(Editor's note: The following is an open letter to President Barack Obama.)
Dear Mr. President:
Hi, my name is Rebekah Stanley, and I live in Mill Creek, W.Va, There are only about 800 residents in my town. This is a town where everybody knows everybody and everyone always knows what you are doing.
The people around here need your help. People need you to be supportive of the coal industry and other things such as hunting. It is these things that make us a stronger union. People need to band together in times of trial. Here in my town, they do. When we had that storm several weeks ago, we opened up a shelter and served and helped people in every way we possibly could.
Then there are such things as deaths and tragedies and accidents. We band together and pick ourselves up by our bootstraps - together.
I don't know if you know what a cakewalk is, so I think I will tell you. A cakewalk is where everyone makes a cake or some kind of food or dessert, and you pay money to get some tickets. Then you have a drawing to see who wins the cake. We have these all the time to raise money for funerals or to raise money for people who are sick or have had a house fire. There are so many things that people can overlook, but these small towns are what make modern America.
There are loggers and there are people who work in saw mills, and they need your help to stay afloat, too. My neighbors are loggers, and they never know when they will have a good week or a bad week.
Helping West Virginia is so very important. We need security in our nation. A lot of people hunt around here. It is so important. Have you ever gone hunting? It sure is a lot of fun. You sit in the middle of nowhere, and it is a good opportunity to sit and reflect and think some. A lot of West Virginians provide food for their family by hunting, and that's why it is so very important. You also establish great friendships with the people you go with or the ones you meet along the way.
My dad is a pastor, and that is just one way he has reached out to this community, by hunting with them, fishing with them and always being there for them. My dad just did a 17-year-old boy's funeral. It was a tragic death, and it was a very hard funeral to do. This boy's favorite things to do were hunt, fish, ginsanging and football. But most of all he loved hunting, and he loved camouflage. So you see it is everyone's way of life down here.
Like I said before, it was a hard funeral for my dad to do, but people trust him and love him enough to allow him to serve them. Trust is such in important thing. If you can develop that kind of trust and love with people then people will trust you, too. You should come down to West Virginia and meet the people and see what they really need and also to see the ways that the federal government can really help us.
Of course, my town, Mill Creek, is definitely not the city, but it is a quiet, caring and compassionate little town that has so very much to offer. Most of all we really love each other. Down here we enjoy having chili cook-offs, camping, hunting, fishing, mud-bogging, making apple butter, looking for ramps, but most of all just plain having good clean fun.
Then there are the industries such as the coal mines and power plants that are just so very important to our area. Without these industries and all these little towns where would America be today? People need help in their businesses, and they need help with health care and many other things.
We all need assurance that we will be able to make it. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." This verse explains it so very well. I hope you will consider these things, and please remember our town in your prayers.
Thank you for all you do, and may God bless you greatly. Please reply soon.