One man can make a difference; Jim Cotter is a great example

One man can make a difference; Jim Cotter is a great example

Ohio widower helps to transform his town.

There's no doubt in my mind that one person can spark a huge, positive movement. Jim Cotter is the perfect example of this. When Cotter's wife passed away in 2011, he vowed he would "paint the town." Literally.

Jim Cotter set out to help revitalize his hometown of Glouster, Ohio, one building at a time. Over the past few months, the small town has been totally transformed. Cotter's story is definitely inspirational, and we can all learn something from it.I can't imagine the pain of losing a spouse, especially after decades of marriage. Jim Cotter, unfortunately, had to face that very pain last year. Left a widower, the elderly Cotter decided he needed something to do to keep him busy. He wanted to do something that mattered, that made an impact.

Jim Cotter decided to paint his town. Little by little, he began tackling one building at a time. As he puts it, the town of 2,000 people had become "dilapidated." A fresh coat of paint can do wonders anesthetically, and Cotter's efforts to beautify his hometown prompted others to get involved.

Cotter started by painting one fire hydrant, but over time, he painted guard rails, small businesses and private homes. Others saw what Mr. Cotter was trying to do and decided to volunteer. Now, others are traveling from out of town, inspired to work alongside the Glouster volunteers, too. Within a matter of months, more than 50 paint projects were completed. Still, the volunteers keep coming. Media attention helps to spread the word, obviously.

With each stroke of a brush, Glouster comes alive. Residents are proud of their town again. Glouster, like so many small towns across America, has seen better times. One paint coat can't change everything, but it can energize the community and lift everyone's spirits. That is Jim Cotter's legacy.