DENVER (CBS4) – Every kid needs a warm coat for Colorado’s winters, and a group is stepping in to help those whose families might not be able afford them.
Operation Warm on Thursday teamed up with volunteers from Hollister stores to give 320 brand new coats to the students at Valverde Elementary School in Denver.
Companies like Hollister who work with Operation Warm raise the money for the coats, then go to schools to help students find the perfect coat.
“I love when I see the kids come in and it looks like they’re shopping,” said Operation Warm spokeswoman Lauren Holloway. “They literally walk through the lines (of coats) and they get to pick out their color, their size and it’s something that’s theirs and they get to keep it.”
“It’s not a hand-me-down. It wasn’t their brother’s or their cousin’s. It’s not from Goodwill – it’s a brand new coat.”
Once the kids find a coat they like, one of the business volunteers will help them make sure it’s a good fit, something that can be a very personal and moving experience for the adults.
“We’ve had so many volunteers come in,” said Holloway, “and they are brought to tears. Either they were one of these kids or they didn’t know the need existed.”
Operation Warm is a national organization but it works locally by teaming up with companies to raise the funds to buy the coats then donating them back to their own community.
Hollister Co. has partnered with Operation Warm since 2015.