FERNDALE, Wash. — Whatcom County Firefighters International Association of Firefighters Local 106 (IAFF 106) is helping Central Elementary kids stay warm this winter as part of the national Operation Warm program.
It took several hours as over 300 coats were given out to all classes at Central Elementary today, December 6th, and another 300 are expected to be given out at Alderwood Elementary in Bellingham on Monday as a result of IAFF 106’s fundraising efforts.
Organizer and Bellingham Fire Department Firefighter Jeff Heinrichs says this is the 7th year IAFF local 106 has been working with Operation Warm to provide new American-made winter coats to school kids. Operation Warm works with local groups to give out coats to entire schools where over 60% of the students qualify for the free and reduced meals program according to Heinrichs.
The Central Elementary music room was busy today with volunteers matching students up with their chosen size and color of coat. One of the volunteers, North Coast Credit Union President and CEO Marilyn Brink, said “I am so happy to be helping out. The smiles are the best part.”
Families whose students do not need a new coat are encouraged to donate it to a charity of their choice.
Heinrichs says local support has been a growing each year. He pointed out the following list of businesses as among their major sponsors.
- North Coast Credit Union
- Boundary Bay Brewery
- Menace Brewing
- Yeager’s Sporting Goods
- Atwood Ales
- Lynden Firefighters
- District 14 Firefighters
Community members can also provide financial support online via the Operation Warm website.