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The Life-Changing Benefits of Volunteering: Abby’s Story

At Operation Warm, we do more than provide children with the clothing essentials they need to be warm, comfortable, and confident. We deliver these essentials as part of memorable experiences designed to be meaningful and fun for everyone involved: kids and families, beneficiary organizations, and the funders of our programs.

Many of these beautiful experiences wouldn’t be possible without our Community Impact Volunteers (CIVs). CIVs donate the gift of their time and skills to help plan and execute our events, build bridges in the communities we serve, and ensure that no detail is overlooked. From preliminary preparations to day-of coordination, these volunteers play a vital role in ensuring the gifting programs that they attend run smoothly. In return, they tell us the joy of putting smiles on children’s faces is the greatest gift of all.

We asked one of our amazing CIVs, Abby, to share how volunteering with Operation Warm has positively impacted her life and career. Here’s her story:  

I first got involved with Operation Warm while working at a store of a company that was partnering with Operation Warm. Our company sponsored a volunteer event, and we’d also host an annual transaction round-up on behalf of Operation Warm, which was always a hit with our shoppers! The opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the community aligned with the company’s commitment to social responsibility and was a cause I supported.

When I was able to volunteer with my company and Operation Warm, witnessing the joy and gratitude on the children’s faces emphasized the real impact of our efforts. Their reactions reinforced the importance of giving back and fostering a sense of warmth and community—an unmatched feeling!

That’s when I decided to give the CIV role a try. I have a passion for serving my community, and teaming up with Operation Warm was an obvious choice, as I already knew their values aligned with mine. The personal connections formed with other volunteers, children, and school staff, as well as the sense of fulfillment I felt, ultimately led me to extend my commitment beyond the corporate initiatives.

Operation Warm has been a catalyst for both my personal and professional growth. On a personal note, I was once one of those kids who relied on programs like Operation Warm for my necessities. Growing up on a low income shaped me to be cognizant of others’ challenges and has inspired me to always lead with empathy and compassion. Professionally, volunteering has polished my leadership and teamwork skills and continued cultivating my emotional intelligence and ability to build relationships.

To those contemplating the rewarding journey of volunteering or partnering with Operation Warm, my message is simple: Dive in! Beyond the tangible impact, it’s about finding purpose and forming connections. Your actions, big or small, can create a ripple effect of warmth and generosity. Don’t be afraid to be that voice of change in your community!

Interested in making a difference through volunteering? Learn more about becoming an Operation Warm Community Impact Volunteer!

Our Impact

  • Years of Service


  • Total Children Served


  • Communities Served


  • 2022-2023 Volunteer Hours


  • FedEx
  • Nordstrom
  • Thomas
  • IGS Energy
  • Exelon
  • Money Mart
  • Elks National Foundation, Inc.
  • The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • Pat's Coats for Kids
  • Morgan Stanley
  • WW Smith
  • Lazard
  • Wells Fargo
  • Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation
  • Benjamin Moore
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
  • Delilah Home
  • Rotary Districts
  • Mountain America
    Mountain America
  • The Chicago Community Trust and Affiliates
  • TJX
  • bpx energy
  • Delta
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Gerber
  • IAFF Local 2068 Fairfax County
  • PNC
  • EQT
  • AccuWeather
  • Operation North Pole
  • Rock 99.9 KISW
  • Scott Spino Foundation
  • Heinz
  • Marathon Petroleum
    Marathon Petroleum
  • Gynada
  • Accenture
  • Subaru
  • Amazon
  • Assistance League
    Assistance League
  • Bonzy
  • Civitas
  • Ferrellgas
  • Five Below
    Five Below
  • Fox Milwaukee
    Fox Milwaukee
  • Harvey Hanna
    Harvey Hanna
  • Hasbro
  • Holtec
  • Islamic Relief
    Islamic Relief
  • Kaiser
  • Lake Trust
    Lake Trust
  • Lennox
  • Liuna
  • Molina
  • NYC
  • Ocean First
    Ocean First
  • Salvation Army
    Salvation Army
  • The Tepper Foundation
    The Tepper Foundation
  • wawa
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