Hundreds of Harrisburg students outfitted with new winter coats through Operation Warm

  • Rachel McDevitt

(Harrisburg) — Hundreds of students at a midstate elementary school have new coats for the upcoming winter.

The coats were donated by natural gas provider IGS Energy through the nonprofit Operation Warm.

Inside the gym at Foose Elementary School in Harrisburg Wednesday morning, IGS volunteers led kids to long tables piled high with puffy winter coats and helped them each find one that fit.

Lindsey Hoover, IGS Energy’s regional support coordinator for Pennsylvania, said the experience warmed her heart.

“A lot of the children, as we understand, don’t have the opportunity to get a coat, not even for themselves but with a new tag on it. So, just to see the smiles on their faces, to have something brand new that is their own really puts a smile to my face,” Hoover said.

Rachel McDevitt / WITF

A volunteer from IGS Energy offers a new winter coat to student at Foose Elementary School in Harrisburg on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019. More than 500 coats were donated through the nonprofit Operation Warm.

Foose has 550 kindergarten through 4th grade students and all of them qualify for free or reduced priced lunch.

Principal Will Hicks said many of the school’s students walk to school, and he’s grateful to know they will be warm on their way to class this winter.

“I’m out front in the mornings and I’ve witnessed kids coming to school without jackets, wearing sweatshirts, even t-shirts in the middle of the winter and just to know they’re going to have a winter jacket is incredible,” Hicks said.

Operation Warm, based outside Philadelphia, partners with businesses like IGS to provide about 450,000 coats each year in high-need schools.

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