Allison Price, Associate Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives
Allison joined Operation Warm in October of 2017. With her, she brought an extraordinary background in education and parent-school-community partnerships. We sat down with her to get her perspective on everything Operation Warm.
How would you describe your role to a child?
“I get to visit schools and meet kids to make sure that they are confident, warm, and safe for the whole year. I help make sure that these kids are on the path to success.”
What does #morethanacoat mean to you?
“For me, it speaks to the parent-school-community partnership. It means supporting great school administrators and communities who are already doing wonderful work. For me, more than a coat is about the collaboration, coalition building, and really looking holistically at kids in crisis. A coat is a small part of that, but that’s the part we can provide. In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking that the word “coat” should stand for Coalition Of Action and Talent. We recognize that what we do is a team effort. It’s really about a group of people coming together to effect change and utilizing a particular skillset to accomplish great things.”
How would you describe an Operation Warm coat giving event?
“It’s just pure joy. We are happy, the volunteers are happy, the school administrators are happy, the kids are happy. There are not many times in life when you can 100% guarantee pure joy, so these events are really something special. Our events are small moments, but they act as a spark. Our hope is that they lead to other positive moments. I think because I worked in schools for fifteen years before joining Operation Warm, I’m always happiest when I see the school administrators relaxing and just enjoying the event. They’re relieved that they have solved a problem and they’ve done something fun for their kids. It’s a small win for people who have to fight hard every day. It’s nice to know we’ve made their life a little bit easier.”
Who do you look up to most at Operation Warm?
“Lee [Fulton, Director of Strategy] and I were hired at the same time. We were hired because we have very different but complementary skill sets. She has taught me so much about the business side of what we do. Different kinds of strategies for manufacturing and business development for example. I learn something new from Lee every day. We’re such a good team because she has this amazing skill set that she shares with me and vice versa. I am also in awe of Heather [Connolly, VP of Development & Community Partners] because she juggles about 15,000 things simultaneously. I’m always impressed by her ability to coordinate so many aspects of our programs so seamlessly and she always does it with a smile. All of the members of our Project and Event Team are awesome, including Julie (our national volunteer coordinator). She has taken on our volunteer program and has just run with it. She is personable, friendly, enthusiastic and so on the ball with details.”
What are your hopes for the future of Operation Warm?
“I really am invested in the ‘more than a coat’ idea and how that’s taking shape. I do feel strongly about building our network of partners who are already working with kids. Long term, I could see Operation Warm as an integrated and well-connected organization that works with other community initiatives that focus on children and education. For me, it is about strategically developing our external programming, continuing to network, and form coalitions in a way that we haven’t yet fully done. Ultimately, my hope is to streamline our processes so that we can help more kids.”
What are your interests outside of Operation Warm?
“I grew up in Boston, so I am a diehard Boston sports fan. That made for an interesting Super Bowl recently, given that I live in Philadelphia and my husband grew up there! In high school, I was a competitive figure skater, so I still have my skates at home. I also enjoy anything outdoors; hiking, kayaking, etc. I’m a history nut as well- that way my minor in college. I currently volunteer in a graduate support role for a local charter school, and as an alumni college interviewer. I spend a lot of time with my family and I love to travel. I’m lucky- I’ve been to a lot of places, but there are more I want to check off my list. Once I visit Africa, the only continent I’ll have left to visit is Antarctica!”