Morgantown effort helping keep kids warm

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Firefighters and a local business have teamed up to help kids keep warm in the coming months.

Operation Warm provides coats to dozens of students.

Morgantown Firefighters Local 313 along with financial support from TeleTech are providing more than 350 Monongalia County kindergarten and first grade students with new winter coats.

“All the time that we spend dealing with cold weather emergencies is a reactive response,” said Derek Porter, the Operation Warm coordinator for the Morgantown Firefighters IAFF Local 313. “This is one way to interact with the community and keep kids safe in the winter months.”

Porter said they work with teachers at nine Monongalia County elementary schools to find the kids in need.

“This year we did right around 360 kids,” Porter said. “That’s up 40 from what we did last year.”

According to Porter, the community understands that kids spend a large amount of time outside waiting on the bus, walking to school or outside for other activities. He said the program allows the kids to put a face with the first responder behind the mask.

“We always tell them not to be afraid of us,” said Porter.

Morgantown-based TeleTech has donated $8,000 to Operation Warm over the last two years.

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