It may be easy to take for granted the seemingly simple act of wrapping up in a warm coat during the winter season. The reality is that these wardrobe staples are not so easily found in every closet—but the national non-profit organization, Operation Warm is working to change that.
For 24 years, Operation Warm has been manufacturing brand-new and high-quality coats and shoes for children in need, passing them out with the help of community organizations and corporations across North America. Abercrombie and Fitch Co. is honored to be one such corporation, having just wrapped up our eighth year of collaboration with Operation Warm.
Since 2015, our associates have volunteered their time handing out nearly 140,000 coats, and our goal is to continue increasing that number over the years.
Global Home Office (GHO) associates have been able to participate in meaningful volunteer events at schools in the Columbus area. Additionally, we’ve hosted events in numerous cities around the country, allowing our store associates the opportunity to participate as well.
This year in Columbus, GHO associates gathered on a winter morning at Devonshire Elementary School to provide new, warm coats to over 400 students. Volunteers were split up into groups, which included the greeters who enthusiastically met students in the hallway and the volunteers who walked students through the room to try on coats before finding the perfect size.
“We’re able to be active in our community and give back to those who need it.”Tony Cerasi, Finance
The experience always proves to be a meaningful one, not just for the students but also for the associate volunteers. Stephanie Fratus (from the abercrombie kids Design Team) has attended the event for five years and loves coming back to see the smiling faces of the kids. She says, “They light up. When they put a new jacket on, you can see how happy and confident they become.”
Other associates agree that the smiles are what make the day so special, with TyAnn Amos (also from kids Design) stating the event is the “the most fulfilling part of my year.”
A&F Co. looks forward to continuing this important partnership, helping Operation Warm continue their mission to spread not just physical warmth, but emotional warmth as well. The organization’s tagline is More than a Coat, and we’re proud to help them build confidence and community in children throughout the country.
“As happy as the kids are to be getting their coats, I think it brings us just as much joy to be here with them.”Caitlin Blake, Campus Facilities