The Issue: Children Living in Poverty Without Winter Coats
More than one in five children in the United States—roughly 15.7 million—were living in poverty in 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau's American Community Survey. In order to afford basic necessities, many of these low-income households forego purchasing new winter coats for their growing children. This may cause the children to miss school on cold days or put their health at risk when they go outside.
The Campaign: Distributing Winter Coats to Children 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 raised, combined with matching donations up to $15,000 from International Delight, 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, and then distributes them 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.
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.