Community Action Kentucky announced on July 11 the establishment of a GoFundMe account set up by Harlan County Community Action to support miners and families recently affected by the Blackjewel LLC mine closures.

Approximately 1,100 employees of the company were left unemployed across the Appalachian region, including hundreds in Eastern Kentucky.

“Miners received final paychecks on June 28, only to have them pulled from bank accounts on July 1,” a press release from Community Action Kentucky said. “Many miners and their families have been left with negative bank account balances, unable to pay for basic needs.”

Harlan County Community Action set up the GoFundMe account to directly help miners and their families meet immediate needs such as mortgage assistance, rent, utilities and food. All money donated is tax deductible and will go directly to impacted workers.

“Community Action agencies across this state serve as a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of people each and every year,” said Roger McCann, executive director of Community Action Kentucky. “Devastating events such as the Blackjewel mine closures exponentially increase the demand for Community Action services and the need for community partners, state and local officials and the community at large to come together to support our fellow Kentuckians in need.”

Donna Pace, executive director of Harlan County Community Action, said the agency appreciates the community support for these coal miners.

“Our hearts hurt for the miners and families that have been so suddenly thrown into a world of economic distress and uncertainty,” said Pace. “We greatly appreciate the support of our Community Action community for helping us raise awareness about this time-sensitive crisis. Even more though, we are grateful for those that have donated or will donate, helping to ease the financial burden thrust upon those directly affected by this massive loss of jobs.”

Donations made be made online under the “Donate to Miners Harlan CAA” at, gofundme.com. Donations may also be dropped off in person Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Harlan County Community Action, located at 319 Camden Street Harlan, KY 40831.

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