HAZARD — Six schools from Perry County came together to help donate much needed items to Second Chance Mission in Hazard.
On Saturday, the items that were collected were brought to the store by eighth graders as part of their community service.
“It was a blessing,” Sarah Burton said of the donations.
Instructional Supervisor of Perry County Schools Melissa Moore attends Summit Church with Burton.
When Burton announced to the church some of the items Second Chance Mission needs, Moore wanted to do something to help.
Moore decided she could simultaneously teach eighth graders about some of the community service that is available in the county that would help with their college applications and help the community by collecting items for Second Chance Mission.
The eighth grade students, with the help of the whole student body, collected donations from Viper Elementary, R.W. Combs, Leatherwood Elementary, Willard Elementary, East Perry Elementary and PCC.
Each school collected different supplies Second Chance Mission needed such as food, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and school supplies for the upcoming school year in August.
Burton said she only thought East Perry was going to take up donations, but when she began receiving text messages from parents of kids at the other schools, she realized more schools were getting involved.
“I then realized we were going to get a mass donation,” said Burton.
After she realized how many schools were going help collect the mass donations, she said she cried tears of joy.
Burton said it is important to get help from the community because that is the only way they can keep the doors open to those in need.
Three eighth graders from Hindman Elementary and Viper Elementary helped unload the donations on Saturday.
“I thought it would be good to donate to the store to help those in need. It helps the people in the community and in the surrounding counties,” said Zachary Gayheart, an eighth grader at Hindman Elementary.
For eighth graders Jaron Moore and Hunter Lewis from Viper Elementary, helping at the store helps the community but also helps them earn community service hours for their college applications.
All three plan on helping at the store a couple of hours a week in the future.
Moore feels it is a win-win situation for the students. She said it is teaching them about community service and is also helping the community.
Currently, the store needs donations of diapers, ready to eat meals and tents. Burton said it didn’t matter if the tents were new or not, she just wants to make sure her customers have a dry place to sleep at night.
Burton wants to thank all the students, teachers and staff from the schools who made the mass donations possible. She also would like to thank the community of Perry County and Hazard for making the store a success.
Despite heavy rain, Second Chance Mission also held a yard sale for the family of Blake Neace on Saturday. They were able to raise $174 for Neace.
The store is opened on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Second Chance Mission is dedicated to serving low income families through its voucher programs.
For more information on how to get assistance, donate or volunteer, please call 859-494-6907.
TJ Caudill is a reporter for The Hazard Herald and he can be reached at 606-629-3245.