USA-Made Coat Program
Supporting American Children & American Jobs
Across the United States, we’ve seen two saddening trends over the last decade – the rate of childhood poverty has increased and manufacturing jobs have decreased. When Operation Warm began in 1998, our mission was to provide children in need with brand new winter coats. We believe the gift of a new coat goes further than a hand-me-down, helping to increase self-esteem, school attendance and outdoor play.
Historically, our new Operation Warm coats have been manufactured overseas. We realized several years ago that we had a chance to support both children in need and American jobs by sourcing and manufacturing coats right here in the United States.
Firefighters for Operation Warm
In 2012, at the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) general convention, a resolution was passed to partner with Operation Warm. The resolution allows us to reach more children across the country with the help of local firefighters. It also outlined a USA-Made initiative, branded and designed specifically for IAFF affiliates, with the goal of bringing jobs back to North America. From there, our USA-Made coat program was born.Learn More
USA-Made Coats History
After our resolution with the IAFF was passed, we began to vet businesses across the country that could help make our USA-Made coats a reality. From textile converters and dye shops, to quilters and sewing organizations, we began to put the pieces together to create a high-quality coat at a reasonable price. Months later, production was in place and soon enough coats were being given to children across the country.
Operation Warm Partners with SEKRI
In 2016, Operation Warm found a new cut & sew partner, SEKRI, a Kentucky-based nonprofit that employs people with disabilities in the manufacturing industry. This new alliance will help Operation Warm expand our production of USA-Made coats and support many new jobs through year-round production.
To learn more about our partnership with SEKRI, check out our blog post.Read More