Each of the 441 students enrolled at East Anchorage's Creekside Park Elementary is getting a brand-new winter coat this year.
The students, unaware of what was about to happen, filed into the multipurpose room class by class and were greeted with applause from Operation Warm volunteers, who then took them to pick out a new coat.
"Creekside Park is a Title I school. Over 80 percent of our families are economically disadvantaged," said Principal Tim Andrew. "So they're spending a good chunk of their money on food, housing, transportation. This is really impactful, not just to keep kids warm, but also providing families a little bit of support."
Operation Warm is organized by the Anchorage Firefighters Union and presented in partnership with Anchorage schools, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Alaska Airlines, Taylored Restoration and Fat Ptarmigan. In five years, over 3,000 coats have been provided to Anchorage students through the program, according to a statement from the firefighters union.
"It's like Christmas come early," said Andrew.