GROWING UP IN GARY
My father first volunteered with the Appalachia Service Project in 1989, and encouraged me to follow suit the next summer. The organization helped provide housing assistance to those in need across central Appalachia, namely: West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.
Eventually, my father took a fulltime position working with McDowell Ministries in McDowell County, West Virginia; one of the poorest counties in the nation. Wrecked by desperate poverty and long past its prime, McDowell County was home to several economically depressed towns like: Welch, Ieager and a little village called Gary. During this time, my father introduced me to the remarkable Rose family, which consisted of ten children.
The family was struggling to do as well as they could, under the shadow of a bleak economy. In 1996, they kindly opened their doors to me and allowed me to document them over a span of a couple of years.
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