Deb Brown and I will be speaking at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Dallas on September 17, 2023. As co-founders of SaveYour.Town, Deb and I have dedicated ourselves to helping rural communities thrive. We understand the challenges and unique opportunities that rural community builders and entrepreneurs face, and we strive to […]

Guest post by Deb Brown

Change can be activated in a society
by way of story.”

from the book Spirit Run

I just returned from Jackson County, Kentucky and the small town of Grayson, Kentucky. There’s a natural beauty in those mountains and winding roads. The people were kind, helpful and want to see their towns thrive. They shared stories of their history, the people and their dreams with me. Some had stories of failure and are working on raising up out of that despair much like the phoenix did. When I’m on an Idea Friendly onsite visit, I look for ways people can take small steps, to volunteer in a small way. I also look for the stories of locals already serving their well-loved communities. The power of story has the ability to change the outcome of a town.

Jackson County

This is a story to be told, often.

I met a couple in Sand Gap, KY who bought The Whistle Stop Express and there was a large building that came with it. They’ve turned it into a community center and the folks in town are welcome there with open arms. There are meals for the hungry, hugs for all, opportunities to belong to a community. There’s been a problem with drugs in town, and several residents are no longer the people they were before drugs ruined thei

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