Operation Warm: Annual coats-for-kids drive kicks off with $10,000 donation

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Big check, bigger impact: A $10,000 donation to MFD’s Operation Warm will go a long way to keeping city kids in new winter coats this season. Photo/JeffreyHastings

MANCHESTER, NH – “Today is a very good day,” said Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 856 President Lt. Brian Paquette, accepting an oversized check for $10,000 from Arthur Sullivan, which immediately boosted the coat drive fund to the halfway point. For the fourth year in a row Sullivan, on behalf of Brady Sullivan Properties, has provided a major boost to the annual Operation Warm coat drive, which provides brand new winter coats for city kids.

This year’s fundraising goal is $20,000 which will mean 1,000 coats will be delivered. The goal is always to make sure kids receive coats before the Thanksgiving break, said Manchester District Fire Chief Jon Starr.

Last year’s coat drop was one of the many traditions disrupted by COVID-19 – normally delivery day involves fire trucks and a chance to help kids pick out their coats, part of the process that Sullivan enjoys most.

Arthur Sullivan, left, of Brady Sullivan Properties, receives a plaque of appreciation for his continued support of Operation Warm from Manchester Fire Lt. Brian Paquette on behalf of Manchester Professional Firefighters Association Local 856. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

“We know these kids will be benefitting from our donation and we’re proud to be part of this mission – it’s all good stuff,” Sullivan said. “And thanks to Manchester Fire Department for doing the heavy lifting part.

Operation Warm in Manchester is part of a national program that, this year, expanded to include Warm Soles, which will also provide quality athletic shoes for kids in need. The program’s tagline is “More than a coat,” speaks to the importance of meeting a child’s basic needs while also providing a sense of confidence and hope.

This is the seventh year Manchester firefighters have been part of Operation Warm, which has resulted in more than 5,000 coats being distributed.

Donations for the fund are currently being accepted through this Operation Warm donation site.

This is the seventh year for Operation Warm in Manchester, which has provided more than 5,000 coats for kids. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings