Nikki Dotson Merritt: Wayne County communities band together

December 6, 2018

When you live in small town such as Wayne, it’s true that you know most everyone, even if just as acquaintances.

And while that is true, Wayne County as a whole seems to play into this theory as a whole. Many of us know people from southern Wayne County such as Crum, Northern Wayne County such as Westmoreland and all the places in-between.

I’ve always enjoyed not only the familiarities that come with the connections in this county, but the generosity that bounds us all together as one large community.

Recently, residents not only of Spring Valley and the immediate area, but countywide have come to the aide of a local football player. Wade Smith, who is finally on the mend with his new transplant has seen an outpouring from thousands around him.

As someone who doesn’t actually know Smith, it is an honor to witness my community – the whole lot of them combined as one – come together as one and rally around this young man.

Whether they wear red, black, orange or blue people have uplifted Smith with prayers, thoughts, donations, fundraisers and general kindness. It’s a really beautiful thing to witness.

And then, there is the sweet young girl from Fort Gay who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Immediately residents of Wayne County began banding together to find some way of helping this young girl and her family.

In fact, this weekend Taylor Messer will be honored with the Cocoa 5K, with proceeds from the race going to benefit her and her family during a time when money can grow very tight.

The most amazing thing I witnessed in connection with Messer’s situation is the outpouring of support from people who were willing to match themselves to see if their biological makeup could help to heal or cure this young girl. It is simply amazing to see this movement come alive.

Then there is was the wonderful congregation located in Lavalette at the forefront of helping local Nate Harmon to raise money for expenses tied to the hopes of receiving a double lung transplant. With a dinner and outpouring of love, the church was able to spread the word and once again get Wayne County up and ready to help.

And, these are just the most recent examples of how Wayne County bands together when one of our own needs it. We have been doing this for years and years. It’s just what we do, as Nate Harmon’s wife told me a few months back – and it is.

A lot of people are very insistent about “getting out of here” and leaving Wayne behind, but I have to say as someone who for now has definite roots here – if things don’t go my way, my husband’s way or my friend’s way – Wayne County is where I want to be. Because, without even asking, I know my community is going to have my back and every back around that needs it.

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