WEST VALLEY CITY (ABC4 News) – Firefighters delivered brand new winter coats to children in need at Hillsdale Elementary.
“Operation Warm” is a national non-profit that the city partnered with to make it happen. At Hillsdale, nearly 80 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced lunch placing them 135 percent below the federal poverty line.
That means necessities like warm winter clothing can be hard to come by when food, shelter, heat, and medicine take priority.
Operation Warm believes that by providing a new coat especially around the holidays, a child is not only provided with warmth but also a boost in joy and self-esteem.
“Some of these children have never had their own coat… and so what we do is we use a marker, we write their name in it so it’s real, it’s theirs, and it’s pretty amazing,” said Zackery M. Hatch, President of West Valley Professional Firefighters. “Often times we go to homes and there’s a unique or bad situation going on but at this point, you get to make a difference or ya know the potential to make a difference in a kid’s lives and it’s really neat.”
Around 150 coats were handed out Monday and since 1998 Operation Warm has helped provide new winter coats to more than 2 million children in need throughout the country.