By Ukee Washington
WILMINGTON, Del., (CBS) — A local non-profit founder says every child deserves a brand-new winter coat. This month, this Chadds Ford non-profit will serve its two millionth child. We caught up with them in Wilmington.READ MORE: 2 Mothers, Babies Rushed To Hospital After Being Rescued From Burning Frankford Apartment Building, Officials Say
Volunteer Hannah Jenks and students from Upper Country Day School and Servian Academy prepped 1200 coats for a slew of young shoppers.
“So basically, what’s gonna happen is the kids are gonna file through here and we’re gonna match them with their sizes, and they get to choose the color coat they want,” Hannah said.
And it doesn’t cost these kids a cent. Operation Warm pays for brand-new children’s coats to be made and given away. Dick Sanford founded it 17 years ago.
“I saw some kids standing on the side of the road in Kennett Square freezing in a really, really cold December, and I just couldn’t believe these kids were trying to get on a school bus without coats,” Sanford said, “I went and bought 58 coats at the local shop.”READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial: Pennsylvania National Guard Activated To Philadelphia As Officials Prepare For Verdict
Now Operation Warm serves more than 350,000 children a year across the country, funded by donations and corporate partnerships and paid back with smiles.
Renee Koerner, program development director of Operation Warm, said, “You know, for a child who’s struggling, who’s dealing with poverty, getting something brand new means the world.”
Mark Phelps, head of school for Academia Antonia Alonso, had students who were getting new coats. “There’s been a lot of surprise, like, ‘Everybody gets a coat?’ which is tremendous. We’re just really excited, I think parents were excited, and we’re gonna have some warm kids ready for school.”
Hannah sums it up well: “Coats keep people warm. Warm people are good.”MORE NEWS: Keith Campbell Sentenced Up To 76 Years In Head-On Crash That Killed 3, Including 2 Mummers, In South Philly
A donation of $20 buys another coat. You can find out more at www.operationwarm.org