Donnie McCloud loves New Melle and the surrounding community. He’s been here 10 years, and at just 15 years old, has already made a significant impact on his community. In January of this year, Donnie had an idea to launch a special group on Facebook with the intention of bringing people in the community together.
Inspired by a similar group in Wentzville, and with the help of few local adults, the “New Melle 411” group was born.
The purpose of the page is to keep people informed and connected to others who live in the general New Melle area. The posts cover a wide range of topics, like someone looking for a lost pet, or a recommendation for a reliable plumber, or news about local events and businesses, etc.
But Donnie has a particular interest in EMS calls that people might want to be aware of, such as an accident blocking a local highway, or a series of brush fires like those that happened a couple weeks ago. Donnie plans to be a paramedic someday, and potentially a volunteer firefighter. So with the encouragement of New Melle Fire Chief Dan Casey, Donnie uses the New Melle 411 page to help inform the community of EMS related activities as they are happening, if possible, or as soon thereafter that his availability allows. He is, after all, still a student and will be working part time at the new White Wolf Pub and Grill in New Melle when it opens.
Membership in the New Melle 411 Facebook group recently topped 800 people and continues to grow. Because it is a private group, people must ask to join, and posts cannot easily be shared outside the group. There are also some basic ground rules for participating, such as: Be kind and courteous; Respect everyone’s privacy; No hate speech or bullying; and No promotions or spam. Page administrators, besides Donnie, include Erin Cox, Julia Welge and Richard West.
In addition to the New Melle 411 page, Donnie also created a private page this past summer for the residents of his subdivision. As a result, people have gotten better acquainted with each other and gathered for a neighborhood Halloween party this year.
Donnie said it’s really been interesting to see the how the New Melle 411 page has grown and evolved so far. “I was literally just sitting on the couch one day when the idea popped in my head, and since then, it’s just exploded.”
If you would like to become a group member, search for “New Melle 411” on Facebook and ask to join. If you are already a member, recommend that your local friends and neighbors also join.
When you see Donnie at the White Wolf Pub and Grill, introduce yourself. He’s very outgoing and loves meeting new people. (And someday, when he makes some other notable contribution to society, you’ll be able to say, “I knew him when....”)