The Appalachian Christmas Project will be sending 4 U-hauls loaded with Bundles of Christmas presents, food, clothing and other badly needed items to take to Rattle Snake Ridge, in southeastern Kentucky. Rattlesnake Ridgeis home to Integrated Community Ministries http://www.ky-icm.org/home.html(ICM), a non-profit organization serving McCreary County, whose claim to fame is that is that it is one of the three poorest counties in Kentucky.Rattlesnake Ridge is a community within McCreary, home to those whose fathers and grandfathers worked the coal mines for script, lived on company own land and bought food from the company owned stores. The coal industry disappeared in the 1970’s leaving the people of McCreary County without jobs, without land, without money and without hope. The problem with small, remote, communities like McCreary, which is the only county in Kentucky without an incorporated city, is that there are few if any social services. And because almost no one has much to give, there’slittle in the way of local charity. The problems for the people on the Ridge are compounded by their isolationism. The western part of this county (where Rattlesnake Ridge is located) is uneffectionately known as No Man's Land.They are considered the poorest of the poor, physically separated from the rest of the county because they actually live on a mountain top, miles from,well everything. They are further removed due to their incredible poverty and inability to successfully interact within the schools and within the community. They are alone, and bitter in their uniqueness. Consequently,many kids drop out of school and return to the Ridge, running away from the daily ridicule and prejudice that confronts them in the “mainstream” county culture. What they return to is a life of immense need, drug addiction and generational poverty with no end in sight – and no hope.
There has been a local, grass roots effort going on for the past 8 years tohelp support ICM through a community outreach program right here in Milton and Alpharetta. Christmas gifts are loaded on to the FOUR (4) U-hauls headed for Kentucky. This is just one of several trips that take place every year up to Rattlesnake Ridge. It’s an amazing thing to see as dozens of neighbors from the community load the trucks on a Thursday night – and off they go - The number of kids in McCreary County who now get to have areal Christmas has grown from 40 the first year, to now 330 I urge you to please watch this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heGZqTj9zZY This is all going on right herein our community!! Someone recently told me that true greatness is a very simple choice, to step up and actually do something to help someone else.
Come help us load and see what Christmas is all about. We will start loading at 5:00 on Thursday the fourth. Here are directions to Mark and Eva Buckingham’s house:Alpharetta (East of 400)
The Highlands at Park BridgeEva Buckingham 770/569-4998 6085 Tamarack Court, Alpharetta 30005
From GA400, exit Old Milton Pkwy (exit 10) going East.ç onto North Point Pkwy.è onto Webb Bridge Rd. Go 2-3 miles. Highlands Subv. will be on your right(after Middle School).into Highlands Subv.ç at first stop onto Breckenridge Lane.ç onto Breckenridge Courtç onto Tahoe Pines Way onto Tamarack Court at end of street in cul-de-sac.For info and where to drop off used donations ( clothing, house waresfurniture) or new presents contact Margie Marchesani 770 521-0241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She lives in Milton and will take any calls anddonations.