Don’t Miss the Census Awareness Caravan!

Who doesn’t love a parade?

On Monday, August 24th, beginning at 6 p.m., a caravan of fire trucks, police cars, emergency services vehicles, along with a few ATVs or golf carts will proceed up and down every street in Cooleemee encouraging residents to take part in the 2020 Census. 

The 2020 Census is each resident’s opportunity to make a decade of a difference in the community. Since March, the percentage of Cooleemee residents who have participated in the US Census has lagged behind the average response rate in Davie County and the state. In an effort to increase their town’s rate, the Cooleemee Volunteer Fire Department was able to apply for the “2020 Get-Out-The Count” grant.

The NC County Coalition invited organizations who were committed to ensuring a fair and accurate Census to apply for these grants.  Most residents get their Census packets in the mail, but because Cooleemee residents receive mail by post office box only, Census workers must leave packets at every house.  Although there were flyers mailed and Census signs and banners placed around the town, there is still a need to raise awareness about how important it is to be counted.

“After learning about the Get-Out-The-Count RFP (request for proposals), we felt it was a great opportunity to rally the volunteers in the community to come together for this important event. The Cooleemee Volunteer Fire Department agreed to take the lead and we proposed a Census Caravan in Cooleemee Event,” said Parris Whitley, Complete Count Committee member.

“Everyone loves a parade and with the pandemic, Cooleemee had to cancel the Independence Day Celebration that includes the Annual Lawn Mower Parade.  We thought a caravan through the Town would bring some excitement.”

It wasn’t long after the proposal was submitted that the county was notified that the grant selection committee for NC Count’s Coalition’s GOTC Community Outreach Program approved a grant to the Cooleemee Volunteer Fire Department.

At the Census Caravan event, residents will be able to watch from their porches and receive a goody bag filled with gifts and important information about the Census and how to participate via phone and internet. Volunteers at the event will be in masks and gloves, following social distancing guidelines. 

“The census is important in our community because important decisions and allocations of resources will be determined based on the information they obtain,” said Cooleemee Fire Chief, Doug Arledge. “I’m looking forward to the Census Caravan so that I can provide information about the importance of the census to our community.”

The rain date for the event is scheduled for August 31 beginning at 6 p.m.