Rotary Community Service Project with Operation Warm
Since we began, Operation Warm has worked closely with Rotary clubs. When Operation Warm’s founder Dick Sanford bought his first 58 coats in 1998, his local Longwood Rotary Club assisted him in the first coat giveaway at a nearby school serving children in need. Over the next few years, other clubs joined the effort, helping expand fundraising and assisting with more coat giving programs.
Today, over 270 Rotary Clubs in more than 95 districts have partnered with Operation Warm to conduct service projects that provide brand new winter coats to children in their communities. In fact, Rotary clubs have provided over 300,000 children all over the country with new winter coats, helping us impact communities we could never reach on our own. Each club identifies its own beneficiary organization(s), typically local schools or youth services agencies, and raises funds locally to support its project.
“I never get over the genuine joy that I feel when I see the smiles (and sometimes tears) on the children's faces as they realize that they get to keep the beautiful new coat that we have provided for them. Since our distribution is normally in November and December, I have always said that their happiness is the best Christmas present I could ever receive.”
How It Works in 5 Easy Steps
1. Select the Children
Nearly 20% of U.S. children live in poverty. You know there are children in your community that need help, you just need to know where to look. Using the Free/Reduced Lunch Program as a guide, identify children who are in need of warm clothing. Viable options include: elementary schools, shelters, anti-poverty programs, Boys & Girls clubs, etc. **www.elementaryschools.org is a great tool to help identify the need in your community.
2. Set Your Goal
After you’ve identified how many children you want to help, set a fundraising goal based on how many coats you’ll need (average price is $20/coat, minimum order of 36 coats). Operation Warm coats are shipped in a wide variety of colors so kids can choose their favorite!
3. Fundraise for Coats
Next step is raise awareness, promote your coat program and fundraise to meet your coat goal.
Don’t sweat it! We’ll provide you with your own fundraising web page and plenty of resources to help you reach your goal in no time.
4. Order Coats
After fundraising is complete, work with your beneficiary school or organization to find out what coat sizes you’ll need for your children.
All coats are prepackaged and shipped in bulk by box. Each box contains 6 coats of the same size & gender, but in a variety of colors. Due to warehousing restrictions, we cannot open boxes to fulfill custom orders.
5. Give Out New Coats!
Coordinate Coat Giving Celebration – schedule the date/time of the coat event and secure space ahead of time such as a gym or cafeteria.
Plan for PR – See our Resources page for tips on how to inform the local press of your event and garner recognition.
Pass Out Coats – the best part! Gather your volunteers to experience first-hand the joy that comes with giving a brand-new coat on a child in need. There is no feeling quite like it!
Resources & FAQs
Everything you need to know to run an Operation Warm program and fundraise in your community.Learn More
“We were all amazed when we first saw an Operation Warm coat. The colours are wonderful, the quality is excellent. We felt that our Canadian children would enjoy them as well as they would be warm in our climate. The quality means that no one can identify them as a gift to a needy child.”