In an effort to help needy families in the City of Hazelwood and throughout the Bi-State region, Hazelwood Firefighters through their Community Outreach Program have been participating in the Warners’ Warm-Up Coat Drive from Nov. 1 to 14. They also initiated Operation Warm to coincide with this project which involved sizing some kids at two area elementary schools for new winter coats which were donated to them last week.
Hazelwood Firefighters establishing the following locations in Hazelwood as collection sites for the Warners’ Warm-Up Coat Drive: City Hall; Fire Stations 1 & 2; Hazelwood Community Center; and Civic Center East. When it came time to gather all the donated coats, some of the boxes at these locations were overflowing. They collected a total of 75 coats during this short time period. The Firefighers wish to say “thank you” to everyone for their generosity.
Operation Warm has been a public service program supported by IAFF Local 2665 for a number of years. Hazelwood Firefighters decided to participate for the first time this year. In fact, Hazelwood Fire Department and Robertson Fire Protection District jointly participated by donating $500 each. Operation Warm matched their generous contributions with a grant for $1,000, which raised the total amount of their donation to $2,000. In addition, Hazelwood Firefighter Bob Glenn reported that the department collected $110 from local residents on a Facebook page to help buy winter coats for needy kids.
Both fire agencies covered two elementary schools in Hazelwood that were in their jurisdiction. Hazelwood Fire Department went to Russell Elementary and McNair Elementary Schools. The Robertson Fire Protection District handled Armstrong Elementary and Garrett Elementary Schools. Hazelwood Firefighters worked with counselors at their assigned schools to identify which kids qualified and sized them to determine their coat sizes. They placed an order for 62 coats.
When these coats arrived, Hazelwood Firefighters delivered them to both elementary schools. There were enough coats, allowing the selected students to choose thecolor they wanted. Each of the coats were foam insulated with a hoodie. After they picked out their coat, the Firefighters helped them put their name on it. For the older girls, they were given teen winter beanie caps of various colors to match their coats.
There were smiles on all the kid’s faces as they tried on their new coats. Many of them were speechless but made a point to say “thank you” to the Firefighters. A City of Hazelwood spokesperson reports that the department plans to do this again next year with more public support.