By Dago Cordova

DENVER (CBS4) – With winter and colder temperatures heading our way, there’s a national nonprofit that helps families with brand new coats and shoes.

Operation Warm says close to 15% of children in Denver live below the poverty level. The nonprofit helped 2,000 kids in the city last year and hope to double that number this year. A total of 27,119 kids have been helped statewide by Operation Warm.

(credit: Operation Warm)

Executive Director Grace Sica tells CBS4 Denver this operation started 23 years ago by founder and CEO Dick Sanford.

“He was driving through through his community and saw children outside waiting for the bus without a proper winter coat and thought to himself, I could do something about that,” Sica said.

Sanford turned it into a project and got help from rotary clubs.

Sica said the nonprofit believes that giving children in poverty or who are in crisis the gift of something new, that is uniquely theirs, can be a lot more than just the coat itself.

“It’s the gift of warmth, confidence and hope.”

Operation Warm make their own coats and shoes and oversee the quality, colors and styles that are on trend.

If you’d like to help, a $45 donation provides a kid with a brand new winter coat and pair of shoes. You could also volunteer through community organizations, rotary clubs or churches that work with the nonprofit.

(credit: Operation Warm)

Sica said the Denver Cherry Creek and Wheat Ridge Rotary Clubs have been big members of Operation Warm.

For donations or more information, head to

Dago Cordova