D.C.

Coats given to needy D.C. children

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There’s no doubt that we’re seeing the temperatures drop overall, and for children living in poverty it can be a struggle just to stay warm. That’s where D.C. firefighters are stepping in to make a difference.

A winter coat is a simple thing, but something that can make a huge difference.

Hundreds of kids in D.C., just like Zada Lucas, received free coats Friday, all thanks to the D.C. Firefighters Association.

“Kids are out there freezing. In some instances they need a coat just to stay warm and just be able to go to school,” says Ed Smith, president of the Firefighters Association.

This is the first year the firefighters union is partnering with Operation Warm to give 1,000 coats across the country. There are coats for both girls and boys in every color and every size. Firefighters partnered with local schools and charity groups to make sure those getting the coats are the ones who need them the most. Many kids and their families got to pick up their coats Friday.

“It’s really when you get the hug from the child that it makes it all worthwhile,” says Stephanie Cohen, president of Operation Warm.

“It really gives them the sense of self-esteem and pride and I think that’s really where we are going to make a difference,” says Smith.

The Firefighters Association plans to continue the coat giveaway every year. They’re hoping to collect even more money in 2013 to purchase more coats next winter.

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