Have you noticed how our town is growing? Have you noticed that it’s growing for the better? Think about it. Hope Mills is a bustling town of approximately 16,000 people. We live, work and go about our daily lives in a fashion unlike most cities and towns. Other towns and cities may be nice and have fancier malls, skyscrapers and the like. That’s great. But they don’t have that hometown feel.
You know, the feeling you get when you walk into Sammio’s and know they have been a staple within the community for over 20 years. Or what about Big T’s at Hope Mills Lake? Summer isn’t summer without a Sno-Ball from there. Robin’s on Main is another one. The list goes on.
No matter how much we grow or how fast, the people of Hope Mills stop and say hello when you see them at Wal-Mart. They’ll help you change a tire if you get a flat. Offer to pay and they refuse. They’ll let you cut in line on Main Street because they know the frustration of the construction right now. They pay it forward when you are in line at one of the fast food restaurants.
They love and appreciate the U.S. Military. Our veterans are a beautiful and wonderful part of our town and have helped to create the history of Hope Mills by passing down their stories.
And our first responders are some of the best in North Carolina and, dare I say, the nation. You can ride down Main Street, or any street for that matter, and see the local police department and/or the fire department checking on various things throughout the day to ensure our safety. They’ll wave at you from the fire truck or the cruisers and give a smile of reassurance that they are on top of things.
Hope Mills comes together in times of crisis. Hurricane Matthew is a prime example. During the hurricane, many homes were flooded and many families lost so much. We came together via neighbors, first responders, churches and local nonprofits to help provide for these families.
Aesthetically, yes, we are growing. Our streets are changing. We have new businesses. We have new families. We lose terrific citizens every day also — whether to a change of location or a sad loss such as our former Mayor Al Brafford. But through it all, the citizens of Hope Mills, while encouraging economic and population growth, maintain the heart of a small town that welcomes you and invites you to church or to special events and believes in feeding and providing for those in need.
Change is inevitable. But Hope Mills is true to its word when it calls itself the place “Where Families Live and Grow.”