Before I begin this week’s article, I’d like to take a moment to offer our prayers and support to the courageous people of Ukraine. Democracy is a fragile thing that must be cherished and defended. As a former intelligence analyst in the Army, I know how hard our men and women in uniform fight every day to protect our democracy. Freedom isn’t free and it takes all our effort to maintain. They are fighting for theirs. So, while we may experience higher gas prices due to what is happening far away, or some other inconvenience, the very fact that we live in a country where no one dare question our sovereignty is an amazing gift. Keep the Ukrainians in your prayers and hope that their democracy holds fast.
The intent of our Small Business Breakfast Club (SBBC) is to make connections within our communities that provide useful information to businesses and organizations. I want to share with you a connection
that came out of our first meeting in Hundred that is making me so hopeful for our area, and quite honestly, for our country.

Councilwoman Johanna LeMasters of Hundred’s VFW, spoke of a teacher at Long Drain School who was working with the children and families of Littleton. The teacher Johanna spoke of is Dawn Wells, speech specialist. I was so excited hearing about what Ms. Wells was doing with the youngsters that I had to give her a call. We spoke in the evening for nearly an hour and the excitement in her voice was inspiring. Ms. Wells has a vision of revitalizing the Littleton area with the help of the children she teaches. Why is this of interests to the Chamber, you might be thinking? Well, Ms. Wells wants to help her students learn self-sufficiency through creating their own small businesses! I personally can’t thinkof a better project for the Chamber to support.

Just to share a bit of the vision that Ms. Wells has for her students in her after school program are by way of offering ballet classes, piano lessons, and guitar lessons to feed their artistic souls. The best part of all is that she already has a lineup of volunteers ready to help. She also envisions teaching them how
to operate a restaurant or food service, and to create a community garden where they can manage the resulting produce. There is a plan to offer a laundry service as well. Students will learn self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship, and the value of work. All the skills needed to be the best that they can be. The one area where more volunteers are needed is in helping students with reading. So, if you are a retiree with a bit of time on your hands, the need is there.

When the children asked what Littleton once was like, she tells them the history of the booming town of Littleton. She tells them of the rich history when the neighborhood thrived. They wonder why it can’t be that now? Ms. Wells assures them that it can be so again, and that they have the power to make it
happen. They believe her, and so do we. Ms. Wells has created a non-profit organization called “Once Upon a Town”. The Chamber has partnered with her to help bring her vision to fruition. Be sure to stop by her table during the upcoming Ramp Festival on April 9 th in Shortline for more information.

Please join us at our next Small Business Breakfast Club in Shortline at the Valley Diner on March 10th. Meetings start at 9:00am and is available on Zoom.