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Firefighters Keep 2,000 Needy Children Warm with New Winter Coats

Firefighters will provide new winter coats to more than 2,000 children living in poverty across Spokane, Pierce County, and Seattle before the New Year.

Seattle, WA, December 21, 2012 --( On Thursday December 20th, Seattle Firefighters, IAFF Local 27, will provide brand-new winter coats to more than 800 children living in poverty in conjunction with Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation, a new community outreach program designed especially for Firefighters across North America. The Washington State Council of Firefighters has adopted this program and is launching efforts which span the entire state. Firefighters will reach more than 2,000 children across Spokane, Pierce County, and Seattle before the New Year. “Nearly 300,000 children in Washington State live in poverty,” stated Kelly Fox, President of the Washington State Council of Firefighters. “This is an emergency without the 911 call. We don’t want families choosing between putting food on the table and providing a warm coat for their child.”

Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation is a division of Operation Warm, the largest non-profit distributer of new coats in the U.S. The new program has recently garnered the support of the International Association of Firefighters, (IAFF,) who encourage their membership of over 300,000 to participate. In the four months since inception, IAFF Firefighters have reached over 23,000 impoverished children across 15 states. Washington State Firefighters are the first to launch on the West Coast with one of the largest efforts, thus far.

Seattle Firefighters will provide new coats for every child attending Martin Luther King Jr. and Bailey Gatzert Elementary Schools where nearly 100% of the student population are living below the federal poverty level. The coats, manufactured especially for Operation Warm, have been ordered in just the right size, and in a variety of styles and colors, so that children may enjoy a unique coat that fits properly. Firefighters will spend the afternoon, personally fitting each child with a new coat, and helping them to write their name in the interior tag which reads, “Made Especially for You.” “This is more than a coat,” stated Kenny Stuart, Local 27 Union President. “Beyond warmth, Seattle Firefighters hope a new coat will bring pride to these children and relief for struggling families, just in time for the holidays.”

“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.”

About Firefighters Coats for Kids Foundation
Firefighters Coats for Kids is a division of nonprofit Operation Warm, a 501(c)3 founded in 1998. Operation Warm’s mission is to warm the hearts, minds and bodies of children in poverty through the gift of warmth – a brand new winter coat. Community service is at the core of a firefighter’s mission. Through Firefighters Coats for Kids, they inspire hope and empower the communities they serve, by providing NEW winter coats to those children most in need. By 2013, Firefighters Coats for Kids plans to distribute American-made coats, bringing back jobs to North America and further battling the cycle of poverty. For more information visit:

About Operation Warm Inc.
Operation Warm Inc. is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of new winter coats to children in need. Our vision is that every child wearing a new winter coat is healthy, able to attend school regularly and develop a strong self-esteem. Operation Warm has distributed coats in 37 states. In February 2012, we served our millionth child - a momentous milestone. For more information about Operation Warm visit

Donations stay local and are accepted online:

Media is welcome to attend.

Thursday, 12/20

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
6725 45th Ave S. Seattle, WA 98118
Bailey Gatzert Elementary
1301 E. Yesler Way Seattle, WA 98122

Local Contact:
Theresa Purtell
Washington State Council of Firefighters
(253) 221-8093

Renee Koerner
(610) 388-2500
Contact Information
Operation Warm
Paul Daigle

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