More than 300 students at two Federal Way schools are feeling the love from South King Fire and Rescue this winter.
Over the course of two days, Federal Way Public Schools partnered with SKFR, Local IAFF 2024, the Aid Fund and the South King Firefighters Foundation to host the eighth annual Operation Warm event.
Operation Warm is a nonprofit organization that partners with local communities to give children new winter coats.
On Oct. 15 and 20, approximately 60 volunteers from the fire department and the school district provided 138 smoke detector alarms to the local communities and also provided free coats for all kindergarteners and first-graders of Mark Twain Elementary and Mirror Lake Elementary in a drive-thru style event.
Together, 38 fire department members and 22 school staff members made this year’s event possible.
Fire chiefs, fire department finance and front office personnel, I.T. personnel, front-line firefighters, school principals and school staff, even friends and family of the firefighters showed up to help spread some joy to local youth and families, said Fire Chief Vic Pennington of SKFR.
The coats were paid for and provided by members of the South King County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 2024, the Aid Fund, and the South King Firefighters Foundation.
While the department doubled its efforts this year, there are still needs within the community, he said. The winter layers are more than just a coat — they are also an opportunity to provide warmth, confidence, and hope to kids.
“Investing in today’s youth is one of the most important things we can do as an agency, and this event brings all of us together to provide some warmth and comfort to the children within our community during these difficult times,” Pennington said.