in need the amazing people of my hometown pull together in any way they can. To them it doesn’t matter if you came to the community in the last year, if you have been there for three generations, or if you moved away twenty years ago. At the end of the day, this is community, this is family — this is what each person would do for any of their neighbors.
Here are some stories that show what a nice place Martinsburg is:
1. In the fall of 2016, my dad’s recently built machine shed burned to the ground. The volunteer fire departments from four surrounding communities came to help control the blaze. Local farmers and fertilizer dealers shut down their daily work to help haul water to contribute to controlling the fire.
2. When I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder in August of 2016 that completely paralyzed me, my hometown (where I haven’t lived since 2000) organized a chicken dinner fundraiser to help out me and my family. The Catholic Church, Community Church, and churches from surrounding towns worked together to prep and staff the dinner. Over 800 pounds of potatoes were peeled in less than two hours, people from my high school graduating class donated baskets, and people from the community donated quilts, pedal tractors, and dinner gift cards for raffle. And at the end of the day they handed the proceeds to our family to help with medical costs.
3. When a local farmer passed away unexpectedly, the farmers in the community took time away from their own harvest to harvest his fields for his family. They also finished feeding his last group of cattle.
4. This same community had an impromptu barbecue for a family whose son passed away in another state. In one afternoon, they raised over $3,000 to help with funeral expenses.
5. Make no mistake — there are plenty of good times, too! The town gathers together for the annual Town Picnic (including frog races!), Oktoberfest, and Cruise Night, as well as many other community events.