Operation Warm Makes the News in Virginia

James Baker, an 11-year-old S.P. Morton Elementary School student, was among more than 100 students to receive a new coat Wednesday, thanks to Operation Warm and a partnership between the Franklin Rotary and Lions clubs.

‘I felt happy,’ James said while wearing his new coat.

After receiving their coats, James and his classmates thanked the Rotary and Lions club members who helped collect money for the coats.

‘My momma always told me whenever somebody gives you something, you thank them for what they gave you,’ James said.

Dr. Dylan Belt, who chaired the Operation Warm program for Rotary, said this is the first year the program was open to public donations, and the 120 coats donated this year was ‘at least triple, if not quadruple’ the number donated last year.

‘It’s a big improvement, and a lot more kids will get a warm coat out of it,’ Belt said. Rotary and Lions club members helped distribute coats to students in the school’s cafeteria Wednesday.

Donations were sent to Operation Warm, which is one of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to distributing new winter coats in the United States. Operation Warm purchased the coats and shipped them to Franklin for distribution.

High Street United Methodist Church also donated dozens of hats and gloves – some handmade – for the students.

Clyde Parker, president of the Franklin Lions Club, said Rotary initiated the project and asked the Lions to assist, but it likely won’t be the last time the clubs collaborate.

‘Both the Rotary Club and the Lions Club are community service organizations, and we felt like maybe collectively we could do things on a better scale,’ he said. ‘We’re looking at various other ways and means that we might be able partner in doing various things for the community.’

S.P. Morton Principal Don Spengeman called Operation Warm ‘a real blessing.’

‘Many of our parents struggle financially and this certainly will take a little bit of the burden off of them,’ he said. ‘This is just a sample of the many blessings we get from the community.’

Spengeman pointed out that many of the same families receiving coats themselves had donated food to less fortunate families during a school-sponsored food drive for the Salvation Army before Christmas.

‘They understand that there is always somebody else that’s more in need, and I think that speaks well of our families,’ he said.



Related Articles

cure for loneliness

Could Volunteering Be a Cure for Loneliness?

America is experiencing “epidemic levels” of loneliness, according to a new study released by Cigna, a global health service company. Cigna says the study “revealed some alarming findings” about loneliness…

Read More
Students pose for a picture on a cold day outside wearing their brand new Operation Warm coats.

Operation Warm Aims to Provide 36,000 Brand New Coats to Philadelphia Kids in Need this Fall

With temperatures soaring high into the 90’s for most of the summer in Philadelphia, it can be tough to remember how unbearably cold last winter was. But according to U.S….

Read More

Stay Connected