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Changing Lives... One Student at a Time

Please enjoy this article that was written by one of our dear MOH friends…

Well, I was born a coal miner’s daughter. I am not Loretta Lynn who made a song famous by that name, but my life’s beginning does parallel hers – somewhat. No, I was not born in Butcher Hollow as the song so aptly states, but I was born smack-dab in the middle of Appalachia in Harlan County, and more specifically in the town of Cumberland, KY. My father worked in the coal mines in Benham and Lynch, just up the mountain from Cumberland. Life was hard! I can remember my mother standing in line to receive a ration coupon for flour, milk, bread, or meat. The coupons only gave her permission to receive the items at the company store – not pay for them with coins. The items were then deducted from the salary my father had earned. Extra money was non-existent. I knew the poverty of the area then. I know it now! In many ways it is worse now than then; however, through the years it may be noted that a social stratification remains unchanging; unemployment is inherent; a lack of educational opportunities abounds; and a poorly developed infrastructure never changes. None of these factors can accommodate life as we know it elsewhere.

In describing Appalachia, it is important to know the people. When that happens one can understand how extremely rich the area is. I know several families in the area. Additionally, through Mission of Hope (MOH), I have been honored to meet many students and their families through the Hope’s Scholarship Committee. In each instance I have found the students to be intelligent people who have an inherent wisdom that they use in unique ways. This has been especially true in Miranda, Deric, Abigail, Billy, and Lacey. As I have coached each of them in their advanced educational opportunities, they have exhibited a distinct pride in their heritage regardless of their financial status, exhibited a hunger for learning, and seized all opportunities that have been provided them. These characteristics, in tandem with their hard work and on-going assistance from Mission of Hope’sscholarship component, are successfully propelling them through the rigors of a good education at a quality institution of extended learning .They will achieve their dreams and goals. Mission of Hope and its Scholarship Program is making that possible.

I am inviting you to join me and other sponsors in an ongoing support of the Scholarship Fund. There are several ways to be involved:

  • Say a daily prayer for the area and the people – and more specifically, focus on one individual student daily.
  • Become a coach or mentor for one of the scholars.
  • Encourage your fellow Sunday School class members or church members to become coaches and mentors for an individual student.
  • Make an annual donation to MOH. Specify on your check MOH Scholarship Program
  • Name MOH Scholarship program as a targeted memorial or honorary gift.
  • Gift the MOH Scholarship Program in your will.

Please donate! There is no organization better equipped to address and change both the culture and the lives of people in Appalachia than MOH. Through its scholarship program, your meaningful act of generosity for a student can change the life of that individual (and a resulting change in their family) for the rest of their earthly lives. The donation will help to plant a seed that will ultimately grow into a new “flower” in Appalachia’s field of poverty and change the landscape of the area. As a coal miner’s daughter, I received this kind of assistance in my education. I speak from experience. It changed my life. I, therefore, am inviting you to you join me and participate in the MOH Scholarship Fund. Respond today! Together we can change the lives of others in a positive way.

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