Sign up to receive
Located in Hancock County, McComb is a small community in a predominantly agricultural area of northwest Ohio. McComb is embarking on Community Heart & Soul® to renew community spirit, increase communication between local groups, and bring fresh ideas to conversations about economic revitalization. The project seeks to engage diverse voices, especially local youth, in creating a shared vision for the future.
Orton's first Midwestern town, McComb Heart & Soul is a partnership with the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation (FHCCF) and is a pilot for future Heart & Soul partnerships in the county. Rural Hancock County (pop. 74,782, including Findlay pop. 41,202) is in northwest Ohio, about 50 miles south of Toledo. The county is comprised of 10 villages varying in population from approximately 200 to 1,600 that lie within 17 townships.
McComb’s population, including another village and four townships that comprise the local school district, is approximately 4,000. McComb boasts of a strong civic culture and history of volunteerism. Residents are active in local churches and service clubs. They gather regularly at community dinners and share pride in their high school sports teams—the McComb Panthers. Community members celebrate McComb's largest industry—Hearthside Food Solutions, a contract maker of baked goods—with an annual summer Cookie Festival. Through Heart & Soul, community leaders hope to enhance communication and coordination between groups, promoting activities that support shared goals and values.
Like many small and rural communities, the area's local economy is changing rapidly. Once filled with locally-owned shops and eateries, downtown McComb storefronts are closing and most signature Main Street businesses are gone. McComb is boosting its infrastructure with a new water tower and waste water plant to prepare for growth resulting from the expansion of an intermodal rail terminal in the village of Hoytville, which is included in the Heart & Soul project. McComb is at a potential pivot point. These forces, though challenging, present an opportunity for the community to imagine itself as a place for all groups, regardless of age, socio-economics, or background.