Operation Warm keeping kids cozy this winter

The Missoula Rural Fire Department collaborated with Child Start Inc in the Operation Warm program Thursday evening at the Whittier building.

They gave out winter coats to 3 to 5 year old children in need.

This is the fourth year in a row that the fire department has put on this event and families were very thankful.

Operation Warm is a nationwide nonprofit organization that raises money to purchase new American made coats for kids in need across the country.

The Missoula rural fire fighters have given our over 1,000 coats in the past 4 years.

Firefighter Eric Huleatt expressed how rewarding of an experience this is to the fire department.

“That’s the best part, to see how excited these kids get and how thankful the parents and the families are. It means a lot to us to help as much as we possibly can. And to see that excitement, that’s make makes this fun for us. These kids leave here with a smile on their face because of that new coat, because they get to interact with fire fighters, and that’s why we enjoy it,” said Huleatt.

Pat Croghan, executive director of Child Start Inc, said she is also very happy about Thursday evening's turn out, especially with the weather getting colder these last few days.

“It’s an exciting time for our families, especially the ones that are disadvantaged. And they responded so well tonight. It was wonderful seeing the smiles and the children excited. they still have the coats zipped up,” said Croghan.

The firefighters were able to give over 200 coats away at this event.

If you want to help children in need of winter coats, you can donate in two ways.

You can either drop off donations at the Missoula rural fire district station 1, or you can log onto operationwarm.org/missoula

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