Nelson County Public Schools felt the spirit of giving this holiday season with donations from local companies.
According to NCPS Superintendent Martha Eagle, schools this year have been the recipients of both monetary donations and a coat drive.
Foster Fuels Inc. Vice President Chelsea Harrison said the company this year donated checks to 23 schools in Nelson and the greater region. Nelson County High School and Tye River Elementary School both received roughly $500, she said.
Tye River also was the recipient of several coats along with 14 other schools.
Tiger Fuel Company, also located in Lovingston, donated $1,000 to the county's two elementary schools and $500 each to Nelson Middle and Nelson County High schools through an Exxon Mobile program.
Mark Whitehead, sales and marketing representative with Tiger Fuel, said it was a privilege to invest in the communities where the company serves. Tiger Fuels made donations to schools in surrounding localities as well.
"Children are our greatest resource. If all of us contribute to them then our nation as a whole will thrive I believe. Our society will thrive," Whitehead said.
Eagle said she was grateful for the donations this year while noting the importance of businesses and schools working together to support students and the community.
"These two companies make it an annual event to assure they show how much they value education by giving to our STEM ... initiative and by donating needed supplies to our staff and students," Eagle said in an email. "Having a supportive community in Nelson has always been a highlight for the school division."
Harrison said a majority of the coats — being a mix of new and gently used — came from members of the community. The company's "Spread the Warmth" coat drive amassed more than 400 coats last year. This year, Harrison said that increased to more than 900 that were distributed across multiple schools.
"We had such a great reaction and to see the community come together we were kind of debating with the pandemic if we should do it again this year," Harrison said. "Just to see the response of the community to give back was very humbling. Went to majority elementary schools but also took on adult sizes as well."
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardships of last year, Harrison said she worried about participation for the coat drive, but "the community stepped up."