Wilmington, Ohio became well-known amid “the great recession” as one of the hardest-hit areas in the economic crisis.
After the town’s largest employer, a German shipping company called DHL, left in 2008, over 8,000 jobs disappeared in a town of roughly 12,000 people.
While the rest of the news media demonstrated pity for the community, Glenn Beck visited Wilmington in 2010 and said the opposite. As he saw it, we should all learn from how the town banded to together and turned to faith, hope, and charity in the hardest of times.
“The media focused on the difficulty. They missed the hope,” Beck said on his television program Thursday.
So three years later, how is Wilmington faring?
Watch the clip below for a complete segment on the town’s development:
The unemployment rate in Clinton County was above 14% at the time of Glenn Beck’s visit in 2010. Today, it’s come down to 9.5%. Mayor Randy Riley said he is hopeful that number will continue to drop as Wilmington adds more jobs in the coming months.
But though the city appears to be recovering, the charities and prayer houses — locations where prayer occurs 24 hours a day, seven days a week — haven’t ceased in their efforts.
Resident Dennis Crouse described the impact the latter has had on his life: “I prayed, but I didn’t realize that praying in a group like that, and praying with people you didn’t even know has an impact on you that you carry every day … Praying for others and praying with others brings a fullness to your life that you couldn’t have otherwise.”
Allen Willoughby of Sugartree Ministries said they’re still serving roughly the same amount of people in the soup kitchens, but there is a fluidity as people get back on their feet and new faces replace the old.
“We’re doing 1,200 hot meals a week and giving out groceries weekly to 200 families. They’re not giving up. They’re great warriors,” he said.
In the coming year, Willoughby said he just hopes that “more jobs rise up” because people are “ready to get on with their lives.”
He added that “donations are down a little,” but that they are still incredibly blessed. Those who wish to donate can get all the information they need by clicking here.
Glenn Beck told his audience not to “forget the people of Wilmington,” and led by example. At the end of his broadcast Thursday, Beck donated $25,000 from his charity Mercury One to be distributed among the church, soup kitchen, and prayer house.
“Through the toughest of times, good is possible, but it’s also important that the test of strength continue because, still, (there are) storms on the horizon,” he concluded.
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