The project, called Operation Warm, will outfit students in both the Russellville and Logan County school systems with a brand-new winter coat.
“These are very heavy, warm winter coats,” said Jim Riley, who is heading up the project for the local Rotary club. “They come in 24 different colors, so there is no way for the other students at the schools to know which children got a free coat and single them out because of it.”
The Rotary Club came up with the plan after sponsoring the Happy Feet = Learning Feet program the past two years.
That project supplied shoes to children in need. Back at the beginning of the school year, the Rotary, along with generous help from the public, supplied 317 pairs of shoes to children in need from preschool up through high school.
The difference with Operation Warm was that Rotary supplied all of the money to fun the program this year.
“We didn’t want to hit up the public again, so we decided to take care of this ourselves,” Riley said.
The coats cost just $18.60 each. To get them all delivered to Russellville wound up costing just over $4,460.
The students who receive the coats will be identified by the schools’ family resource directors.
“They are the ones who see the kids and know which ones need them,” Riley said.
Riley said that thanks to Danny Harris, the financial officer for the Logan County Board of Education, the Happy Feet and Operation War programs have tax exempt status and any donations made to either program are 100 percent tax deductible.
The Rotary hopes to continue the two programs in the future.