Why Orange City: Lauren McDonald

How long have you lived in Orange City?

25 years all together

Where did you move from?

Recently moved from Oskaloosa, Iowa

Why did you move back to Orange City?

I think moving away from Orange City opened my eyes to how amazing this community really is. No town is perfect, but I’ve never felt more peace and comfort than when I’d come back for a visit, and that feeling in addition to most of my work being here made the decision to move back an easy one.

How would you describe your lifestyle in Orange City?

Since moving back to Orange City and living here as an adult, my lifestyle has been centered around community. I’m a photographer and videographer so I’m either working with a bride and groom, a senior in high school, or a local business. I coach middle school basketball as well. I’ve always loved the opportunities that Orange City provides for residents and I feel like right now I’m taking advantage of those way more as an adult and also giving back to the community that raised me.

What has surprised you the most about living in Orange City?

Living in Orange City as an adult is much different than growing up here. Classmates have moved away and young adults are in various stages of life which can make finding community difficult. I’ve reconnected with friends from different stages of life and made an effort to go outside of my comfort zone to create a community of friends where I feel comfortable enough to be myself. There are lots of opportunities for that but sometimes it takes being vulnerable and making it a priority.

What makes Orange City unique from other places you’ve lived?

The people. There’s a strong sense of pride residents in Orange City have. So much of what makes this an amazing place to live is the people who volunteer or are making sure their gifts are being used well, whether that’s in local schools, the Tulip Festival, downtown businesses, local churches, and many other opportunities that Orange City provides.

What should others outside of Orange City or those considering a move to Orange City know?

Even though Orange City is a small town there are lots of different opportunities to use your gifts, engage in the community, and create wonderful relationships.