North Carolina People, Places, and Things-September 24
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.
Of all the 100 North Carolina Counties I have or will profile this year Robeson presents my biggest challenge and opportunity. What can I learn new about a place that has been home for the majority of my adult life?
I already know the county seat is Lumberton, I know the population is around 135,000, and I know the county was carved out of Bladen County in 1787. I know that we have a great university campus called UNC Pembroke located in the county. I also know the best friends in my life either live in or have lived in Robeson County.
Some of my friends shown below.
Map of Robeson County outlined in red.
I am not saying that there isn’t something new I can’t learn about Robeson County but I have decided with today’s post to share my thoughts on Robeson County. Maybe one of my readers will learn something new or be reminded of something important.
There is no disputing some facts about Robeson County-the link below will give you all the raw data:
The data above will reveal low wages-education gaps-census facts that paints a bleak picture. That picture is not my view of Robeson County or does it include all the facts.
What the data doesn’t tell you is how much people in the county care. People in Robeson County that make less than $25,000 give on average 12.72% of their earnings to philanthropic causes. They give back with their resources.
People in Robeson County rally around their neighbors in times of trouble and cheer loudly for them when they accomplish a milestone. I have lived in New Jersey, South Carolina, and in various other regions of North Carolina. It is not a fact but an opinion based on my experiences that people in Robeson County just care. In Robeson County you don’t carry your troubles by yourself or celebrate in isolation-people care.
Robeson County giving rate to charities as a percentage of their salary is 5.76%. More affluent North Carolina counties are not so generous. Wake County is 3.39%-Mecklenburg is 3.28%-Guilford is 4.76%. When you look at how lower paid citizens in those counties give Robeson is still dominant in giving. You have to live here to see how people care about each other. Data is important but it doesn’t tell you about the emotion of caring.
You want to see all that philanthropic data for every county in the US go to the link below:
Robeson County is also North Carolina’s most racially diverse county. People in Robeson County are not perfect but I believe a majority of them understand how to cooperate and work with one another because of our diversity.
As we look around the country finding ways to care about each other and get along seem to be what most Americans want. Robeson County is not perfect but I have friends, co-workers and neighbors that constantly show me how much they care. That is a fact you might not know about Robeson County.
One other side note-Robeson County is full of opportunities that many so called experts will tell you are daunting challenges. We have I-95 and I-74 running thru the county. Those two interstates highways have high volume of vehicles traveling thru each and every day. A large number of those drivers spend the night in the county during their travels.
One specific opportunity I see is for an entrepreneur to open a craft beer enterprise within the county borders. There are 175 breweries or craft beer pubs in the state-not one in Robeson County. Look at the map below and the big blue oval. Not one craft beer establishment anywhere to be found in that area or close to it. That is a fact I love to see changed.