The Issue: Children Living in Poverty Without Winter Coats
More than one in five children live in poverty in the United States, a total of 15.8 million children, according to results from the 2010 American Community Survey by the United States Census Bureau. Many low-income families must forgo purchasing new winter coats for growing children, which may cause the children to miss school on cold days or put their health at risk.
The Campaign: Distributing Winter Coats to Children in Need
For every $10 this Grassroots campaign raises, Operation Warm can purchase and distribute a winter coat to one child in need, with matching donations up to $15,000 from International Delight. Operation Warm works directly with manufacturers to obtain quality new coats at the lowest cost possible, and then distributes them during fall at events in low-income housing areas and community centers. Donors to this campaign can specify in which state they would like to provide a donated coat.
All donations will be matched up to a $15,000 total by International Delight.
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Founded in 1998, Operation Warm distributes winter coats to children across America, protecting their health and safety as well as buoying their spirits. "Our motto is 'more than a coat,' and I like to say we bring happiness and warmth to children through a new winter coat," executive director Rich Lalley says. "When they get a brand-new winter coat all their own ... they feel better about themselves, and when they feel better about themselves, children perform better in school."
Operation Warm distributes hundreds of thousands of new coats around the country each year. The organization's coats are brightly colored and have extra-deep pockets and detachable hoods, and they come in sizes 3T to adult large.