Operation Warm brings new coats to students at West Franklin

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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
West Franklin Elementary student Ocean Reed get assistance from Kristy Perkins as she tries on a brand new winter coat in the school’s gymnasium on Dec. 13. Reed was just one of the 500 students who received new and free winter gear through a partnership between the national non-profit organization Operation Warm and the Columbus-based company Abercrombie & Fitch. While the two entities have teamed up to provide brand new winter coats to hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of children across the country, the event on Dec. 13 marked the first time West Franklin Elementary has been selected to receive these essential cold weather items. Dr. Dawn Lauridsen, the school’s principal, said they were thankful to have been one of the recipients this year and believes these coats will “go a long way” toward boosting confidence in and outside of the classroom. She also credited Brooklyn Brown, West Franklin’s site coordinator with Communities in Schools, for submitting the application that got the school on the radar of Operation Warm.
Kindergartener Khadjia Abdulkadir proudly wears her fashionable new coat.
Dr. Dawn Lauridsen gathers with several students and Operation Warm founder Dick Sanford for a post-shopping photo.
West Franklin Elementary students showed their appreciation for the staff at Operation Warm and Abercrombie & Fitch with signs and letters. The students at Stiles Elementary school also received brand new winter coats on Dec. 14.
Abercrombie & Fitch employee Kyle Dinsdale helps a student find a coat during the event.

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