Warm-Hearted Teacher Aids 36 Families


With winter quickly approaching, school attendance of many children will fall due to a lack of warm winter clothing. Few people see the impact of a warm winter coat as much as our local heroes – our teachers. Last year Mr. Antoine Bland of Oak View Elementary School saw a need in his community, and he purchased out of pocket brand new winter coats, socks and snow boots for a homeless family in his school. Mr. Bland, your act of kindness did not go unnoticed. At Operation Warm, we have selected Mr. Bland as the winner of our “Warm Hearts” Teacher Appreciation Contest, earning him 36 warm new winter coats for children in his school.

“Mr. Bland exuberates role model qualities, genuine honesty, warm-heartedness and true leadership,” says Katherine Maggitt, the parent of an Oak View student. “He always celebrated each student as though they were his only student and that made them feel quite special.”

The contest began in early September and ended October 5th, on World Teachers’ Day. We wanted to recognize one teacher among many who display incredible generosity and warmth toward their students each year. After reading so many heart-warming stories of teachers who give back every day, it was difficult to choose a winner. We believe that Mr. Bland embodies Operation Warm’s vision of keeping every child warm, healthy and able to attend school. He understands just how much the life of a child and their family can be changed from the simple gift of a new coat. We can imagine the look on those 36 children’s faces when Mr. Bland walks in the room with brand new Operation Warm coats this fall, and that is what makes our mission so worthwhile.

Operation Warm has been putting brand new coats on children in need for over fifteen years. We are a national nonprofit organization operating in 42 states, with the help of many local community partners including schools, shelters, Rotary clubs, other nonprofits, and your local firefighters. Our mission is to ensure that no child is left in the cold, that they are safe and able to attend school even on the coldest winter days. To date, we have served over 1.2 million children in the US who struggle with poverty. Learn more about our cause at www.operationwarm.org.

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