Paducah firefighters deliver the gift of warmth - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah firefighters deliver the gift of warmth

Paducah firefighters loading coats for Morgan Elementary (Source: Rae Daniel) Paducah firefighters loading coats for Morgan Elementary (Source: Rae Daniel)

Firefighters are giving the gift of warmth to Paducah school children for a second year in a row through a project called "Operation Warm."

Last year, Paducah firefighters made sure every first-grader at Morgan Elementary School, 74 in all, had a new coat for the winter.

This year they'll provide coats for 60 first-graders at Morgan Elementary School and 81 first-graders at McNabb Elementary School.

“It’s soft on the inside and these are my two favorite colors," 1st grader, Marley Burrus said.

“Our goal is to drive by these elementary school and see these coats just cover the entire elementary school playground," Paducah Fire Captain, Barry Carter said. “Operation Warm is a program that allows firefighters to give back to the community and furnish children in the community a new winter coat. When you give a kid a new winter coat, it makes school going to school a little easier.”

For Marley, she had one word to describe how she felt about her new jacket.

“Awesome," she said.

Firefighters say a generous donation from Baptist Health allowed the department to expand for the second year in a row, helping both McNabb and Morgan elementary schools.

“To be able to provide coats to kids like that, we just love doing it. It’s a great way for us to get out there in the community,” Paducah Fire Private, Jennifer Fuchs said. 

And for Marley, she says thank you.

“It was really nice of them," she said.

Firefighters, their families and members of the International Association of Firefighters Local 168 donated money out of their paychecks to buy the new, American-made coats they will be handing out for $34 a piece. They also accept donations from the public, in order to help as many children as possible.

“When a child has a new coat, they have a lot of pride,” Carter said. “And in the winter time, they will end up attending school more regularly where they can get the education and nutrition they need.”

"Operation Warm" is a national program founded in 2002 that provides coats to children in need. The program helps more than 300,000 children each year.

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