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ARCOLA, IND. (WPTA21)-People say small towns across Indiana are dying, they’ve been saying it about Arcola, Indiana for years. It might be true. Just don’t repeat it to the good people of Arcola.

In a corner shop next to the post office some longtime Arcola residents are fighting for their town and having a darn good time doing it. This is the future Arcola community thrift store, a lynch pin in the plan to rejuvenate Arcola. These volunteers are sorting donations and stocking shelves.

So it’s gonna be clothes, it’s gonna be whatnots, kitchen items and little things like that,” says Arcola Methodist pastor Nikki Marker.

This little store represents a dream that began when members of the Arcola Methodist Church decided their town was worth fighting for.

We just began dialog with a lot of the community and began to listen to what they felt about the town they lived in,” says Market

What residents said they wanted was a community center. Nothing fancy, just a place for social events, fish frys, receptions. Where residents can get to know each other a little better. That’s already happening.

Our dream is that if and when we can make any profit that money will go into a fund for the community center and it will be kind of seed money that gets that started,” says Marker.

No blueprints have been drawn up for a community center, no cost estimates. That will come later when the pride these people feel for their town begins to bear fruit. The thrift store opens next month, the new community center…no one knows. But this store is a beginning, a first step in a long journey for a community that’s decided their town deserves to hang around for awhile.

Eric Olson

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