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Heritage Baptist delivers second donation to Harlan Co.

Church members from Lexington came to Harlan on Sunday with numerous boxes filled with clothes for the winter. Heritage Baptist Church members and former Blackjewel miners and their families helped unload the charter bus at Harlan County High School around noon on Sunday and opened up to the public between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Terry Aldridge, a church member who helped organize the collection and delivery of the donations, said the church filled the charter bus with boxes of mostly winter clothing to help anyone with a need in Harlan County.

“We started collecting winter clothing – shoes, socks, underwear, coats, boots, all kinds of stuff – and loaded the bus down to completely fill up probably about 30 tables,” Aldridge said. “It was to be for the miners and their families, but of course, anyone else who has a need.”

Tables were positioned in rows in the HCHS cafeteria to help with the flow of people looking through clothes. Free pizza, drinks and cupcakes were also set up toward the back for those in attendance.

Leslie Bledsoe, from With Love from Harlan, said a lot of former Blackjewel miners came to help set up the tables, volunteering their time much like the community did in their time of need.

“I think about 25 of the Blackjewel miners and their wives are here,” she said.

Bledsoe said With Love from Harlan has received many requests for heaters, blankets, coats and the like as winter time approaches.

“They’ve brought a lot of that in and it’s mostly winter clothes so that’ll help the people of Harlan a lot. It’s going to bless many people,” Bledsoe said.

Heritage Baptist Church also came to Harlan back in early August, not long after the Blackjewel protest at the tracks by Sand Bottom Hill Road began.

The church organized a school supply drive and delivered them to HCHS on Aug. 11. With the help of multiple volunteers, students and miners, all of the supplies were unloaded from the bus by passing boxes from person to person into the school.

For more information on Heritage Baptist Church, visit its website. If you’d like to make donations to help others in your community, contact Bledsoe from With Love from Harlan at 606-573-4495.