Raleigh County Sheriff, Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary and Army National Guard ensure West Virginia kids have very Merry Christmas

When it comes to giving back, Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary, the Army National Guard and the Fraternal Order of Police are all about making sure West Virginia kids have a great Christmas.

“It is an honor to be a part of such a wonderful organization that wants to do so much for our beautiful state of West Virginia that has given us so much,” said FCLA chair Regina Fairchild. “Helping someone to make their Christmas brighter, maybe they look at Christmas morning — and it brings a smile is everything to us.”

At this special time of year, the Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary has partnered with the US Army National Guard to hand toys and gifts to children across the state and make sure their Christmas is merry and bright.

Eighteen years strong they’ve been doing this for military families and families in need statewide. This time around they are helping more than 600 people at Christmas through their ‘Giving Hearts’ program and look forward to this all year long. Anyone can give… It’s evident how many folks in our community care.

This is Sgt. Abigail Griffith’s first time doing this and she says it’s special to her to be a part of it… especially coming from West Virginia.

“My father is a coal miner as well.. so he’s been in the mines for about 20 years with the Black Hawk Mines,” said Griffith, an Army National Guard recruiter. “I’ve experienced some struggles as a child and to be able to provide to children and families now and give back to them means a lot because I have been in their shoes.”

According to Raleigh County Sheriff Jim Canaday, the Fraternal Order of Police Black Diamond Lodge in Raleigh County has a great relationship with the Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary — so he presented a donation to them on behalf of the FOP. At the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.

“It’s about giving, it’s about the spirit of the season. Our community, maybe some people look at it as financially depressed,” said the sheriff. “But you you’ll not find a better community for giving. We have a heart for others here in Southern West Virginia, in Raleigh County and I think this is just an example.”

The Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary spend countless hours, and months planning things like this. The Army National Guard in some ways does that as well.

“So for us to be able to work together and come back in our community and help people that way it’s a big deal; it’s a super big deal,” Griffith said.

Regina says her heart is overflowing.

“And so are the ladies here today, because without the volunteers and without the donations we would not be able to continue this,” said Fairchild.

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