Franklin - Though usually called in for when things are too hot, Franklin's fire fighters responded to the impending chills of this year's winter by providing brand new coats for children in Franklin.
The fire department, in partnership with Franklin Public Schools, will provide 48 new winter coats to children in the Franklin community this year as a part of Firefighters for Operation Warm.
“Throughout our diverse community, our children and schools benefit from this program in more ways than one,” said Paul Guilbert, Franklin firefighter and head of Franklin's Operation Warm program. “By nature of our service to the community, we’re able to see the harsh effects poverty has on children first hand. This is a program our members feel very strongly about and work throughout the year to make it possible. It’s a chance to help out the people in the city we work in everyday.”
The coats are purchased and distributed thanks to annual fundraising efforts by the Franklin Professional Firefighters IAFF L-2760’s Charities.
Though many coat drives ask for donations of gently used outerwear, Operation Warm makes new coats for kids. All the coats made for Firefighters for Operation Warm are sourced and manufactured in the United States.
According to Operation Warm's website, a new coat gives a child greater self-confidence, encourages more school attendance in the winter, and makes the child more likely to stay active during the winter months by playing outside.
Last year, the department also worked to purchase brand-new coats for children in Franklin, and were able to give 30 new coats.
“Most importantly, our programs wouldn’t be possible without the generous citizens who support our fundraising efforts," said Guilbert. "We like extend a warm thank you to them as well, as we couldn’t be successful with out them."