The 2019 – 2020 service year for Main Street Martinsburg was going to be a great eventful year full of different activities and events scheduled throughout the whole year. September through January had mixers at different businesses. November and December were full of Christmas events, such as the Christmas Tree lighting and the Christmas Parade. January kicked off the year with a partnership with Healthy Berkeley for Frosty Family Fun Day. February was a planning month where Main Street Martinsburg was gearing up for the main events of the year to include the Chocolate and Book Festival, a wine festival, Fridays @ Five, and we planned to end the AmeriCorps service year with a large event called Boots & Brews. In March, Main Street Martinsburg came to a screeching stop due to COVID-19.
Like so many in the world, Main Street Martinsburg had to alter how to help the community. At this time I began to work with executive director, Randy Lewis, to keep the community informed with the daily changes in both the community and with the many different businesses in the Martinsburg Community. Randy and I both started working from home and kept in touch through emails and text. Randy would send me information to post on the website in order to help the community stayed informed, and I would then post on the Main Street Martinsburg’s website.
The postings would include information that residents could use, almost daily updates from the state, and other guidelines that the community needed since they changed so often. I also at that time switched the weekly blog of events that were occurring around town to online events that many non-profits were doing to help people while they were staying at home. These included virtual exercise classes, virtual music shows for all ages, virtually connecting with the library, and updates on any of the other non-profits in the community that were available.
In May, Main Street Martinsburg decided to help celebrate all of Berkeley County’s High School Senior Graduates. Main Street Martinsburg celebrated the seniors by partnering with some of the local businesses and the Berkeley County Board of Education and had picture posters made and hung them in all the local businesses on Queen Street. These pictures hung until the end of June.
Even though during this time I was not able to work with the many volunteers that Main Street Martinsburg has in person, I was at least able to help Randy Lewis with keeping the website updated and help with the senior posters. This allowed me to share with the community an extension of what Main Street Martinsburg was doing to help the community and with the community to stay in touch with both Main Street Martinsburg and Downtown Martinsburg. Even though many of the great events planned did not occur due to COVID-19, these small gestures, I hoped, helped some in the community.
Susan Crowell served with Preserve WV AmeriCorps during the 2019-2020 program year where she was assigned to assist the Berkeley County Historical Society and Main Street Martinsburg.
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