I go out to Briceville, TN, (formerly called Coal Creek) whenever I am again in Tennessee visiting relatives and stop at the library, church and school. I was last there in March.
This is repeat of a post I've made the last 2 years.
Briceville is a very depressed area--it was settled by Welsh coal miners and was a real boom town in its day--now
it is what you think of when you hear "Appalachia". The mine is still
working, but just laid off a bunch more folks.
Anyway, the librarian works very hard to help the children keep reading
and provides school supplies, etc., that they can just come in and take
when they need them.
The Coal Creek Watershed Foundation http://www.coalcreekaml.com/ is working with school children to reclaim the creek for fish and also is planting chestnut trees. They have sponsored an Eisteddfod at the school for a couple years, too, and have preserved much of the mining history of the area.
I first heard of Briceville when I was hunting R. D. Thomas' book, Hanes Cymry America (1872)--he had a family connection to that area. There is an old Welsh church there that is being restored--see picture of Knoxville Actors Co-op among the tombstones in the church cemetery.
Anyway, Lynette (the librarian) asks people to send Christmas cards to
the children of Briceville--if you send them to her, she puts them in a
basket and the children can each open one. If there is a little gift
inside, the child keeps it, if there is money inside, it goes in the
summer reading program fund. (You don't need to put anything in the
card, though.) She has all the cards in notebooks that she showed
me--from all over, including Wales. If you have a Welsh or coal mining
connection and can include a short note to the children, that is really
Here's the address:
Briceville Public Library
Children's Christmas Card
Lynette Seeber, Library Director
P.O. Box 361
Briceville, TN 37710
Just thought I'd pass this on, as many of you will be doing cards
anyway. Be sure to put 'Children's Christmas Card' so Lynette doesn't open it.
I hope everyone is doing well and has a safe holiday season.