WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Pennsylvania winters can be brutal, with temperatures dropping well below freezing for long stretches of time. That’s why it’s imperative people dress warmly, but not every family can afford warm clothes. So firefighters from Wilkes-Barre Local 104 have come together to help raise money for those in need.
“We work with Operation Warm, and it’s a company that sells new coats for kids who don’t have anything new of their own,” Jeremy Cook, Vice President of Public Relations for IVFF Local 104, said.
The fundraiser raises money to buy the new coats for the kids in the Wilkes-Barre School District. Cook says not only do the coats help keep kids warm, it also helps with their self-confidence.
“They’re kids who have never had something of their own. They get to open these coats up. Try them on. Find the right coat, find the right color. Something brand new that they’ve never had. It’s not a hand-me-down, it’s not something that their brother and sister had first. It’s their first-time something of their very own,” Cook said.
The firefighters of Wilkes-Barre Local 104 have teamed up with Miller’s Ale House in Wilkes-Barre for the ‘Dine and Donate’ fundraiser. All day Wednesday, people can show their server at Miller’s Ale House a flyer for the fundraiser, and 15 percent of their bill will go towards ‘Operation Warm’.
“It’s really important for us to be able to support the local families and community and children and be able to be a part of that,” Megan Hill, General Manager of Miller’s Ale House said.
This is the third year the firefighters are partnering with Operation Warm. The first year they raised enough money to buy 130 coats. Last year that jumped to 430 coats. And this year they’re hoping to hit 600.
“It’s hugely important. It gives them such a sense of pride. And obviously the warmth for winter. Because having a warm coat is pretty important in our area,” Cook said.
“There is such a great need in our community for this,” Cook said.