December 19, 2019
Christmas came early for students at John Welsh Elementary School in North Philadelphia on Thursday morning as the Philadelphia Firefighters & Paramedics Local Union 22 hosted its annual “Operation Warm: New Coats for Kids” event in the school’s cafeteria.
Brand-new, warm winter coats were distributed to 75 first and second grade students by Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, Firefighters Local 22 President Mike Bresnan, officers of Local 22, Philadelphia City Councilmembers Cherelle Parker and Isaiah Thomas, and Philadelphia's Mixed Martial Arts UFC Champion Eddie Alvarez.
“The International Association of Firefighters voted unanimously at its 2012 convention in Philadelphia to support Operation Warm and Local 22 is proud to be carrying on the tradition with our friends on City Council and Eddie Alvarez,” said Local 22 President Mike Bresnan. “Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing children shivering on their way to school because they don’t own something as basic as a warm winter coat. We hope people will open their hearts and their wallets, so that we can give Philadelphia children a Christmas gift of warmth in the form of a new winter coat they can call their own."
Since Operation Warm was founded in 1998, the non-profit has provided new winter coats to more than two million children nationwide. Last year, Philadelphia Firefighters & Paramedics Union Local 22 distributed more than 300 new coats to disadvantaged Philadelphia children.
Below are photos from the event.