Seattle FedEx Market Joins Operation Warm to Give Over 500 Coats to Students
For some kids the gift of a brand new winter coat might be the only gift they receive all year. For the students of Chinook Elementary School in Auburn, Wash. their holiday came early this year. Over 40 FedEx volunteers worked with Operation Warm to provide over 500 brand new coats to Chinook as part of FedEx Cares.
On the morning of the event, each class arrived at the gym to blaring Kids Bop music and a host of clapping and cheering volunteers. “What I loved most about the Operation Warm Event is the fact I was chosen to be one of the greeters. The excitement and anticipation on the children’s faces was so heartwarming,” says Tom Stingily of FedEx Services. Each student was paired with a FedEx volunteer to be their own personal shopper, and together, they went down the aisle of coats to try on and find their correct size. One boy was not sure what the inventory control tag on the coat was for, so the volunteer explained the tag meant the coat had never been worn before by anyone else. This made the boy marvel with excitement.
“I enjoyed getting to take each individual child, talk to them about their favorite things and go through the whole event of picking the color coat they wanted,” says Toni Haas of FedEx Ground.
Once they had their coat selected, students proceeded to the next station where a volunteer wrote their name in their coat. Many children commented this was the first time they had their very own coat with their name in it. FedEx volunteers passed out Safe Kids blinking lights to attach to their coat, gave them candy canes and Kindness Coins encouraging the students to be kind.
Before leaving the gym, the students signed their name on a thank you poster and left to high-fives and fist bumps from volunteers. Upon exiting, nearly every child was proudly wearing their new coat zipped up, even though the school was warm. “This could be a life-changing event for them and to be part of it was emotionally overwhelming, but oh so gratifying that I work for a great company like FedEx that gives back to local communities. I heard that FedEx is working with Operation Warm on 15 of these events this year. That is incredible!” says Tom.
What’s also incredible is that in addition to the coat delivery, FedEx Seattle market team members participated in a Purple Tote collection gifting the school 118 kid’s hats, 155 kid’s gloves and 216 high-quality pencils needed for testing.