Firefighters provide warmth to local kids

Hathaway Elementary School students receive donated coats

Hathaway Elementary School student body officers accept a donation of 36 coats from the East Clark Professional Firefighters Local 2444 for fellow students in need. Buy this photo

The last day of school before winter break is always a festive one, but it was especially so for some local kids.

On Friday, Dec. 13, student body officers at Hathaway Elementary, in Washougal, accepted a donation of 36 coats for fellow students in need.

The fundraiser was sponsored by the East Clark Professional Firefighters Local 2444, an affiliate of the National Association of Firefighters, whose membership is comprised of firefighters and paramedics working for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, and East County Fire & Rescue.

“Our 56 members have donated a total of $1,152 to purchase the American made coats that will be donated as a part of this fantastic program, with the goal of expanding our involvement in subsequent years,” said Chris Richardson, firefighter/paramedic.

He added that the union chose to start the program because many families in the local area are sometimes forced to choose between food, shelter and providing a proper winter coat for their children. In addition, since the coats are American made, it supports the economy.

“We are proud to join other IAFF affiliates across this country...to be at the forefront of a movement that is bringing manufacturing jobs back to North America and providing warmth for children,” Richardson said.

Laura Bolt, school principal, said many students would benefit from having the coats.

“Our student body officers were very excited to accept the coats on behalf of the students who will be receiving them,” she said.

To make a donation for future coat buying efforts, send checks to IAFF LOCAL 2444, P.O. Box 922, Camas.

“The most rewarding part of this is helping those who cannot help themselves,” Richardson said.