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Operation ‘Cool Kids’: Magoffin County fan project serves hundreds of families

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:50 PM EDT
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MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - With the high temperatures the region has been experiencing lately, North Magoffin Elementary Principal Keith Isaac worried his students may be having a tough time. When he confirmed that many were without cooling systems, he contacted city councilman Paul Montgomery.

“One little kid said that he was taking a wet rag and wetting his self down, trying to go to sleep at night. And I said, ‘Dear God, we gotta do something.’ And it spurred the movement,” said Montgomery.

He decided to post a Facebook status this week asking for help from the community.

“You know, you go up some of these places - you know, some hollers and stuff - and people are just sitting outside with the doors open, windows open, trying to get some relief,” Montgomery said.

That post created a significant response.

“It’s went viral. It’s unbelievable. I got seven real quick- fans,” said Montgomery. “And then I went and got them and got ‘them to Keith down here and I got back home there was 80-some fans on my porch.”

More than $6,000 in monetary donations were sent to the fundraiser account and more than 500 families have now received fans or air conditioning units thanks to the project.

According to Montgomery, the response to the movement has been more than he could have imagined.

“We’ve had donations from Ohio, Nebraska,” said Montgomery. “Some guy from Nebraska called the local hardware store up here, True Value, and bought every fan they had and put it on his credit card.”

He said any extra funds from the Paypal donations (paulmontgomery190@yahoo.com) will be carried over into the county’s Coats for Kids program this fall.

Families outside of Magoffin County are now benefiting from a similar program.

“We had seen Mr. Montgomery’s post and we knew that there was probably a need here in Floyd County for this, too. So, Sharon (Setser) and I decided to start ‘Help Floyd County Kids,‘” said Brittany Hale, owner of Wildfire Designs.

When Hale opened her store Friday, someone had already delivered fans to get the county’s program started.

“I showed up with like 15 just in front of the door, so I was amazed and humbled by that,” said Hale. "

Prestonsburg City Hall is also accepting fans and a donation Paypal account (helpfloydcountykids@gmail.com) was established for the cause.

“I grew up with no air conditioner in my home, so I can remember the miserable summers,” said Setser. “So, any way we can help to elevate that, that’s what we’re here for.”

If you know a family that would benefit from the program in either county, contact the respective coordinator.

Copyright 2020 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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