Oklahoma City Fire Department members began the drive Monday and will collect money from firefighters, corporate interests and individuals, solely for the purpose of providing brand-new coats to local children who are most in need.
Tax-deductible donations can be sent to the nonprofit Operation Warm through www.operationwarm.org/oklahomacity and will benefit the local community.
"When we are not running 911 emergencies, we are trying to find other ways to get out into the community and serve," said Phil Sipe, president of IAFF Local 157.
"It is anticipated that hundreds of school-aged children will receive the gift of warmth, ensuring school attendance, better general health, and the ability to play outside during the coldest months of the year. This program is a collaboration between firefighters and the communities we serve."
Firefighters Coats for Kids is part of ongoing efforts by firefighters across the United States and Canada to strengthen families and communities.
"To a child living in poverty, there is nothing more exciting than something brand new," said Carey Palmquist, executive director of Operation Warm.
"Aside from the emotional excitement a new coat elicits, the coat is instrumental in promoting so many good things in a child's life including education, wellness and self-esteem, to name a few. It's a program that strengthens the overall well-being of a child, and helps families stretch limited financial resources to other basic necessities including food and shelter."
Written by Daily Oklahoman