Firefighters, Police, Paramedics Give Warm Coats to Kindergartners

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WILKES-BARRE -- Holiday presents came early for students at Dan Flood Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre. Several kindergartners received something to keep them warm this winter through Operation Warm.

“I like my new coat from the firefighters,” DaShawn Lawson said.

“I like my hat because it has sparkles,” Xia Bonadie said.

“This is our first year trying this and it’s something we've been trying to do for a number of years. We were finally able to get it off the ground this year,” Capt. Dave Robers of the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department said.

Firefighters, paramedics, and police officers raised more than $4,000 to buy hats, coats, and gloves to help out students in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District.

“It’s really helpful, especially if a child is ever in an emergency situation they can say, ‘Hey, I remember that they gave us these coats. These are the good guys,’” elementary school counselor Mara Vitali said.

The kids at Dan Flood Elementary were the first of many who are going to be getting coats from firefighters and other emergency personnel in Wilkes-Barre.

Emergency workers are handing out 110 coats to kids in the school district.

“We’re out there in the community every day and we don’t always get to see the most positive of things, so when we get to give back to the community like this, especially the children, it’s really rewarding, and it makes us know that we have a purpose,” Joe Homza of the Police Benevolent Association said.

Firefighters hope to grow the warm coat program so that they can help students from kindergarten to sixth grade.

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