By Howard Monroe
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On a hot day like Wednesday, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is staying warm during the winter. But nonprofits who help underprivileged kids are preparing for what could be their busiest winter yet.
“Even though it is incredibly hot today, we all know that it will get cold and we’re preparing for that,” Grace Sica said.
Sica is the executive director of Operation Warm, where the planning never stops. Not even when it’s hot.
Temperatures are in the 90s and while kids are enjoying pools today, those days are numbered. School starts soon and they’re preparing for their “School Ready” campaign.
“We know school is right around the corner,” Sica said. “We know that [it] will get cold.”

Operation Warm has been around for 23 years and in that time, they’ve distributed over 4 million coats. They say they are busier now than ever before because of the pandemic.

“In a normal year, we see requests for 150,000 coats,” Sica said. “And last year it was about 450,000, so just an enormous increase and we have already started to see that again.”

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They distribute through community organizations. This year they have a goal of outfitting 600,000 kids nationwide with a new coat, which will be their most ever.

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“It’s not a hand-me-down coat,” David Reyes of Operation Warm said. “It’s not a used coat. It’s a brand new coat and that means a lot to a child.”

The nonprofit is based out of Glen Mills, but they distribute coats and shoes to kids in all 50 states and Canada. Distribution begins next week.

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For more information on Operation Warm, click here.