About Mingo County
Located southwest of Charleston and sharing a border with Kentucky, Mingo County, West Virginia includes cities such as Williamson and Delbarton and is steeped in a rich history of coal mining. It would be hard to find a community member who hasn’t worked in a mine or doesn’t know someone connected to coal mining. Coal mining is, in many ways, inseparable from daily life and also influences the political and economic life of these small towns. This area of the country is also famously home to the Hatfield and McCoy’s (the Hatfield’s lived in Mingo County while the McCoy’s lived in Pike County, Kentucky just across the Tug River). Mingo County is also the grounds for the West Virginia Mine Wars, the largest civil uprising since the Civil War. Today, the remote location offers some economic challenges for the small population to overcome, but it is conquering these challenges together that has created a culture of hard working, community-minded people full of pride and hospitality.
Serving in Mingo County
• Serve the community through labor-intensive construction projects.
• We recommend bringing an adult-to-student ratio of 1-to-5 for this site.
• This site is a construction site. Adults with construction experience/knowledge will be beneficial; however, we cannot guarantee the projects in a given week will lend themselves to a specific trade. We work closely with the community to help us determine the projects we do throughout the summer.
• Because of the relational and detailed nature of construction projects, students will remain at the same service sites throughout the week.
You and your youth will have the opportunity to build relationships in Mingo County while serving through completing meaningful construction project. Your youth may help with ongoing disaster and flood relief, building wheelchair ramps or doing other simple construction projects. In the evenings, enjoy the local community center, visit the neighboring community of Delbarton for line dancing and bluegrass music at the Opry House, attend a worship service at a local church, and celebrate the week at a community cookout in Delbarton.
YouthWorks has been serving in Mingo County since 2000. Delbarton hosted us until we moved to Williamson in 2008 – the two towns are separated by only a few miles, but a windy drive around a large mountain makes the distance greater. Williamson is centered on a high-traffic railroad which transports coal, and has a network of pastors who are passionate about serving in Mingo County. We’ve been warmly welcomed by many friends there, and still maintain many great relationships in Delbarton as well.