Mary Ann Romans, Content Manager

How would you describe your role to a child?

Some kids can’t go play outside or go to school because their families don’t have enough money to get them the warm coats they need. I tell other people about this so we can all team up to help them.

What does more than a coat mean to you?

More than a coat consists of only four little words, but it encircles so much. I’m in a unique position of hearing many of the stories of how Operation Warm coats make the world a better place for children who have so little. It means laughter and joy, hope and confidence, warmth and comfort—and the biggest thing is it tells a child that someone understands and cares.

How would you describe an Operation Warm coat giving event?

It is about making connections. That might sound strange, but when you help a child pick out what is probably the first new well-fitting piece of clothing they have ever had, and then you help them write their name in the coat, you connect with that child. And you enable that child to connect to the village that made the moment possible: the person who gave a small donation so that child could have that gift, the teachers and administrators who advocated for that child, the individuals and groups who fundraised, and the Operation Warm staff and volunteers who brought everyone together. It is a sort of beautiful collective consciousness of a belief in kindness and care for children. The message that “yes, someone cares about you.” And that belief, that message, it becomes a tangible reality hundreds of thousands of times over, with each new gift of a brand new coat.

Who do you look up to most at Operation Warm?

Everyone! Seriously. Every single person at Operation Warm is passionate about what we do and has the talents and smarts to not only perform the particular role they were hired to do but also to jump in wherever needed. It is really beautiful how we have different strengths and interests. I try to do my best to learn something from each individual, whether that is the secret to building a complicated analytical report or how not to sweat the small things.

What are your hopes for the future of Operation Warm?

My hopes for the future of Operation Warn is that we will someday reach every child in America who is in need of a brand new warm coat.

What are your interests outside of Operation Warm?

I love spending time with my family and friends. They are a bunch of funny, creative and super-smart people I feel blessed to have in my life. I am a voracious reader and always bring a book along with me for emergencies. This is especially useful because I usually arrive much too early to events and appointments.

Connect with Mary Ann on LinkedIn.