Washington DC Firefighters distribute Operation Warm winter coats to children

Washington D.C. – On Friday December 14th, the Washington D.C. Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 36 will provide brand-new winter coats to 1,000 children across the most impoverished areas of Washington D.C. Firefighters will reach more than 20 public schools and community organizations across Ward 7 and Ward 8 in the name of Firefighters Coats for Kids, a division of the largest non-profit distributer of new coats in the U.S., Operation Warm. “Child poverty levels are pushing 50% percent in certain neighborhoods of Washington D.C.,” stated Ed Smith, Local 36 Union President. “This is an emergency without the 911 call. Children are freezing in our community and we can’t stand by leaving them out in the cold.”

Firefighters will open their doors, welcoming over one hundred children, social workers, counselors, and school teachers to their union hall. Bright new coats, in a variety of styles and colors, will take the place of fire equipment as firefighters personally fit children with the new coat of their choice, and volunteers work together to distribute orders. “Every social worker we’ve approached is overwhelmed with emotion,” stated James Gordon, Local 36 Secretary. “Reaching 1,000 children in our first year is an accomplishment, but our goal is to serve every corner of the city.”

Beyond warmth, firefighters hope a new coat will bring pride to children and relief for struggling families just in time for the holidays. “This is a program that strengthens communities and the overall well-being of children” stated, Carey Palmquist, Executive Director of Operation Warm. “A new coat boosts a child’s self-esteem, encourages school attendance throughout the cold winter months, and allows families to stretch limited financial resources to other basic necessities, such as food and shelter.” Moving forward, the Washington D.C. Firefighters Association will be fundraising to make this an annual event.

About Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation

Firefighters Coats for Kids is a division of nonprofit Operation Warm, a 501(c)3 founded in 1998. Operation Warm’s mission is to warm the hearts, minds and bodies of children in poverty through the gift of warmth – a brand new winter coat. Community service is at the core of a firefighter’s mission. Through Firefighters Coats for Kids, they inspire hope and empower the communities they serve, by providing NEW winter coats to those children most in need. By 2013, Firefighters Coats for Kids plans to distribute American-made coats, bringing back jobs to North America and further battling the cycle of poverty.  For more information visit: www.firefighterscoatsforkids.org

About Operation Warm Inc.

Operation Warm Inc. is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of new winter coats to children in need. Our vision is that every child wearing a new winter coat is healthy, able to attend school regularly and develop a strong self-esteem. Operation Warm has distributed coats in 37 states. In February 2012, we served our MILLIONTH child – a momentous milestone. For more information about Operation Warm visit www.operationwarm.org.

Donations for the Washington D.C. Firefighters Coats for Kids program may be made to:

Firefighters Coats for Kids: https://donate.operationwarm.org/DC36

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