Officials with several coal companies in our region are backing a new effort to help provide for children in Eastern Kentucky.
Coal for Kids launched a couple of months ago.
Coal miners from each participating company take about 5 to 10 dollars out of each paycheck and give it to coal for kids. One delivery to Leslie County will help about 400 kids in that school district.
Coal for Kids works with school resource centers to find out the needs in each school. Members take the money collected each month and shop for anything from clothing and food, to mattresses and eye glasses.
"Help some folks that are having a little bit of a hard time right now is such a blessing for our school district, our county and our community," said Superintendent Larry Sparks.
Theresa Johnson is vice president of Coal for Kids. She says Eastern Kentucky is fortunate to have an industry that can make this possible.
"It's what we thrive on here, it's our economic foundation and it allows us to provide for children and give back to our community and we need to do that. We're lucky," said Johnson.
School officials give this food to children who may go without during weekends, and more than 30 students are getting new clothes and shoes. School officials say it means so much more.
Coal for Kids is already working with family resource centers in Perry, Breathitt and Leslie counties and plans to expand into neighboring counties soon.
Johnson says James River Coal Company, ICG, Pine Branch Coal Sales and Blesoe Coal Corporation are among the coal producers making contributions. Whayne Supply, Applebees, Wendy's and other businesses are also a part of the effort.