PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Firefighters are giving the gift of warmth to Paducah first graders.
The Paducah Fire Department is taking part in an effort called Operation Warm.
Firefighters will be delivering 74 coats to Morgan Elementary School on Wednesday, November 12 at 1 p.m.
The firefighters and their families, members of the International Association of Firefighters Local 168, donated $2,700 out of their paychecks to purchase a new, American made coat for every first grade student at Morgan.
Operation Warm is a national program founded in 2002 that provides American coats to children in need. The coats cost $34 each. The program helps more than 300,000 children each year.
"When a child has a new coat, they have a lot of pride," said Paducah Fire Captain Barry Carter. "And in the winter time, they will end up attending school more regularly where they can get the education and nutrition they need."
The Paducah Fire Department is accepting donations to expand the project to purchase coats for more kids in the area.
"Every donation counts," said Captain Carter. "Our initial goal was to provide a coat for each first-grader at Morgan Elementary. We met that goal through donations by my fellow firefighters and their friends and families. Now we need the public's help to provide every first-grade student and ultimately every elementary student in Paducah a new American-made coat."
For more information about Operation Warm and to make a donation, visit www.iafflocal168.org.