Impact Beyond Warmth in Chicago
The line started forming as the sun rose on a late October Saturday morning in the city of Chicago; moms, dads, grandmothers, some with kids in tow, queued around the corner waiting to receive a simple gift, the gift of warmth for their children.
For the fourth year, Operation Warm partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority to provide Impact Beyond Warmth to over 3,000 families and their children living in poverty. 10,000 children received new winter coats while their parents were connected with valuable social services at a Resource Fair featuring over forty agencies and companies that help low income families improve their lives.
At the event, flu shots were given, state IDs and drivers licenses renewed, energy assistance applications processed and connections were made. Work force development agencies, dental and medical clinics and education resources were on hand, meeting families and offering their services.
Great thanks are due to the event sponsors, especially JPMorgan Chase, who provided scores of volunteers, and PepsiCo, who passed out thousands of bags of groceries. Both companies also made generous donations to cover the cost of the 10,000 new Operation Warm coats, as did Harmony Health Plan, ComEd, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Nan McKay, CVR Associates, Mesirow Financial, CNA Financial, TEC Services, Chicago White Sox Charities, Groupon and the Partnership for New Communities. Thanks to all who made this a great event, and helped put smiles and a nice warm feeing on so many Chicago children.