Thanks to These American Heroes, We Reached Our Goal

How do you inspire support of a worthwhile winter coat program in the middle of the blazing hot summer? It can happen with the help of American heroes, of course.

Operation Warm teamed up with our IAFF firefighter partners all across the country to launch a 4th of July fundraising campaign to raise funds to provide brand new, American-made coats to children across the USA. From Anchorage, Alaska to Hampton, New Hampshire, the need for winter coats for children is great, with nearly one in five children living in poverty in America.

Firefighters see this crisis first hand while serving their communities. They’ve seen the effects of winter on children who have to go without adequate protection in inclement weather. They wanted to do something about it and reach more children in need in their communities than ever before.

It is tough to fundraise for coats in the summer, even for heroes, but it is the only way to make sure that the need is met and no children are left behind when winter comes. Generous anonymous donors supported the goal by matching any incoming donations up to $10,000!

“Operation Warm supporters are both generous and loyal. I knew that if they found out about the great need the firefighters had to support American children with American-made winter coats, they would help us reach our goal,” says Mary Ann Romans, Operation Warm’s Digital Engagement Coordinator. “The best way to do this quickly was to get the message out on social media and through email.”

IAFF firefighters spread the message to reach more generous people by, sharing a video and other messages through their social media networks. This resulted in more people learning how important it is to raise the funds now, so they could be turned into warm colorful coats later.

“Our firefighter partners have done an amazing job helping us to get the word out about the need,” says Laura Wisneski, Partner Development Manager. “Their support was critical in being able to meet our goal. They are our heroes in more ways than one.”

In addition to supporting our firefighter heroes with their local Operation Warm programs, this 4th of July campaign also made it possible to support good American jobs. Every dollar raised went directly to the manufacturing of children’s coats that were 100 percent sourced and crafted in the USA.

“When we first came across Operation Warm and learned that not only did they give coats to children in need in the cold winter season, but that the coats they donated were made here in the USA, there was no way we could not support such a positive mission,” says Made in America CEO and Founder Deagan Williams.

Made in America is a nonpartisan organization that focuses on encouraging others to buy American-Made, in order to bring consumers “better quality products” and support hard working Americans while stimulating the economy here at home. “Made in America Co. is proud to stand behind and beside Operation Warm 100 percent, and we look forward to a long lasting relationship.”

Thanks to the continued support from local IAFF Firefighters, more than 200,000 coats have been provided to children across the country

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