Baltimore Fire Fighters Distribute Operation Warm Coats to Kids
Baltimore, MD – On Monday December 17th, Baltimore Firefighters, IAFF Local 734, will deliver brand-new winter coats to more than 500 disadvantaged children across Baltimore, in conjunction with Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation, a new community outreach program designed especially for Firefighters across North America. Firefighters sought out the children of the Baltimore chapter of “BELL – Building Educated Leaders for Life,” an out of school program which exists to help children from under-resourced, urban communities, excel academically. “Here in Baltimore we’re facing staggering poverty levels and freezing temperatures,” stated Union President, Rick Hoffman. “Beyond a warm coat, we want these children to have a chance at success, and school attendance suffers during the winter months as families struggle to afford a proper coat for their child.”
Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation is a division of Operation Warm, the largest non-profit distributer of new coats in the U.S. The new program has recently garnered the support of the International Association of Firefighters, (IAFF,) who encourage their membership of over 300,000 to participate. In the four months since inception, IAFF Firefighters have reached over 23,000 impoverished children across 18 states.
The coats, manufactured especially for Operation Warm, have been ordered in just the right size, and in a variety of styles and colors, so that children may enjoy a unique coat that fits properly. Fire trucks packed with bright new coats, will make special deliveries to three locations where BELL operates out of school learning programs. At Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore Firefighters will personally fit each child with a new coat, helping them to write their name in the interior tag which reads, “Made Especially for You,” and creating memories that will last much longer than the life of a coat.
“This is a program that strengthens communities and the overall well-being of children,” stated Carey Palmquist, Executive Director of Operation Warm. “A new coat boosts a child’s self-esteem, and allows families to stretch limited financial resources to other basic necessities, such as food and shelter.”
This wonderful outreach was made possible by generous donations from The Herbert Bearman Foundation and other corporate partners. Children will receive their new coats just in time for the holidays, which Baltimore Firefighters hope will bring a bit of added joy to more than 500 local families in need.
About Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation
Firefighters Coats for Kids is a division of nonprofit Operation Warm, a 501(c)3 founded in 1998. Operation Warm’s mission is to warm the hearts, minds and bodies of children in poverty through the gift of warmth – a brand new winter coat. Community service is at the core of a firefighter’s mission. Through Firefighters Coats for Kids, they inspire hope and empower the communities they serve, by providing NEW winter coats to those children most in need. By 2013, Firefighters Coats for Kids plans to distribute American-made coats, bringing back jobs to North America and further battling the cycle of poverty. For more information visit: www.firefighterscoatsforkids.org
About Operation Warm Inc.
Operation Warm Inc. is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of new winter coats to children in need. Our vision is that every child wearing a new winter coat is healthy, able to attend school regularly and develop a strong self-esteem. Operation Warm has distributed coats in 37 states. In February 2012, we served our MILLIONTH child – a momentous milestone. For more information about Operation Warm visit www.operationwarm.org.
Donations stay local and are accepted online: www.firefighterscoatsforkids.org
Media is welcome to attend.
Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School
1401 W. Lafayette Ave Baltimore MD 21217
3:30 – 5:30pm
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