Mildred, Kansas

About 95 miles South of Kansas City there sits a town of a population of 22 people. Mildred is a quiet shanty town where a cars drive by only to reach their next destination. The Mildred Store, however, has brought some attraction to the lonely place. This is credited to Loren and Regena Lance who bought the store around five years ago while it was in danger of closing. Now it's become a community hub for Mildred and surrounding rural communities. The music nights on the third Saturday of every month bring a vibrancy to the town. People walk in with their hats, boots, and smiles and head to the deli for a sandwich before hitting the dance floor. Not only do the Lances live and breath in operating the store, but they know what they do is for the community. The store is a welcoming place for anyone who steps in.

"You should feel like home when you walk in here, because this is your place," Lance said. "Yeah, we may own it but this belongs to the community. This is a community gathering spot." 

Photography and video by Sarai Vega

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