Beckley, WV (WVNS) — Community and school officials met on the WVU Tech campus on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 for a special announcement.

The Ball Toyota Family of Dealerships, with coordination from United Way and Department of Education, announced the donation of $500,000 to local West Virginia schools.

The event also had several special guest speakers including First Lady Cathy Justice.

Trena Dacal with the United Way of Southern West Virginia said the money will go to help assist students in need.

“This connection for communities in schools will allow the people who are working within that school system to address the needs to children there, individually and on-site,” Dacal said.

Over 240 schools were part of the process. The donation will be used to help students get essential items like food, clothing, shoes, and even hygiene products.

Shawn Ball is the President of Ball Toyota and a Boone County native.

He tells 59News he was put on this planet to assist those in need and is glad to give back to his home state.

“We have certain need levels and if you see that, you want to try to help and you want to do it. It’s a problem and I was put on this Earth to fix problems so that is what I try to do,” Ball said.

The donation also went to several universities in the state. Marshall University and WVU Tech both received donations totaling thirty thousand and fifty thousand dollars respectively.

The donation is more than just money as First Lady Cathy Justice points out. It will serve as a symbol of hope to any student wishing to achieve a proper education.

“We want them to be proud of who they are, what they are going to be, and to be a success story. Come back to their community and do lots of good things,” Justice said.