Beatrice Professional Firefighters Local 1098 will host an event on Aug. 24 to help provide local children in need of coats for the winter.

Beatrice Fire and Rescue is teaming up with Operation Warm to raise money that will be used to purchase coats. The fundraiser will be held at Tall Tree Tastings and the public is invited to participate by buying a ticket for the taco bar and bidding in the Hands for Hire Auction or the silent auction.

Union President Jeffrey Hays said this is not a coat drive for used coats but a fundraiser for brand new coats from Operation Warm. Hays said this fundraiser has been done in the past but this is his first year heading the project.

When the fire department last helped with the project in 2015, Hays said they raised enough money to purchase more than 100 coats. This year Hays has set a goal of 150 coats.

“The coats run about $18 to $20 for what I understand depending on size,” Hays said. “I’m trying to get K through 5 is my goal. Before, we did I think K through 2, so I’m trying to expand it for the older kids, too.”

Each coat is purchased through Operation Warm, an organization that specializes in making coats for children in need. According to the organization's website, giving a child in need a brand new coat helps children with their confidence when playing and interacting with their peers. Operation warm has 18 color options for children to choose from so they can get exactly what they want.

“I’ll get a variety of colors so if they don’t like that color, I’ll get them a different one,” Hays said.

While Operation Warm specializes in coats, Hays would also like to get each kid a new hat and a pair of gloves with their new coat.

“I kind of figured coats are a good thing, but a hat and a pair of gloves would be a good thing, too,” he said. "I’ll work with some local people to try and get those ordered and see what I can do with those.”

Hays hopes to be able to hand out the coats around Fire Prevention Week in early October.

He invites people to come and help hand them out. Those wishing to help with the event or donate can contact Hays at the Beatrice Fire Station.

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