2015 – 2016 Annual Report
Founded in 1998, 2016 marks the 18th year since Operation Warm was started by our current Chairman and CEO Dick Sanford. While driving on the streets of Kennett Square, PA, Dick encountered a sight that eventually spurred the formation of Operation Warm: a group of young children – coatless – huddled together at a bus stop on a cold December morning.
Dick drove to his local department store and bought every coat they had left in stock – 58 coats – and with the help of his Rotary club, give them away to kids throughout the community. This gesture of kindness inspired the creation of Operation Warm.
Much has changed across the United States since 1998. The rate of childhood poverty has increased to saddening levels. Since 2008, there has been a 20% rise in the amount of kids living in low-income homes. Nearly 1 in 5 children struggle with basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing. Because of these circumstances, we continue to push ourselves to find new ways to serve children in need.
Our coats no longer are bought retail, but are created in cooperation with manufacturers both overseas and through our USA-made program. This allows us to create coats at scale and for a lower cost. We have expanded our reach with over 900 active program partners that help us reach hundreds of thousands of children every year.
Greatest of all is that after 18 years, we have more and more people across America who share our enthusiasm that the gift of a brand new coat goes beyond warmth for a child. Our supporters know it helps to increase overall self-esteem in a child that may feel insecure, while also aiding in school attendance and more frequent outdoor play. To those who have supported us this past year, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Read on for highlights from this past year and to download the full report.
Youth in Poverty
Childhood poverty in the United States is growing. The latest data shows childhood poverty rates have risen 20% across the country since 2008. A substantial number of these children are homeless. Its more important than ever for us to help as many children stay warm and happy all year-round!
our 2 millionth coat milestone!
We are extremely proud to announce that this past year, we reached our newest milestone – our 2 millionth child received a gift of warmth through a brand new winter coat! Many thanks to our wonderful partners, supporters and staff members who work tirelessly to help children in need across the United States.
Our program partners, who act as an extension of our mission, allow us to reach children all across the United States. They work diligently to identify children in need, fundraise, and give away brand new winter coats in their communities. This past year, we had over 900 active partners in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Interested in helping children in your own community?Learn More
stats and financials
Operation Warm continues to be a leader in its transparency of revenue, assets and expenses. 96% of our funding goes directly to our coat programs, allowing us to reach as many children as possible who are living in poverty.
What lies ahead
Download our full 2015-2016 annual report below to learn more about our work from this past year and get a sneak peak into Operation Warm’s plans to help even more children in need receive brand new winter coats this year.