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Firefighters distribute new winter coats to students in need

Cary Ashby • Dec 16, 2017 at 10:00 PM

Seven-year-old Elisabeth Sexton can be twins with your younger brother, now that they both have the same color coats.

“My little brother likes orange and he has an orange coat,” said the daughter of Pamela Bernard, who also chose pink and black gloves.

Sexton was one of six students at Maplehurst Elementary who received new winter coats Tuesday through Operation Warm. This is the third year that Norwalk Firefighters Local 1199 has participated in the program.

“It’s something we find important to do for our community,” Lt. Charlie Hillman said. “We try to do as much as we possibly can.”

Firefighter Josh Burgess agreed, saying “it’s good to give back to the community.”

The mission of Operation Warm, according to its website, is to provide new winter coats to children in need, but also “helping to improve self-confidence, peer acceptance, school attendance and overall wellness.”

Seven students from League Elementary and Norwalk High School also received coats this season. Last year, Operation Warm helped 20 local children.

Hillman said he believes distributing the coats “means a lot” to the students.

“We always try to do different things,” the firefighter added.

In addition to the $400 raised for Operation Warm this year, the Norwalk Auto Care Group made a $1,500 donation to give back to the children in the community. Split between the Norwalk fire and police departments, the money was used to buy coats on behalf of the firefighters and toys on behalf of the police for local children in need.

“You can always rely on the fireman to help,” said Ken Moore, Maplehurst principal.

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