This month’s industry spotlight shines on Entergy Arkansas’s partnership with the Local Firefighters Union 34 to outfit students in pre-K through fifth grade with new winter coats. “Operation Warm”, as the partnership was named, made nearly 800 new winter coats available for students in need.
The students at Meadowcliff Elementary and Wakefield Elementary are winter-ready, thanks to a partnership between the Local Firefighters Union 34 and Entergy Arkansas. Through a project called “Operation Warm,” firefighters and Entergy Arkansas are outfitting students in pre-K through fifth grade at the two public schools with new winter coats.
The International Association of Fire Fighters Local Union 34 established the program six years ago after seeing some young children shivering at a school bus stop near their firehouse.
“Firefighters have a heart for helping,” said Cain Harrison, vice president for IAFF Local 34. “We saw a need, then caught a vision of how we could make a difference. When you see the smiles on these kids’ faces when they receive their new coats, you know you’ve done some good in the world, and that’s all we ask.”
With the support of a $10,000 grant from Entergy Arkansas and payroll-deduction contributions from members of IAFF Local 34, firefighters purchased more than 810 new coats for children this year.
“Helping kids stay warm during the winter months so they can focus on learning is important to their development,” said Laura Landreaux, Entergy Arkansas’ president and CEO. “Operation Warm gives Entergy Arkansas the opportunity to support families in a special way, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with Little Rock firefighters to be a part of this wonderful program.”
The group has set its sights on providing coats for every child from kindergarten to 5th grade in the Little Rock School District.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to both Entergy Arkansas and Little Rock Fire Department IAFF 34 for their ongoing commitment to our students,” said Mike Poore, superintendent for the Little Rock School District. “We appreciate your support of the families at Meadowcliff and Wakefield this year, and the timing couldn’t be better – before the cold weather arrives and right before Christmas. Because of your strong partnership and investment in the communities you serve, hundreds of LRSD students at multiple school sites have benefited from your generosity.”
Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that manufactures brand-new, high-quality coats for children in need. “We partner with compassionate individuals, community organizations, and corporations across North America to provide emotional warmth, confidence to socialize and succeed, and hope of a brighter future through the gift of a brand-new coat,” according to the organization’s website HERE.