Spreading Holiday Cheer Through Appalachia

December 9, 2019

For the 77th year, the CSX Santa Train made its 110-mile route through Appalachia, making 14 stops in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee to distribute more than 15 tons of toys, food and apparel to thousands of families. Country music star Marty Stuart joined for the trip this year to help spread the holiday cheer to families and performed to hundreds of people in a concert at Kingsport upon the train’s return. 

Soles4Souls’ participated for the third year, providing 1073 warm coats to children, and 25,154 apparel pieces, along with a few hundred books and small toys. Other event sponsors involved were Appalachian Power, Food City and Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. 

“I felt a deeper connection this year, not only with CSX and the other sponsors but with the people we served. This was my second year attending, and I had a better understanding of their circumstances. The Santa Train is not only a tradition, but an event that brings Christmas joy to those served. The many volunteers came together like we were family, serving those we loved,” said CeCe McCormick, Director of Corporate Engagement at Soles4Souls. 

It takes 120 volunteers from CSX and its partners to operate The Santa Train every year. The trip is a time-honored tradition that reaches multiple generations across the communities it serves.