The Issue: Children Living in Poverty Without Winter Coats
In 2012, more than one in five children—or about 16.4 million children—were living in poverty in the United States, according to data from Kids Count. In order to afford basic necessities, many of these low-income households may be forced to forego purchasing new winter coats for growing children. This, in turn, may cause children to miss school on cold days or risk their health by attending school without a coat. Providing coats for these children will give them a way to make it to school during cold winters without risking illness.
The Campaign: Distributing Winter Coats to Kids in Need
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Operation Warm to distribute new winter coats to children from low-income families. For every $10 this Grassroots campaign raises, combined with matching donations from Rotary International, Operation Warm can purchase and distribute a winter coat to one child in need. Operation Warm works directly with manufacturers to obtain quality new coats at the lowest cost possible. The coats are then distributed during fall events in low-income housing areas and community centers. Operation Warm is aiming to provide 300,000 children with coats this year by partnering with local Rotary Clubs across the country. After donating, follow the instructions on your voucher to designate where your donation goes.
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.