The Anchorage Firefighters Union Engages Community to Warm the Hearts of Children
ANCHORAGE, Alaska- On October 21st, 2013 the Anchorage Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 1264, will provide new winter coats to warm the hearts, minds, and bodies, of the students at William Tyson Elementary. This campaign is led by the Anchorage Firefighters, Anchorage Police (APDEA) and Alaska Airlines to provide at-risk children in Anchorage with brand-new, American-made coats for the winter. This is the first year the Anchorage Firefighters & Anchorage Police Department Employees Association have joined forces with national non-profit Operation Warm to launch the program, "Firefighters Coats for Kids," a movement led by firefighters across the U.S. to combat the effects of childhood poverty while saving American jobs. "When we're not responding to 911 emergencies, we find other ways to serve those who need us in the community we live in," stated Justin Mack, Anchorage Firefighter.
The Anchorage Firefighters & Anchorage Police Department Employees Association gathered over $7,000, along with the support of Alaska Airlines, to provide coats to 222 children at William Tyson Elementary. The coats, manufactured especially by Operation Warm, have been ordered in just the right size and in a variety of colors so that the children may enjoy a unique coat that fits properly. "By nature of our service to the community, we see how poverty affects these children," stated Josh Foster, Anchorage
Firefighter. "Keeping them warm and safe throughout the winter is the least we can do."
Firefighters will surprise the students on October 21st with their new coats, personally fitting each child, and helping them to write their name in the interior tag, which reads, "Made Just for You." "This is a program that strengthens communities and the overall well-being of children," stated Carey Palmquist, Executive Director of Operation Warm. "A new coat boosts a child's self-esteem and allows families to stretch limited financial resources to other basic necessities, such as food and shelter." Operation Warm is dedicated to providing new winter coats to U.S. children in need and has reached more than 1.2 million children since 1998. The International Association of Firefighters represents over 300,000 professional firefighters who are dedicated to serving their communities beyond the traditional call of duty. In 2012, Operation Warm joined together with the IAFF to form a widespread, high-impact program called Firefighters Coats for Kids. The collaboration of these two organizations deepens the reach and support of our efforts, as fire fighters protecting communities across the USA have become the face of this mission and the catalyst for a multi-dimensional program that not only provides coats to impoverished children but also helps Americans get back to work and out of poverty. Through this unprecedented partnership fire fighters are distributing coats made and sourced 100% in the USA. This collaboration provides relief for families who struggle to meet basic needs and to children who will now experience the joy and pride of owning something brand new - a gift of warmth from their local heroes.
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