Firefighters use Operation warm to provide coats for kids in nee - KPTV - FOX 12

Firefighters use Operation warm to provide coats for kids in need

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Each fall season, Portland firefighters team up with a local business to donate new winter coats to kids in need.

Operation Warm helps children keep warm for the winter ahead, but also sends a message of kindness that event organizers hope will catch on.

"I mean, us as adults, we enjoy to get a nice winter coat, but for these kids, it means a lot more, so it's great to see," firefighter Terry Foster said.

The program has provided more than 200,000 American-made coats to kids nationwide. Firefighters, who are working with local business Tripwire this year, say the coats provide much more than protection from the harsh winter.

"I see excitement and hope, and when you hand the coat to the kid it just puts a huge smile on their face, and it makes me smile and it just makes me feel like I've done something good outside my work day and be part of a bigger Portland community," Tripwire representative Kate Carson said.

Friday morning the kids rushed into a room full of colorful new coats.  For some of them, fashion was the most important factor.

"I am very excited to see if the purple one will be a keeper or else I'll just get a red or orange one," new coat recipient Truwyn Ryan said.

Each coat is fitted and customized for the most comfortable fit, and the kid's names are then written on the tags, with a statement reading, "Made just for you."

After seeing the positive reaction this morning, firefighters hope it will carry over into years to come.

“We've almost given out, I think, 1,000 coats in the last four years,” Foster said. “This is our biggest year yet by far and we look forward to growing it."

To learn more about operation warm events or to see how to contribute, visit OperationWarm.org/Portland.

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