A bus filled with school supplies is headed for Harlan County


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Heritage Baptist Church organized a school supply drive for Harlan County Blackjewel miners.

Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy in July. Employees are still waiting on money they’re owed and are out of work.

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Pastor Greg Waltermire said he’s happy to have the church backing the effort, but it wouldn’t be in motion without Terry Aldridge.

Aldridge organized the whole thing after posting on Facebook, asking if anyone she knew wanted to join her in collecting supplies for the children of Blackjewel miners.

“I just thought of the kids,” she said.

Friday 4-8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m – 7 p.m. a charter bus will sit in the Hamburg Meijer parking lot and volunteers will collect donations.

Aldridge said she’s been in contact with Harlan County Schools and she’s been told about 60 percent of students have at least one parent who works for Blackjewel.

Pastor Waltermire said school supplies is just one way to alleviate stress for these parents.

“Anytime you’re talking about people’s children, they’re so emotional about it,” he said. “And here’s our chance that perhaps, they can say now that emotional energy can be spent on something else.”

Second grader, Trinity Brock, picked out a purple folder to donate. Her dad is a coal miner in West Virginia.

Trinity and her mom said, although he doesn’t work for Blackjewel, they wanted to help their mining family.

Aldridge said she loves fundraising and isn’t hesitating to ask everyone she knows to donate.

She said, “no-one says no, it’s great!”

Along with the charter bus, Aldridge said her team has already raised over two thousand dollars for more supplies.


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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com