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March 2017 Entry

Firefighters Determined to Keep Camden Kids Warm

Heather Connolly
Chadds Ford · Pennsylvania
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

We believe that a brand new winter coat can serve a greater purpose and be more than a coat. Giving a child something new creates a sense of pride in ownership that fosters self-confidence. A new warm coat increases peer acceptance and improves school attendance thereby breaking the cycle of poverty. It also improves their physical health by allowing them to play outside all year. A new coat brings happiness and gives children the freedom to play more, learn more and do more.

How will you use the $10k?

This grant will allow the Camden Firefighters to provide brand new coats to children in their community this fall. Providing coats to these children will reshape their winter to be healthier and happier. When a child receives a coat from a firefighter in their community, it helps to build community bonds. In the next six months the Camden Firefighters will select a school and bring together a coat giving event. Coat giving events are KIND-hearted events where every child and volunteer leaves with a huge smile and a warmed heart. Additionally, Operation Warm’s coats are manufactured by a Kentucky-based nonprofit that employs people with disabilities. So not only will the grant benefit children in need, it will also support USA jobs.

What impact do you hope to make?

Children living in need in Camden will be provided with a brand new American-made winter coat which will not only keep them warm, but will give them confidence, help them get to school and allow them to be physically active all winter. In Camden, 50% of children live below the poverty line. The median household income in the city of Camden is $24,600 compared with $65,400 for the state of NJ. Providing a coat to children in need will allow the parents or caretakers of these children to reallocate coat funds for other necessities.

Other Details
Firefighters Determined to Keep Camden Kids Warm

Early October - If selected to receive the grant, the Camden Firefighters will work with Operation Warm and the Camden school district to select children in need that will benefit from receiving a brand new winter coat. A sizing kit will be provided to the school to determine what size coat the children need.
Early November - Coats will be ordered and shipped to the firefighters.
Mid November - The firefighters will work with the school district to pick a date and time to distribute the coats. Fun and fire trucks included! Kids will be showing off their new coats before Thanksgiving!

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