One Simple Way to Help Children in Delaware County

Media Town Talk > Opinion
One simple way to support Delaware County children
Published: Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It was the summer of 2003 when Riddle Hospital asked the community to support a little-known organization that was providing new winter coats to children-in-need, and with support from Glen Riddle Rotary Club and hospital employees, raised close to $50,000 in that first year.

  The early focus was to help the closely surrounding communities the hospital served. By the second year, the effort had grown with enthusiasm and became known as the Operation Warm DELCO Campaign, extending the outreach across the entire county.

  Each year more community groups, schools, congregations, government agencies, and businesses join in the fundraising. Goals are simple — raise the money to provide for the coats that Operation Warm, Inc. will distribute to children in our own schools and communities who would otherwise go without. This local non-profit organization, located in nearby Chadds Ford, began in 1998 with the distribution of 58 coats to children in an elementary school who had nothing to keep them warm that winter.

  The clock moves forward nine years and Riddle Hospital builds on our commitment and enthusiasm for Operation Warm. Our employees and physicians, vendors and auxilians, volunteers and donors support and love this program, and are often amazed by what this simple gesture means to a child and their family.

  One father addressed employees to thank them for his son’s new coat and explained how this means he can pay off more bills since he has those extra dollars now.

  The key point for all of us to remember is that this is a NEW item, not something passed down or picked up at a second-hand shop. For many of the children we give a coat to, it is the FIRST item of clothing they have ever had that is new!

  There is yet another surprising thing we all learned from the folks at Operation Warm and the children themselves — they will attend school more regularly because they now have a coat! OH, yes one more thing — they feel loved and cared for by someone outside of their family.

  We all have only one simple thing to do to support Operation Warm this year. Go on-line to www.operationwarm.org and make a donation!  Please be generous. Please don’t wait. It is getting colder outside; winter is approaching and the children need their good health, their education and their self-esteem. You have the ability to provide all that with a new winter coat.

Thank you.

Martha Grieco

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