Why the Operation Warm Library Project is Perfect for Rotary Clubs


This new project can empower your Rotary Club to warm the hearts, minds and bodies of local children in need. It was positively made for Rotary Clubs that focus on service in their communities.

“The Operation Warm Library Program is a perfect Rotary Project,” says Rich Lalley, Director of Organization and Individual Development and Rotary for Operation Warm.

How the Library Project for Rotary Clubs was Born

Operation Warm Rotary Project

The library project, known as “Warming the Hearts and Minds of Children,” is a three-hour event that can be run with just ten volunteers. It was piloted last year in Chicago by the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield. Operation Warm saw a way to bring the community together to address two pressing needs, while providing an easy, impactful project for Rotarians.

Operation Warm provides all of the guidance and structure for the project, teaming up with libraries and Rotarians across the country to give a brand new coat and two new books to each child who participates.

An Easy, Impactful Rotary Service Project

This unique service project not only provides children with necessities, but introduces kids and their families to all that their neighborhood library branch has to offer beyond books.

The brand new coats keep children warm and able to get to school on cold and wintry days. Children get introduced to their local library, which gets them on the path to better reading, and therefore better literacy.

“At our Operation Warm event, we had over 100 new families join our library with new library cards,” says Liz Chesney of the Chicago Public Library. “Six months later, 78% of them are still active!”

“It adds a literacy component to providing basic needs for the most in need children in your community,” Rich says. “It is easy to execute and provides a big bang for your donated buck. And it offers your members a high impact, easy and rewarding opportunity for hands-on service with children.”

How the Operation Warm Library Project Works

  1. Sign up with Operation Warm to get started..
  2. Contact a local library to review the program objectives and get their buy-in.
  3. Work with the library to identify children you want to serve. Invite children from nearby low-income school, after school program or nonprofit serving families.
  4. Partner with library and beneficiary to size children for coats and pick your book titles (allow 6 weeks for delivery). Books come from First Book.
  5. Plan your event – gather volunteers, plan fun educational games and alert the local press.

For more information, email Rich at rlalley@operationwarm.org.

Interested in starting an Operation Warm community service project with your club? 

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