Helping 104 laid off coal miners in Harlan County, Harlan 20/20 has ended their “Coal Keeps The Lights On” candle campaign raising $26,649.48 to pay electric bills during the months of December, January and February for the miners.
Checks were distributed to Kentucky Utilities, Benham Power and Cumberland Valley Rural Electric each month.
Harlan 20/20 member Rie Whitfield said names and verifications for those receiving help were obtained from a partnership with the Harlan County Community Action Agency and the Harlan County Employment Office.
“We partnered with Goose Creek Candle Company, who provided the candles, for the campaign,” said Whitfield. “We received a portion of the purchase price of $20. Candles were purchased from all over the state. We were so grateful that Joseph-Beth, in Lexington, purchased 500 candles and there were others who did the same.”
Whitfield continued by saying, “this day we’re proud to be Kentuckians and especially proud to be Harlan Countians, because when the going got tough, people and businesses stepped up and met the needs of their neighbors.”
Whitfield added, “This just goes to show that a $20 donation does make a difference.”
Harlan 20/20 chair Kathy Bianchi said this campaign “much exceeded their goal.”
“Our original goal was $5,000,” said Bianchi. “We thought $5,000 would have been good, but to raise over $26,000 we were amazed and truly grateful to everyone who purchased a candle.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, or on Twitter @Nola_hde