Death of Black Gold

Once again the people of Appalachia have taken a hard hit. Monday more coal miners were laid off with little to no notice. Thankfully they will be paid the wages they earned unlike others in our area. This time 200 workers were affected, 200 individuals who don’t know how they will pay their bills or feed their families. This adds to the recent number of 1,100 miners that lost their jobs in Appalachia when Blackjewel Mining laid-off their employees. The news reports that more layoffs are to come.

Red Bird Mission & Hope

Before 10 am this morning a young man came to my office and wanted to sign up for Grow Appalachia. He explained that he had lost his job in the coal mines last week and was concerned about sustaining his family of 4, about to become a family of 5. With one child ill and another on the way, he is desperately trying to figure out how to care for his family. He had grown a very small garden this summer. Now finding himself in this predicament, he plans on growing a bigger one next year.

Along with Grow Appalachia, Red Bird Mission has several programs to help families in need. While here, he and his wife signed up for our Emergency Food Pantry, Baby Pantry, and Christmas Assistance. They are now able to receive free, healthy food. In preparation for the new baby, the wife will visit the baby pantry monthly for parenting classes and supplies. They will receive diapers, baby clothes, infant furniture and so much more.

After the massive layoffs in July of this year, we saw a great depletion in our resources here at Red Bird, the last time we had gotten so low was after the coal mine layoffs in 2015.

Bags and boxes with diapers and baby supplies ready to go out to families.

The Christmas Room pack with toys & games.

Planting the seeds…

“Planting the seeds for a sustainable future”, is my favorite quote from Grow Appalachia. It’s a powerful statement. We need to get as many people as we can to grow gardens. One never knows what the future holds and having a resource for healthy food is an asset when those problems arise. Grow Appalachia helps 55 families in our area become more self-reliant. Members feed their families, their friends, their livestock and even strangers. They can increase their income by selling at the farmers market or selling value-added products. Grow Appalachia is a shelter in the storm. Fresh vegetables from spring till fall and canned goods year-round. We forget what an impact a simple garden can have until times like now when people are desperate to care for themselves and the people they love. I am so thankful to be a part of Grow Appalachia.

August harvest