This winter, IGS Energy is proud to partner with Operation Warm, whose mission is to give coats to kids in need across America. Operation Warm doesn’t just give away brand new coats – they give the gift of warmth.
Picture a child…
…who comes into school from the cold with no coat.
…who can’t focus on her reading because she’s thinking about whether she’s thinking about whether she’ll have a meal over the weekend when she can’t eat at school.
…who asks for seconds in the cafeteria because he isn’t getting enough to eat at home.
…who has a cough for weeks because he doesn’t have access to medical care and the winter cold makes it worse.
…whose low income, poverty-stricken neighborhood causes him to enter a never-ending cycle of poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and stress, which can cause delays in cognitive development.
Did you know that the federal “poverty line” in 2017 for a family of four is $24,600.1 But, social welfare researchers say it would take an income of about twice that amount to achieve basic financial security.2
Nearly 14 million children are living in poverty in the United States. That’s 1 out of every 5 kids.
Though a new coat won’t cure all the hardships of an impoverished child, giving the gift of warmth gives children the opportunity to be outside when it’s cold, make it to school in chilly weather, and feel the psychological effects of choosing and owning a brand new coat.
That’s where Operation Warm comes in.
Over the last three years, IGS Energy has partnered with Operation Warm, a nonprofit whose mission is to help give coats to kids in need across America. From 2014-2016, IGS Energy donated over 4,000 coats as part of its end-of-the-year Bundle Up campaign. In 2017, however, the goal was increased nearly tenfold from years past – 10,000 brand new coats.
Operation Warm Gives More Than A Coat
On a cold December morning in 1998, Dick Sanford was driving through the streets of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and saw a group of children – coatless – huddled at a bus stop. Dick immediately drove to a local department store and purchased every coat in stock. And with the help of his local rotary club, those 58 coats were given directly to kids in need.
This gesture of kindness inspired the mission and vision of Operation Warm, and nearly 20 years later, millions of children have received brand new coats from Operation Warm.
“A new coat can change a child’s life and empower them with greater self-confidence and increased school attendance.” – Operation Warm
The choices we make about our clothing make a difference in how the world sees us and how we see ourselves.
When we have the option to choose new things, clothes become a form of self-expression. They can show the world what we like, who we are, what mood we’re in, or even what we’ll be doing during the day. For those living in need, new clothing and self-expression can be seen as a luxury.
In a report conducted by the Children’s Commission, the dispossession of clothing actually affected children’s school performance.
“This lack of suitable uniforms contributed to poorer children being made to feel different and could increase bullying and not attending or taking part at school.” – Children’s Commission on Poverty
A new coat doesn’t just provide warmth – it helps increase self-esteem, improve wellness, and make it easier for kids to get to school on cold and rainy days.
Operation Warm believes that every child, regardless of circumstance, deserves their own brand new coat. While other organizations collect used coats, Operation Warm gives away never-been-worn-before coats. Coats are created in 18 different style and color combinations for each gender and have deep pockets, warm hoods, and a soft fleece lining. The child gets to pick out their own coat and, to add an element of personalization, there is a label sewn into the coat that says, “Made Just for You!”
How do the coats get to the kids?
Operation Warm gives brand new coats through corporate and community partners who identify children in need of warm clothing in their communities. The fundraising is done, the coats are ordered and shipped, and a Coat Giving Event is scheduled. At the Coat Giving Events, volunteers help children “shop” for their brand new coats, experiencing the joy that comes with giving a brand new coat to a child.
“This is not just a gift of a coat,” said Kirsten Bradley, Associate Director of Partnerships for Operation Warm. “It’s the gift of being able to get to school. It’s the gift of being able to play outside. We give out the gift of warmth and happiness.”
Join the IGS family
The Bundle Up Campaign has concluded, and thanks to loyal customers across the country, we were able to donate 13,589 coats to children in need!
Check out what else IGS is doing in the community below, or click here to see current rates in your area.