(WBRE/WYOU) — Winter arrives at 11:19 p.m. Saturday. Even though it’s still officially fall, it sure felt like winter lately. For some children, a warm coat may not be in the family budget.
Members of the Plains Township Fire Department stopped by Solomon Plains Junior High School to drop off dozens of coats for children in need of a little extra warmth before break. With temperatures struggling to reach the freezing mark this week, these coats are very much appreciated.
“Just recently we had delays and freezing weather and some kids unfortunately come into school without jackets and we are able to provide them with the coats because of their generous donations,” principal Tony Khalife said.
The Plains Township Fire Department partnered with the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department to expand the program and give out more coats.
“Last year we did just a little over 36 coats. This year we did 108. There were 108 that were donated this year,” Plains Township Fire Department Captain Michael Van Luvender said.
The goal is to make sure students stay warm during the cold winter months.
“We want to make sure each kid is provided with a jacket and parents are welcome to come in if need be to pick out a jacket for their child,” Khalife said.
Any of the coats that were not given out Friday will be held at the school until after the break for any students that still need a winter coat. Van Luvender says these coats are a way to give back to the community for those in need.
“It’s something that people take for granted. You think a warm coat and you take that for granted, especially living in this area. It’s in the teens today, so really, for these kids to have a warm coat is priceless,” Van Luvender said.
Plains Township Fire Department told Eyewitness News that just within one year of partnering with the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department, the number of coats handed out has nearly tripled.