SPOKANE, Wash. – As the temperatures drop, many of us are pulling out our winter coats. However, for some children in the community, pulling out a warm jacket is not an option.
After seeing a need in the community, the Spokane Firefighters Union raised and pooled their own money to buy 200 coats for kids at Lidgerwood Elementary School, where the need was especially high.
“We chose Lidgerwood Elementary because they have 87 percent of their kids that are on free and reduced lunches,” explained Brandon Bacon, the Spokane Firefighters Union Communication Director. “Spokane has about 17 percent kids living in poverty, so there's a great need in the Spokane community and we wanted to do something about that.”
The union worked with Lidgerwood Elementary School to identify 200 kids in need. Firefighters then visited the school, where they got to meet the students and get their sizes.
“They're jumping up and down, they're pretty excited. Some of these kids, they don't have the opportunity to get brand new coats, so now they get a brand new made in USA coat,” Bacon said. “They can put their name on it, and sometimes they even get handed down to other siblings.”
The union partnered with a non-profit called Operation Warm to order the coats. Through fundraising, the firefighters raised $3,000, then kicked in $4,000 of their own money to make sure all 200 kids stay warm this winter.
Firefighters plan to deliver the coats to the kids at Lidgerwood Elementary School Tuesday morning. They also plan to bring an old fire engine to take pictures with the students.
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