PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Colder weather is on the way and now hundreds of Philadelphia school children will be dressed for the chill thanks to a program called Operation Warm. Warmer days are ahead for students at Prince Hall Elementary School in Philadelphia.
Every student in the school, from pre-K to fifth grade, is getting a brand new winter coat thanks to Operation Warm, a national nonprofit that distributes coats to kids in need.
“We partnered with Thomas’ Breads today to give every student here at this elementary school, which is 580 kids, a brand new winter coat,” said Melanie Miles, with Operation Warm. “Every child will come in and they’ll be paired with a member from Thomas’ Bread. They’ll get their coat, it’ll be just their own, they’ll get their name written in it and they can take it home forever.”
It’s a day the kids have been looking forward to for days.
“The kids are very excited. Kids were asking, ‘Am I gonna be able to get a coat, am I gonna be able to get a coat?'” Principal Donna Ragsdale said.
Ragsdale knows that the need for this kind of coat giveaway is far greater than many may realize.
“This is a Title 1 school, so we are a low poverty school,” Ragsdale said. “However, we wanted to make sure that all of our students are able to receive a new coat today. We wanted to show the positive things that are going on inside of the Philadelphia School District.”
The smiles far outweigh any words of gratitude from the students. For organizers, the gift of warmth is priceless.
“We believe that this is more than just a coat. It’s a chance for a child to have warmth, hope and confidence,” Miles said.
Operation Warm, in partnership with Thomas’ Breads, will be giving away 7,500 new coats nationally to help kids get through the winter months.