Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:14PM - 135 Views
Cris Ritchie

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HAZARD — Dozens of school children from Breathitt and Leslie counties were treated to some early Christmas presents Wednesday morning at the Hazard Magic Mart.

Coal Mining Our Future hosted its second Shop With a Coal Miner event this month, where local coal miners shop for Christmas gifts with students from area schools. The students are chosen to participate in the program through their school resource directors. The group hosted a previous event last week with a group of students from Hazard and Perry County.

The first Shop With a Coal Miner was held four years ago, and it remains a significant effort to help brighten the holidays for some local children, said Haven King, director of Coal Mining Our Future. “I think it’s important because they’re going to have something,” King said. “And I know that a lot of the parents will probably wrap some of the presents and put them under the tree.”

King noted that the students received approximately $100 each to purchase gifts, though in some cases additional costs were covered for children who may have needed other items such as clothing and shoes.

Though the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky continues to shed jobs this month, with the most recent layoffs occurring last week, King added that it’s also important for the industry to be involved in this event. Several local miners participated on Wednesday from various mining companies, including James River Coal, Kentucky River Coal Corporation, and Arch Minerals.

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