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This week we’re featuring the town of Harrington, Washington (pop. 424) and sharing some of the stories of rural revival happening here! Today’s guest blog post is from Maddie Peters, a super volunteer who recently moved to Harrington. When she’s not working her day job, you’ll often find Maddie volunteering as an EMT or lending a helping hand at Hotel Lincoln, The Electric Hotel and the ongoing restoration there. Welcome, Maddie!

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Hello all,

My name is Maddie, and I am currently living in the great up-and-coming town of Harrington, Washington. I grew up in a small town in Montana about the same size.

I was asked, “Why am I involved in organizations and activities around town?” Well, to start, I’ve always lived in a small town and I’ve noticed the people that are raised in a small town have a different way about them, they are a special type of people. I love how small towns can come together and support different causes that need a group of people to come together. However, I have learned it takes a lot to keep a small town running. It takes community members coming together for meetings and work parties while all working on their own individual projects to improve the town. It takes support from the whole community and helping hands from individuals in their free time.

Being able to grow a small town back to a place where people want to raise a family or come and visit for a weekend is another challenge in itself. Why would someone want to visit a town of 400 people with little to nothing to do, that they have never heard of? Because not only is it so much better than big city living, but it's hard to show someone the sense of community and different way of life until they come and experience that for themselves. I know growing up in a small town and a farming community has helped me exponentially in life, from work ethic to common knowledge and motivation to go out and accomplish something I want to achieve. I think all kids should have to spend a summer working harvest or stretching miles of fence. It seems to give people a different level of respect for the things that you have to work for in life. I want my children in the future to know the value of hard work and a handshake...I want them to grow up in a community like this.

To get back to the question, this is why I volunteer and give my extra time to a town like this. I don't want future generations to miss out on a way of life that seems to be disappearing a little at a time. I want people to be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of Harrington, and also the friendly conversations that happen anywhere you go for generations to come...I am currently sitting on my porch writing this and have had people stop by to say hi, and many other honks and waves as all the harvest trucks are driving back and forth from the field to the elevator this time of year. I want people to continue to enjoy all of the things that our community has to offer, and more to come. I want people who drive though Harrington to stop to check it out and be excited to come back again. I hope if any of you drive through Harrington, you get to stop and check it out and maybe fall in love with this small town, too.

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