Firefighters deliver Christmas coats
More than 200 new, warm winter coats were delivered to Douglas County School District students Tuesday by the East Fork Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3726.
A total of 204 jackets were purchased and delivered by the firefighters in conjunction with the Operation Warm: Coats For Kids Foundation. The non-profit organization provides new coats to children in need to help improve self-confidence, peer acceptance, school attendance and overall wellness.
Looking around Gardnerville Elementary School, the firefighters’ third stop after Meneley and Scarselli elementary schools, many students were not wearing jackets.
“Did they not have one, did they just not put it on?” asked Brian Trute, East Fork Fire Protection District firefighter paramedic and charity and donation chairman. “Who really knows, but that is why we are doing this — to provide kids in need with jackets as part of Operation Warm.”
East Fork Professional Firefighters IAFF local 3726 collected $3,436 from its members, including an individual donation of $1,000, and held several fundraisers throughout the year to purchase the coats from the Operation Warm Foundation. All jackets are made by the foundation to ensure each child gets a new coat.
“What we like about Operation Warm is all the money we raised will stay in Douglas County,” said Trute. “Douglas County School District identified children in need of warm coats and will get them to all the kids before Christmas break.”
The coats are quality products union-made in the United States and lined with fleece, said Trute.
“There’s a variety of colors for boys, girls and unisex,” he said. “There’s even a little stitched area where they can write their names on them.”
Piñon Hills and Jacks Valley elementary schools also received coats from the firefighters.
“We hope to continue this program,” said Trute. “Our goal is to get a number of kids in need in the beginning of September to purchase and distribute more. It’s amazing how you get something like this going and how many people get involved. We want to see these kids happy and warm.”