Louisa firefighters raising money to help kids keep warm this winter

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Nearly one in five children live in need throughout Louisa County. Sometimes, a warm coat for the winter can take a back seat to their parents' other priorities and that's where a group of firefighters come in.

For the third year in a row, members of the Louisa County Professional Firefighters Local 4779 have teamed up with nationwide nonprofit, Operation Warm, to help provide warm winter coats to those in need.

Louisa County firefighter Ryan Sampson said, "between 2017 and 2018, we raised $4,750."

The 2019 goal of $2,400 has already been reached thanks to countless donations since October.

Surpassing the goal means the firefighters will be able to provide more than 100 coats to elementary school kids.

Any leftover coats will be dispersed throughout Louisa Human Services and Region Ten.

Sampson says Operation Warm's big selling point is that it's more than just a coat.

"For the kids, it's more of a pride thing," said Sampson. "They feel more comfortable being at school because they have a warm coat to wear. It's not a second-hand coat. This is a brand new coat that they get."

This past weekend, Homes for Heroes, matched any donations made.

"We definitely try to partner with them to ensure that they hit their goal so that's what the match period is all about," said Jennifer Donaldson of Homes for Heroes.

"It's matching the donations to try and get them to where they need to be to able to provide for the kids at the schools," said Donaldson.

The plan is to hand out the coats in the middle of December.

If you'd like to donate, there is a link in the Related Links box.

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