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HCC student inspired to help Appalachian communities

December 13, 2011
  • Hagerstown Community College student Heather Tydings, of Hagerstown, set up a collection of needed items for residents of rural McDowell County in southern West Virginia.
Submitted photo

This holiday season, Hagerstown Community College student Heather Tydings, of Hagerstown, has made it her mission to help those less fortunate, specifically residents living in McDowell County in southern West Virginia.

Tydings, a business major at HCC, was inspired to start the “Operation Appalachia” project after speaking with her father-in-law and his pastor.

“My father-in-law’s church was looking for a special project for the holidays and he asked me to research organizations that donated food, clothing, and supplies to impoverished families living in the Appalachian region,” says Tydings. “After doing some research, I came upon ‘School of Life,’ a nonprofit dedicated to helping people, especially children, living in McDowell County.”

Tydings decided to hold a supply drive through Saturday, Dec. 24. She is collecting clothing, blankets and linens, toiletries, children’s toys, and non-perishable food items.

Dozens of businesses agreed to serve as drop-off locations for the Operation Appalachia drive. For a complete listing of items needed and of collection sites and addresses, visit www.hagerstowncc.edu.

Once collected, items will be delivered to School of Life for distribution to McDowell County residents.

For more information, call 301-473-3928.

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Editor's note: This story was edited Dec. 13, 2011, to correct the phone number in the final paragraph.

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