#RFIFellows in Action: Pierce County

By Judith Grey and Marie Meis

We have seen a lot of our projects moving forward over the last couple weeks! We know our work is important because we are giving the communities within the county a jumpstart, if not a booster, to keep on moving forward in the right direction of improving themselves and taking advantages of their opportunities. 

Since we last wrote, we have put on a community event celebrating the opening of Osmond’s new pool. It was a heartwarming experience to see a pool celebration turn into an elaborate event with various moving parts. The newscast from US92, a local food truck and an ice cream truck offered their services to add to the event. It was a much needed event for the community of Osmond, and it was nice to see the positive interaction of a community that we get to be a part of. 

We have also been working on creating community videos and recently posted the community video for Osmond. The stats were astounding to see that the community responses on Facebook with 7.7k views, 99 shares, and 11k people reached! In addition, there have been 63 new likes since we were placed in Pierce County. It was moving to see the responses from the community on Facebook that the town of Osmond was represented well. 

Additionally, we have completed flyers to encourage people in the county to get on shopwhereilive.com and also to claim their domain on google maps. These projects help our business owners have the opportunity to have a worldwide customer base and be accessible to those who travel through the community or newcomers to the community. 

“Our projects are allowing me to see how much a rural area has to offer and why each community in Pierce County is so valuable. I’ve realized how much I can do with simple actions and how much collaborative work can help a project. Having a focus on assets rather than deficits has been one of the biggest takeaways for me not for just future projects, but the way I look at my life.”

Marie Meis

We also have had the opportunity to sit in different Chamber and City Council meetings to gain a perspective on what each community is going through and how our work is impacting them. These meetings enabled us to get to know the personality of each town so that we can efficiently cater to them. 

The variety of work that we were given truly gave us the flexibility of switching to different projects when we needed a mental break. We are able to switch from one task to focus on another which allows us to be motivated to do more projects. A bonus is that we get to see the real impact of what we’re doing each day. Our videos, events, posters, and everything else are being shown across the county and starting real conversations.

Through it all, we have learned about how rural communities operate and stay alive with strong communication because it is noticeable how they need each other to function. In a rural community, everyone knows each other and that influences the great or not so great results in how they stay alive. We have learned the weight and significance of how one person can trigger great things, and how important it is to utilize each other as a soundboard to reach the goal that we’re all aiming for.

“Pierce County is looking for change. We are making an impact because they have been encouraging and accepting the opportunities we put before them.”

Judith Grey