The Mitchell County, Welcome Home video began as a collaboration between Solomon Valley Economic Development, the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce and Mitchell County Tourism. Its purpose was to be used as a recruitment tool for any organization or business looking to promote all that our wonderful county has to offer.
However, with the rapid developments of COVID-19, the release of the video was pushed back as the focus rightly went to our fellow community members, business owners, colleagues, friends, and family who now found themselves overwhelmed with the uncertainties of day to day life.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything I have ever experienced. But within the last week, I have found small pockets of joy in watching people within our communities continually overcome obstacles while making an effort to lift each other up. I've seen sidewalk chalk messages thanking healthcare workers. I've witnessed entire school districts transition to online learning portals within days. Parents sharing craft projects, homeschooling ideas and the occasional meme about an increased consumption of adult beverages due to the early release of school. There has been a deeper understanding, and a higher value placed in the message of "shop local". And this past Sunday, although we were unable to attend church due to social distancing, I had the opportunity to watch 4 sermons broadcast via Facebook Live.
And so we have decided, now is the perfect time to release the video. Although the original use has changed, for the time being, I believe the overall underlying message still rings true and can provide a little hope, encouragement, and pride for our community. Which I believe is exactly what we need in times like these.
"We are thriving and vibrant. We are genuine and proud." We ARE #MitchellCountyStrong. And together we will continue to be all of those things and more, long after the threat of COVID-19. Stay strong Mitchell County the best days are yet to come.
- Cole & Colleen Eberle