Coats with Style
Before stepping out into the frigid January morning, Marcee looks back at her mother with one last tearful glance and asks her mom, again, not to make her go to school in her older brother’s hand-me-down jacket. Mom shakes her head from side to side the way she does every morning, and points in the direction of the elementary school a few blocks down the road. Marcee sighs, pulling up her oversized hood before shuffling out from the floor level of the apartment complex and into the urban tundra.
For many adults, childhood is a long way off. It’s easy to forget the things that were important to us at such a young age, and for many of us our appearance was a huge factor in what created our self-confidence. Our sense of style is part of who we are. With the exception of what they can get from a coat drive or hand-me-downs, impoverished children often have little to no options regarding their choices in self-expression, their style, and consequently their confidence suffers along with their willingness to go to school and interact with peers.
When Operation Warm manufactures coats, we do so knowing just how much self-esteem affects the life of a child in need. This is why in addition to giving a gift of warmth, we also seek to instill confidence in the children who deserve it most. Our process in creating these coats is extensive and thorough, so that kids like Marcee can walk out the door to school with pride.
Lets take a look at some of these coats, shall we?
When it comes to options, we want to make sure the kids receiving Operation Warm coats have plenty. Our team looks through a variety of color combinations to pick just the right colors for all genders and children all the way up to age 13. As for the combinations, we currently have over 80 different colors for kids to chose from. We’ve even made sure to avoid colors associated with major gangs in Chicago, New York, and nearly all large-scale metropolitan areas to lower the possibility of children encountering violence on the streets. Each year different colors are selected based on statistical trends in style, so that kids can feel just as included as everyone else on the playground.
So what’s so special about these winter coats? In addition to being entirely brand new with the materials ordered from various manufacturers, these coats are made with a soft fleece lining to ensure maximum warmth and comfort, while kids explore outside. From varied sleeve lengths to the option for detachable hoods, Operation Warm works to ensure that our coats are manufactured for all American children. You wouldn’t believe how many kids who receive coats from Operation Warm are just thrilled to have a coat they can call their own, so we’ve even added small name tags attached to the coats for kids to write their names in!
Here at Operation Warm, we believe in the importance of American made goods and services. That’s why this year over 65,000 of the coats we manufacture have come from domestic sources in fourteen states across the country. Our coats are also funded through donor-mangaged programs, firefighter programs, individual donors, nonprofit foundations, and corporate foundations.
As you can see, Operation Warm coats are far from the winter jackets you might find at a coat drive. Kids can feel proud wearing these coats, giving them the confidence to go outside and grow alongside their peers both on and off the playground. We take great pride in Operation Warm coats because we know that Marcee and children in similarly disadvantaged situations will have a greater chance at enjoying all of the wonders of the winter season, while feeling spirited and warm.
A Rotarian’s Take on Partnering with Operation Warm
By Ron Hollenbeck, President of the Rotary Club of Centerville, OH Back in 1998, Rotarian Dick Sanford brought a unique service project to our club. I was the Community Projects Director…Read More