The National Reach and Local Impact of Operation Warm


Your support made a huge impact during the fall and winter season of 2018-19. Thanks to dedicated people like you all across North America, more than 405,000 brand new coats were gifted to those in need. From small rural towns to major cities and everywhere in between, Operation Warm partners provided a gift of warmth, confidence and hope to many children.

The Local Impact of Operation Warm

Operation Warm partners should feel proud of the good they have done for their local communities. The impact of bringing warmth, confidence and hope to the children they serve goes beyond the physical gift of a brand new coat.

Nearly 1,300 local communities were served during the fall and winter season of 2018.

Thanks to our partners, children and families in local communities across the country will:

  • Have an increased likelihood of breaking the cycle of poverty
  • Have the confidence to succeed
  • Get to school in cold weather and enjoy active outdoor play
  • Experience a reduced financial burden on the family
  • Get access to additional services, resources and community education (such as fire safety or flu shots)
  • Experience joy and hope.

breaking the cycle of poverty

Proving the Impact of Operation Warm Supporters

Reports, surveys and other data all support the undeniable impact made by Operation Warm partners and supporters. Below are some highlights.

Impacting the Cycle of Poverty

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a family of four that makes less than $25,100 a year is considered to be living in poverty.

One of the most significant barriers associated with breaking the poverty cycle is a student’s attitude and beliefs. Low personal expectations and low self-efficacy perpetuate low achievement and failure. –Significant Barriers Associated with Breaking the Cycle of Poverty — J. Bamburg. NCREL Monograph: Raising Expectations to Improve Student Learning, 2000

“Direct links between empowerment and breaking free from poverty are real. Self-confidence, personal power and aspirations for the future are associated with a high increase in escaping poverty.” –Children International: Global Poverty and Empowerment


coats mean confidence

Building Confidence

Operation Warm believes a great looking, well-fitting coat has no stigma, so kids aren’t identified by others as being in need. A new, high quality coat with their name written inside sparks pride in a child, and that pride-in-ownership leads to improved self-image and self-esteem.

“I love the coat and I feel like I stand out in a good way.” –Operation Warm Student Survey 2019

“Providing coats for students in need is very important, because the support is meeting a need that they have, which takes so many steps to help them succeed. A coat provides not only warmth for our children but it provides a symbol of security and confidence!” — Markayla Young, School Social Worker, Detroit Merit Charter Academy

Helping Kids Get to School and Experience Healthy Outdoor Play

Operation Warm believes a good education and consistent school attendance is one of the best ways to help a child become a successful adult.  A new winter coat goes beyond a piece of clothing and helps a child get to school with confidence and enjoy healthy outdoor exercise on cold and wintry days.

“94.6% Agree that Children with adequate winter clothing are less likely to miss school on cold days.”—Operation Warm Partner Survey 2019

“A majority of the children that come into our care arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  On several occasions, we scheduled outings around the weather because it was too cold to take them out knowing most did not have a jacket.  The look on their faces when I informed them they were getting new coats was priceless.  Sadly, some of the young ladies never owned a new coat.” —    Tanya Eagleton, Development Coordinator, Carson Parke Houston


Operation Warm coats come in a variety of color combinations unique to each child's personality!

Easing the Financial Burden

For a family living in poverty, necessities like housing, heat, food and healthcare can quickly deplete their monthly income. When struggling to provide those essentials, items like warm winter clothing get moved to the bottom of the list. This how

Operation Warm partners can support an entire family, leaving more resources for additional necessities, such as rent, food and healthcare.

National Impact quote

“93% of parents strongly agreed or agreed that they would be able to use their income for other basic needs since they do not have to purchase a coat”—Operation Warm Parent Survey 2019

“Some families only came in for the coats and, if nothing else, this act alone took a huge burden off of our plates for the winter.” — Parent from Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness

Offering Additional Resources

Operation Warm partners may choose to give brand new coats as part of an extended program, using the gift of brand new coats to attract recipients toward additional resources.

“Definitely, it impacted people that didn’t know The Chapel Lake Zurich, and about the many ministries we provide.” — Denise Rasbid, Domestic Outreach Leader for The Chapel at Lake Zurich, Illinois.

“Along with Operation Warm brand new coats, participants also received flu shots, books, utility services and 30 other essential goods and services.” Kirsten Hamer, Chicago Housing Authority.

Joy and Hope

While other organizations collect used coats, Operation Warm works with manufacturers to create our own line of carefully crafted winter coats. By making their own coats, the organization controls the quality and ensures these brand new winter coats become a daily source of pride and joy for children, who rarely feel the emotion associated with receiving a gift that was made just for them.

“Houston schools service many underprivileged children. The opportunity for them to receive a new coat will renew their faith in the world, that there are good people willing to help others. Our children will come to school prepared to learn, knowing someone cares and the impossible is possible.” –Nakeia Pittman, Wraparound Resource Specialist, On Time Grad Academy, Houston

“Giving our students new coats provides them with a sense of hope and pride. It lets our students know that our community cares about them.” –Ms. Tamara Cooper, Executive Director, University Heights Charter School in Newark, New Jersey.

knowing they care

What the Future Holds for Operation Warm’s Reach

In 2018, Operation Warm celebrated our 20-year anniversary. Providing warmth, confidence and hope by gifting nearly three million brand new coats during the first twenty years of service is just the start of the organization’s impact.

In 2019, Operation Warm’s partners will continue connecting families to community resources, joining with libraries to increase membership and community reading, and providing the tangible gift of brand new coats to those in need.

Operation Warm will continue to provide an easy Coats for Kids program that allows our partners to have a tremendous positive impact on America’s local communities.

“I believe it’s our personal responsibility to help others,” explains Dick Sanford, founder of Operation Warm. “No child should be left out in the cold or be forced to walk to school in freezing temperatures without a coat. Operation Warm coats truly impact the lives of thousands of children.”

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