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Richland firefighters keep kids out of the cold with Operation Warm coats

Richland firefighters visited two schools on Monday to hand out coats to the kids that need them this winter.

Richland firefighters visited two schools on Monday to hand out coats to the kids that need them this winter.

It's all part of their program Operation Warm, which collects donations from businesses to buy the coats.

This is the fifth year for the program.

This year they visited Jefferson Elementary and Jason Lee Elementary, handing out more than 300 coats.

Firefighter and organizer Travis Leonard says the best story he has about the program took place a couple of weeks after handing coats out when he was performing a building inspection: "I saw out of the corner of my eye a dad holding two girls’ hands and I didn't pay much mind to it and all of a sudden, I hear a guy yell, ‘hey!’ And I turned and looked and both of his daughters were wearing our coats. He walked up to us and shook my hand and said, ‘I just want to say thank you very much for these coats.’ That's why I do operation warm."

The Richland Fire Department takes donations all year for Operation Warm.

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