WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Fire Chief’s Association (MCFA) and local fire departments collected more than 200 coats in the first annual Warm the Children coat drive.
Warm the Children will provide Mingo County children with warm coats for the winter. John Hall, President of MCFA explained that local schools were contacted to identify children in need of coats. “We contacted local schools to find out the neediest kids in the county,” Hall said.
After a list of children was generated, the MCFA contacted Wal-Mart to assist in the coat collection. “Once we received a list of kids, we contacted Wal-Mart. They went above and beyond their job description to help us,” Hall said. “The management and associates at Wal-Mart made everything easy for us once we supplied the names. All the coats were boxed and labeled,” Hall continued.
The MCFA would like to make the Warm the Children coat drive an annual event. “We hope to make this a tradition and expand next year,” Williamson Fire Chief Joey Carey said.
Hall agreed saying, “We would like to include more next year.”
Carey contributed the success of the coat drive to the volunteers and organizations that helped in the Warm the Children effort. “It was very successful. I thank the Wal-Mart CSM’s (management) and their associates. I would also like to thank everyone that volunteered,” Carey said.
Hall explained that there are 11 total fire departments in the county. Nine of the fire departments participated in the coat drive.
“I want to thank all the firefighters who came out early on Black Friday to help take up donations for this worthy cause,” Hall said. “Without them this wouldn’t be possible.”
The Warm the Children Coat drive was first announced at a Williamson City Council meeting on Nov. 12. The Williamson City Council made a $500 contribution to help kick start the fundraising effort. The MCFA also held a road-block on Friday Nov. 29 to generate funding to purchase the coats.
On the evening of Tuesday Dec. 10, several volunteers from fire departments across the county and residents assisted in packaging the coats in gift bags and boxes for distribution to local schools.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)