Operation Warm Partner City Spotlight – Seattle

By Lauren Holloway, Public Relations/Media Coordinator at Operation Warm

Seattle and the surrounding towns and counties have been undergoing a shift; Poverty in the area is moving from an urban to a suburban issue. More than two-thirds of all people at or below the federal poverty level in King County live in the suburbs. As poverty changes form and is diffused by the space of suburbia, children living in poverty need community support more than ever.

In the Puget Sound area, Rotary Clubs, Firefighters, Radio Stations and Businesses have adopted the mission of Operation Warm. Each year these groups provide local children in need the gift of a brand new winter coat.

Operation Warm’s Puget Sound area partners have helped touch the lives of children from Tacoma to Tumwater, Seattle to Snohomish, and beyond.

The poverty line is an annual income of less than $24,600/year for a family of four. Unfortunately, this means 17.5% of children in Washington State are living in poverty.

One of the schools Operation Warm gifted coats to last year was McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma. Lauren Kovarik, primary counselor at McCarver Elementary School, was working as the family liaison at the time and was ecstatic to work with Operation Warm. McCarver is a high needs poverty area and 93% of students at the school receive free lunches.

“The kids were very happy and the volunteers were willing to help. It was overwhelming to see the community come together to distribute the jackets,” Kovarik says

The average winter temperatures in the region are in the mid-40’s making a winter coat a necessity for vulnerable young children. Not only does a winter coat keep children warm in near freezing temperatures, it improves attendance rates, allows children to exercise and boosts self-esteem.

There are several ways organizations can help children in Seattle and across the United States receive brand-new winter coats from Operation Warm. Our partner organizations are imperative to our efforts and if not for them, the gift of warmth would not be possible.

Here’s our list of partners in the Puget Sound:

Learn how you can get involved by visiting www.operationwarm.org.

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