April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Main Street of HOPE seeks town improvements

By By Brittany [email protected]

"What is Main Street of HOPE? What is its purpose? What is your job as Executive Director? Aren't you a little young for this role?"

These are questions which I have been asked since chosen as the Executive Director of Main Street of HOPE. Before fully investing myself into the town of Hope's future, I had the very same questions. I discovered my passion for our community could be instrumental for its future.

Our mission statement is self-explanatory: "Main Street of HOPE is a community organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Hope Town Square through historic preservation and beautification, promoting local businesses while attracting new businesses, creating new housing opportunities and becoming a destination for tourism."

Hope is a charming town and I may be a bit biased, but it is definitely my favorite town. I have traveled to many small towns across Indiana and nothing can quite compare. No other town has yellow telephone poles leading to your destination or a bandstand like the one we have our park. When I get hungry at work, without hesitation I always go to one of our local restaurants, whether its El Jefe, Swiss Maid, The Corner Café, or WILLow LeaVes of HOPE. There really is no other place that can make you feel right at home like these family owned restaurants can. For these reasons and many others, I find the name "Hope" to be most appropriate

Indiana Main Street is about recognizing towns rich in history, key locations for tourism, and have natural beauty and charm, as well as room for improvement. I just referred to Indiana Main Street and you may be thinking, "Hang on, I thought it was called Main Street of HOPE?" On the state level, Indiana Main Street is housed under the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, also known as OCRA. The purpose of Indiana Main Street, according to IN.gov: "Indiana Main Street (IMS) was established to provide economic revitalization and professional assistance to participating communities. IMS encourages the revitalization and restoration of downtown areas in Indiana cities and towns." This approach is taken on a local level by filling out an application, meeting the qualifications, being chosen as an Indiana Main Street program, choosing a Board of Directors, an Executive Director, and taking a Four Point approach.

Our Four Point approach will be led by committees including organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. I am thrilled to report we have dedicated and passionate community members serving as committee chairs and members. Our Board of Directors take time out of their busy personal and professional schedules to meet, on the average, once a month to discuss ways to enhance the Hope Town Square. Discussions include various things including but not limited to: grants, projects, events, social media, and ways to involve others in the mission and purpose of Main Street of HOPE. I am very grateful to work with people who share a common love for our small, charming town.

As executive director, my role is to coordinate and support the overall mission statement of Main Street of HOPE. This includes reporting to the Board of Directors and working hand-in hand with them. I prepare agendas and documents, organize meetings, manage social media pages and perform administrative aspects of Main Street of HOPE. I always do my best to convey a positive image for our organization. As a 19-year-old, I feel this role is a dream come true. I get to share my love for Hope, Indiana with people of all ages and backgrounds. I get to discuss ways to promote our town by enhancing what we already have while discussing how we can improve. Most importantly, and perhaps this is an unintentional amplification of my age, but I have the opportunity to make a difference for future generations. It is important for my peers to recognize the importance of getting involved in local community organizations. We are the future of this town, the future of agriculture, the future of government, the future of local businesses, and the future of revitalizing and sharing what Hope has to offer with others.

I am so excited for the unfolding story of Main Street of HOPE and honored to be the Executive Director. I am a firm believer in the people of our community and know great things are in store for the future of Hope, Indiana and more specifically the Historic Hope Town Square.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles about what has been happening with Main Street of HOPE. If you have social media, make sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @mainstreetHOPE. If you have any questions about this organization, please email Brittany Young at [email protected]. Also check out our website at http://townofhope.org/indiana-main-street/[[In-content Ad]]