UMWA Donates Coats to Area Students

WHEELING – Just in time for winter, members of United Mine Workers Association Local 1473 dropped off 36 coats at Elm Grove Elementary School on Tuesday for students who don’t have warm clothing.

John Miller, member of UMWA and coordinator of the event, said he had the idea to collect coats for schools last year while he was driving on a cold day and saw a child outside wearing a short-sleeve shirt and no coat.

“I wanted to do something to help,” Miller said.

This year, Miller and UMWA Local 1473 have donated 175 coats to schools in Ohio and Marshall counties and to West Elementary School in Adena. Miller also said Trinity Lutheran Church, Christ Lutheran Church in Mozart and Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack contributed to the drive.

Elm Grove Elementary School Principal Richard Dunlevy said families who receive clothing are always grateful for the help.

Dunlevy also noted other groups have contributed to the school’s clothes closet, including Wheeling Fire Fighters IAFF Local 12 and the Wheeling Fraternal Order of Police who provided monetary donations.

“The students are very appreciative of the coats and clothes, and we appreciate the kindness,” Dunlevy said. “It’s encouraging to see such generosity, and Elm Grove Elementary School and Ohio County Schools are grateful to the UMWA, the police and the firefighters.”