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Winter Coat Giveaway at West Broad Elementary

Winter Coat Giveaway at West Broad

October 21, 2021 -- Every student at West Broad Elementary will have a brand new winter coat, thanks to the Upper Arlington Rotary Club and the Northwest Realtors Association. The school cafeteria turned into a giant, makeshift fitting room as teachers brought their classrooms down one by one so students could get fitted and choose the color coat they wanted. 

“We brought a total of 500 coats to make sure that we had enough for every child,” said Upper Arlington Rotarian Doug Godard. 

The Rotary purchased the coats for $20 apiece from Operation Warm, a national organization that provides over half a million coats a year to kids in the United States and Canada. The coat sizes range from very small to fit the youngest learners to juniors for the fourth and fifth graders. The coat colors include pink, purple, light blue, orange, red, and army green. 

“That seems a little snug. How about we try a bigger size,” said one volunteer to a student. Once the coat was fitted, a volunteer at another table wrote the child’s name in their coat with a permanent marker.

“It warms my heart because I know that some of our children wouldn’t have a winter coat if it weren’t for the Upper Arlington Rotary Club and Northwest Realtors Association,” said Cindy Leonard, the Community Liaison for West Broad Elementary School. “As a school, we know the priority is academics, but that becomes even harder if the child is cold and hungry.” 

There was no shortage of community volunteers who spent the entire school day at West Broad, ensuring every student was fitted correctly and satisfied.

“The kids get a new coat, but we get so much more,” said Godard. “We are all elevated, and it’s wonderful.”

Even though they were inside, many of the students kept their new coats on and zipped up while waiting for their classmates to get fitted. You could see their smiles even behind their face masks. One classroom of more than 20 students showed their appreciation with a bit of help from their teacher. 

“Okay, on three, you know what to do,” the teacher said. “Thank you,” the students shouted. 

“These students are going to be talking about these coats for a week,” said Leonard. “These students are blessed, and it warms their hearts to know that someone cares.”