The Issue: Number of Children Living in Poverty
In 2011, 32% of children in Boston lived in poverty—a total of 34,000 children—according to data from Kids Count, an Annie E. Casey Foundation project. Many low-income families must forgo purchasing new winter coats for growing children to afford necessities such as food and utilities, which may cause the children to miss school on cold days or put their health at risk.
The Campaign: Providing Winter Coats for Underserved Kids
For each $10 donation to this Grassroots campaign, Operation Warm can purchase a new winter coat for one child from a low-income family. Operation Warm will purchase new, high-quality coats at a discount and distribute them to children around the Boston area with the help of the Salvation Army of Massachusetts. Each additional $20 raised will provide a new winter coat for another child.
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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.