Francisco news

Sylvia Burton - Special for The Stokes News

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did. When I was younger, Christmas was all about the presents. As I get older, I find that I’m less materialistic (thank the Lord) and more aware that it doesn’t take a lot of “stuff” to make me happy. Could this be one of life’s oldest lessons? Most likely.

Now it’s back to the regular routine once more.

The Our Communities of NW Stokes 360 Campaign is in full swing now. This campaign is to secure funding for the first two years of the Our Communities Group. It will recognize the first 360 contributors of $25 or more with a work of legacy community art. Contributions, which are tax deductible, may be made “in honor “or “in memory” of someone special. All proceeds go toward basic items such as insurance, office supplies, professional fees, filing fees, outreach and printing. No salaries are paid to board members, staff or volunteers. To learn more about the nonprofit, 360 Campaign, or Francisco School Project go to then click on DONATE. The website also contains stories, articles, projects and videos that are pertinent to our community. Visit our website. You may just catch a glimpse of a neighbor.

The Our Communities Group also needs help drafting a plan for the repurposing of the Francisco Elementary School by February 28, 2017. We have several ideas from community residents. Now it’s time to take those and any more ideas that people may have and make a plan. What ideas will work? How much will it cost? Will it benefit our community and surrounding areas? This is such a great opportunity to take the closing of our school, which was so devastating to Francisco, and make something worthwhile, something sustainable, something that not only Francisco can benefit from but also surrounding communities. This is where you come in! Our Task Force is basically two groups. We need people that have a vision for the area (our Use Champions) and we need people that can make that vision come to life (our Field Champions). The Use Champions are volunteers which are needed to help determine the viability of the different uses, costs, and service to the community. Uses such as sports, Food Pantry, early childcare, eldercare, continuing adult education, local farm products distribution just to name a few ideas have been brought to the table. Our Field Champions are volunteers who have skills in building-related and finance-related fields. We need people with experience in property management: housekeeping/cleaning, maintenance/repair, bookkeeping, scheduling, security and monitoring of property conditions. We also need people who have experience in financial matters, construction, building codes, operating costs, developing/analyzing numbers etc. If you or someone you know qualifies for ANY of these, please get in touch. Our contact person is Nora Tallmon. You can reach her at or 336-351-8230. Community involvement is crucial in order to make this happen. A successful Francisco School project would play a major part in the revitalization effort in our area, not only in Francisco but our surrounding communities as well. Please help us make our rural Stokes County a place that friends and family that have moved away from would look forward to coming back home to. Let’s help them to make it home again!

As this year closes and another begins, everyone has those New Year’s Resolutions that fade after two weeks, some maybe sooner. Some may need to quit smoking, some may need to lose weight, and those are all fine and good if you can do it. But something that requires a little less effort and can make you feel better, is just be nice. Happy New Year!

Sylvia Burton

Special for The Stokes News

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