City Times Staff
Capt. J.B. Moody from the Stevens Point Fire Dept. helps a young man at McKinley Elementary School try on a brand new winter coat — a gift from the department thanks to local donations.
The department’s annual Coats for Kids fundraiser brings in donations to purchase new winter coats for local kids in need at a cost of $34 each, made by Operation Warm at various locations in the United States.
Last year, the dept. raised just enough to purchase the 102 new coats requested by local assistance agencies and schools. This year, firefighters planned to raise enough cash to cover another 100 coats, and wound up bringing in about $3400.
But a spike in the number of local children needing winter coats caught the department off guard.
“We ended up receiving 166 coat requests at various schools and daycare’s, significantly more than last year,” said firefighter/paramedic Matt Zander. “I was a little nervous when we came up short, but our Charities Foundation wound up kicking in the rest because the foundation raises funds all year, so we were prepared.”
Firefighters passed out winter coats at nearly every school in the Stevens Point School District. Next year, Zander said, the group plans to expand their reach to include area Catholic schools.
For more information on the Stevens Point Firefighters – IAFF Local 484 Charities Foundation, contact the fire department at (715) 344-1833 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.