Martinsville on the Move, a group of area residents organized in 2009 to bring renewed pride to the community and revitalize the community while building on its current assets, was awarded the Governor’s Hometown Award on Nov. 29 at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, Ill.
Selection of the award winners was based on six population divisions and a variety of factors including local need, volunteer participation, use of resources and the results achieved. The project categories, in each population division, included services and mentorship, beautification and sustainability, parks and recreation, memorials and monuments, historic preservation and a general category. In addition to being named the winner of the general category, Martinsville on the Move was also named the overall winner of its population division, giving it “Cup Finalist” recognition. More than 115 volunteers donated more than 2,900 volunteer hours in 2011 for Martinsville on the Move activities.
When Martinsville on the Move was organized it was recognized that local government and businesses could not be a continual source of income for community projects the group wanted to undertake. A stand-alone, sustaining source of income was needed. That source was the opening of the Changing Hands Resale Shoppe. The Shoppe opened in October 2009 and has provided a sustainable source of funds, allowing the group to complete a variety of projects and to make monetary donations to other community organizations in support of its efforts. All merchandise for the store is donated by area residents and every hour of labor is donated by more than 50 volunteers.
In addition to organizing and operating the Changing Hands Resale Shoppe, the group has organized and completed other projects including: an education support committee; downtown beautification; storefront improvements; promotion of local foods; festivals; scholarships; communications tools and more.
The judges for the award especially applauded the unique model of creating a sustainable revenue source, the Changing Hands Resale Shoppe. They recognized that not only does Changing Hands provide revenue for community projects but it also provides a retail outlet for clothing and household items in the community at affordable prices.
Martinsville on the Move meets at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month in the Community Center basement.