FERNDALE, Wash. — Whatcom County Firefighters International Association of Firefighters Local 106 (IAFF 106) is helping Central Elementary kids stay warm this winter as part of the national Operation Warm program by giving out winter coats to all the kids in the school this Friday, December 10th.
Organizer and Bellingham Fire Department Firefighter Jeff Heinrichs says this is the 9th year IAFF 106 has been working with Operation Warm to provide new American-made winter coats to school kids.
Last time they were at Central was 2019 and it took several hours to give out over 300 coats to students in all classes at the school.
Operation Warm works with local groups to raise funds in order to be able to give out coats to entire schools where 60% or more of the students qualify for the free and reduced meals program according to Heinrichs.
Heinrichs told Whatcom News Ferndale businesses, Fringe Brewing, Outlaws Saloon, Cedars Restaurant & Lounge and the Main Street Bar & Grill, worked together to raise $5,500 towards the cause.
Personnel represented by IAFF 106 will be helping give out the coats. These include firefighters with Lynden Fire Department, South Whatcom Fire Authority, Port of Bellingham Airport Rescue, North Whatcom Fire & Rescue and Bellingham Fire Department. Whatcom County Fire District 7 firefighters will also be helping.
Families whose students do not need a new coat are encouraged to donate them to a charity of their choice.
Community members can also provide financial support online via the Operation Warm website.