Opinion: Massena firefighters donate nearly 300 coats to kids
Monday, December 31, 2018 - 2:46 pm

The Massena Permanent Firefighters IAFF Local 2220 completed our coat distribution for Operation Warm. This year was a great success, and we were able to partner with two more groups this year. Starting with our leftover stock of coats from last year's order, the Boys and Girls Club handed out 26 coats to their members and members’ families. For 2018, we placed an order of 258 coats at a total cost of $4,776.

The 2018 order was handed out to three of this year’s partners. We handed out 84 coats to the Massena Head Start Program (both in school and home based students). Our two new partners this year are the Horizons Clubhouse Downtown, and the Massena Central School District. Horizon's was able to hand out 41 coats to their members, and the school received 121 coats from this years order.

The school will be receiving the rest of our left over 2017 stock of coats with in the next few weeks, once they have made room for them, which should be around another 100 or so coats. This year, we were able to raise approximately $4,200, and the donations still continue to trickle in.

All money that comes in at this point will be used towards the 2019 coat program. We are always looking for donations, and we will be continuing to partner with “Operation Warm,” our 501c(3) Parent Organization. Our goals for the 2019 program, is to double this years fund raising goal, focus in on the entire Massena Central School District, and to have the distribution of coats much earlier in the school year, at a few different distribution points.

We would like to personally thank everyone that has donated to this years program, especially Amvets Post 4, the Disabled American Veterans Organization, Twin Rivers Federal Credit Union, and finally the many generous private donations from our local citizens.

We would like to also thank the individuals of our local partners for working with us, to make this program run as smoothly as it did. The Massena Permanent Firefighters Would like to thank the entire staff of the Massena Head Start Program, Zachary Monroe and the staff members of the Boys and Girls Club of Massena, Courtney Patterson and the staff members of Horizon's Clubhouse, The MCSD Students and Advisors of the National Honors Society, and The Community Schools Site Coordinator of MCSD Kristin Colarusso-Martin.

Our program would not be possible without the community coming together like it has with this program. Operation Warm has grown greatly over the 3 years that we have been doing it, and it continues to amaze me how strong the hometown spirit can help with a very basic, but needed piece of clothing. We would like to wish everyone a great and safe holiday season, and a prosperous New Year!

Whatever information and news you all willing to put out, we thank you very much. We would have tried to set it up for a better opportunity to have you all come along, but we figured we would save you the running around, since we were at each location for a very short time. Thanks for all you do!

Justin Niles

Treasurer of MPFF IAFF 2220