SALYERSVILLE – While the Salyersville Masonic Lodge has been holding the “Coats for Kids” fundraiser every year for the past decade, this year the community stepped up to help even more local children.
Paul Montgomery, with the Salyersville Masonic Lodge and a member of the Salyersville City Council, told the Independent that the first year they were only able to raise $400, buying coats for six children. This year, through several horse shows at the Magoffin County Horse Park, raffles and other donations, they were able to raise $12,000 to help 120 Magoffin County students – the most since the program began.
“It’s unbelievable,” Montgomery said. “We had a couple of horse shows, some raffles, just word of mouth and the people who donate every year, but for this to come from an economically depressed community is quite phenomenal.”
The Masonic Lodge works with the family resource directors at each of Magoffin County’s five schools to provide each student with $100-worth of items to get them ready for winter. Each student receives a pair of shoes, socks, underwear, shirt and either a coat or a hoodie, depending on what they need, as well as a pillow and blanket.
On Tuesday, the family resource directors and Montgomery traveled to Pikeville, buying $6,500-worth of shoes for $4,300, thanks to a very generous discount provided by Rack Room Shoes. Then, on Wednesday, they shopped at Walmart for the rest of the items, with the resource directors coming with lists of sizes and needs.
“The girls say you can see joy come over their eyes when they get this stuff,” Montgomery said. “It’s God’s blessing. Every single dime that’s raised goes to the kids. The community support is overwhelming.”