Local youth shop with coal miners during annual event
by Bailey Richards
HAZARD — This year marked the fifth anniversary of the Shop with a Coal Miner event in Perry County, during which students from across the region have the chance to buy needed and wanted items as a part of a charitable program run by Coal Mining Our Future.
Over 120 students from several surrounding counties and schools are paired up with a coal miner and allowed to buy $100 worth of items they want, and then any items they need on top of that. Coal Mining Our Future Director Haven King said that he is always happy to see the children buying for themselves, but even more impressed with how many buy gifts for family.
The students came in groups of around 50 on Tuesday and filled Magic Mart while shopping. When the students were done, they were given food and drinks and a bag of food items to take home.
The children are chosen by the schools as being in need, and each school is able to send the same number of students.
The money for this event and other charity given to children from Coal Mining Our Future’s Coal for Kids is donated by coal companies in the region. King said he wanted to thank all of those that help make this event and many others such a success every year.
With so many families in need due to layoffs in the coal industry, King added that helping these kids is the least they can do to give back.
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