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Patch Launches 'Dispatches: The Changing American Dream'

Douglasville Patch and nearly 900 other Patches are embarking on an enduring mission to bring you the stories that reveal the realities of life today as we strive to achieve the American Dream.

Today Patch is giving a name to something at the core of who we are: “Dispatches: The Changing American Dream.”

Douglasville Patch and nearly 900 other Patches in 22 states and the District of Columbia are embarking not on a short-term series, but on an enduring mission. That mission, Dispatches, is to bring you the stories that reveal how all of us are dealing with the realities of life in America today as we strive to achieve the American Dream.

We don't think there's one American Dream, but a multitude of American Dreams. We hope you’ll share your vision of the American Dream, the ways it is changing, and how you and your neighbors are adapting. Just email douglasville@patch.com or comment on this article.

The local aspect is the key to Dispatches and the reason this effort is something that sets Patch apart from all the other media attempts to address such big issues as unemployment, health care, debt, bank failures, taxes, housing and education.

The goal is not to push a national perspective. Instead, we are going to tell the ever-changing American epic of how we survive and thrive one story at a time. Each Dispatches story for Douglasville Patch will be a piece in the local puzzle.

The 42 Patches in Georgia will develop an even bigger picture of life across our swath of the state. And with the Dispatches from more than 850 Patches, a national mosaic of American life will take shape.

You’ll see the good and the bad, the hopeful and the desperate, people overcoming adversity and finding opportunity amid the crises we hear about every day, and people struggling just to make it to the next day.

You’ve seen such stories already on Douglasville Patch. Some examples:

  • Earlier today we featured the article Demolition by Neglect, detailing the story of Douglasville's old cotton mill, probably the most valuable historical asset in the city. The story connects the importance of the mill the past century with how economic times may be still affecting it today.
  • After declared bankruptcy and closed its doors at Arbor Place Mall, we remembered that we already had a great family-owned bookstore that has been here for 25 years, Douglasville Books.
  • It might be tougher today to get donations for a new library, like Douglas County's soon-to-open Dog River Library, but that hasn't stopped a community activist like Wes Tallon from organizing an effort to collect donations of books from local residents. So far, more than 3,000 new books have been donated, "thanks to the generosity of citizens of Douglas County," he said.
  • Members of the community and community leaders have decided to confront the county's foreclosure crisis by being proactive. Douglas County Commissioner Ann Jones Guider, District 4, recently attended a seminar at Harvard University, in hopes of finding solutions to the local foreclosure crisis.

Expect many more ahead, covering every aspect of our daily lives because every aspect of daily life helps build our dreams. The stories won’t come on a regular schedule, but they’ll always have the Dispatches label so you can find them easily on our site. And look for #Dispatches on Twitter to see the national story grow, Patch by Patch.

You’ll often see stories in the media that attempt to set our lives into historical context. The worst economy since the Great Depression. The longest war in American history. The biggest budget deficit. The most important election.

With Dispatches, we’re leaving history to the historians and focusing on the here, in your hometown, and now, in 2011 and beyond. I hope you’ll take what should be a fascinating and meaningful journey with us in the months to come.

Sarah E. Anderson August 15, 2011 at 07:30 PM
This is going to be pretty exciting! Can't wait to see more stories...

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