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Children in Helena receive brand-new coats as part of “Operation Warm”



Helena, Montana – For children in particular, hats, gloves, and coats are essential throughout Montana’s winter months.

However, for growing bodies, the expense of cold weather gear mounts up quickly.

Two groups in Helena joined up to provide brand-new coats at no cost to local families to help them.

“We pick up kids from four of the local elementary schools, and I’ve been helping out [with] picking up, and there’s every single day kids running out of the schools without coats on,” Helena Family YMCA Director of Youth Development Ashley Callison said.

180 coats were recently distributed by the Helena Family YMCA in collaboration with Placer Subura and “Operation Warm.”

“We have lots of kids that are in our after-school program we’re giving them out to, and also our sports programs and things like that, and then also the other community kids that are around that have hopefully seen our Facebook post and heard from the school districts that we’re doing this,” Callison said.

‘Operation Warm’ is a nationwide nonprofit, and according to their website, “this February, Subaru and its retailers…are visiting local homeless shelters and support agencies to provide more than 150,000 children with brand-new necessities like coats, shoes, and socks.”

“I thought since we are doing it in the wintertime and it’s Montana, coats were probably a good choice. So, we went with that. Maybe next time we’ll go with shoes,” Callison said.

Although the YMCA has hosted coat-giving events in the past, this is the first time Subaru and the community organization have joined for this particular event.

“The ‘Y’ has done more of like coat drives, where people drop off coats and then we give them out, but we have never given out this many coats to this many kids,” said Callison.


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