Linda Sherran, Corporate Partnerships Manager
Linda Sherran joined Operation Warm as the new Seattle-based Partnerships Manager in March 2018 bringing her passion for helping children in need. During Linda’s 25-year career in fundraising, she has raised millions of dollars to bring music and arts education to underserved children as well as helped to provide early intervention services to special needs infants and toddlers. She has also been a foster parent, held clothing drives for foster children, and adopted her foster daughter in 2010.
During her career, Linda has served at such nonprofits as the Kindering (Development Director), Seattle Art Museum (Associate Director of Development, Major and Planned Gifts), the Seattle Symphony (Director of Major Gifts and Special Initiatives), the New York Philharmonic (Director of Individual Giving) and Lincoln Center Theater (Associate Director of Development). Linda holds a M.A. in nonprofit management from New York University. She is a member of Seattle 4 Rotary Club.
How would you describe your role to a child?
“I work with companies that want to help children in their communities who don’t have very much. The companies gift Operation Warm’s brand new winter coats to these children across the United States.”
What does more than a coat mean to you?
“Besides providing physical warmth, Operation Warm’s coats give children in need self confidence, hope, improved school attendance, overall wellness, and so much more. Giving a child something brand new, all their own, creates a sense of pride in ownership that fosters self confidence in children who may feel insecure. With a new Operation Warm coat, children will be able to maintain daily school attendance during cold weather, helping ensure they have access to critical classroom learning, outdoor play with peers, and nutritious food. A brand new coat also offers hope to both children and their parents, reminding them that there are those in their community that care about their well-being and future.”
What new initiatives have you started at Operation Warm?
“I launched the Puget Sound Advisory Council (PSAC) to build greater involvement and support for Operation Warm activities and mission among the local civic and business community in the Puget Sound — and to ultimately give a greater number of brand new coats to children living in need. We are grateful to the current council members from Amazon, Kimpton Hotels, Communities in the Schools Renton, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, who serve on the Council and give of their time and talents. We are looking to continue to expand the PSAC and hope anyone who is interested will reach out to me.”
Who do you look up to most at Operation Warm?
“Dick and Grace. Running a nonprofit organization takes a warm heart and business acumen. Dick, a long-time philanthropist and highly successful businessman, brings both to Operation Warm. He works tirelessly every day to help children in need and strives to find new ways to be innovative and drive Operation Warm forward. His continued determination to help children living in poverty – even 20 years later after founding Operation Warm – is truly inspirational. Grace is one of the most supportive bosses I have ever had. She always asks how she can help me in my work, so I can be successful. She is also an extremely passionate, smart, dedicated and understanding person.”
What are your hopes for the future of Operation Warm?
“While Operation Warm serves 400,000 children in need each year, there are millions of children in this country who still need warm winter coats. It’s my hope that through new and increased partnerships that we can fulfill this need! I’d also like to see funding available to provide all the children we serve with our Green Guardian coats made of recycled PET plastic. In doing so we will be providing them not only with warmth but with a coat that teaches them to be earth-friendly kids and helps make a big impact on the plastic pollution crisis in this world.”
What are your interests outside of Operation Warm?
“I love spending time with friends and my family – husband David, son Cheyenne, daughter Emily and our dogs Marley and Shadow. I also enjoy volunteering and am excited to give back to my community as a Rotarian. Some of my hobbies include playing the flute, traveling, listening to live music, sailing and cooking.”