Paducah Firefighters dig into their own pockets to buy students new coats

Thirteen large boxes, each one jam packed with brand new winter coats, are an early Christmas gift for every first grader at Morgan Elementary.

No, they’re not from Santa. They’re from the Paducah Fire Department.

Capt. Barry Carter says it’s all part of a program called Operation Warm.

"Children who have a good winter coat tend to go to school more often. They tend to take less sick days, and they tend to have a little better self esteem," says Carter.

To help pay for the coats, Baptist Health Paducah donated $3,000, but it wasn’t enough. So, firefighters went into their own pockets to help pay for the rest.

"So our local firefighters put in $3,000," says Carter.

Firefighter Nicholas Noland says pitching in doesn’t bother him.

"You know, I don’t even think about it," says Noland. "We donate so much, and we help so much. I don’t even think about it."

"I like my new coat, because it’s one of my favorite colors: pink," 7-year-old Marley Burrus says.

Burrus will be roaming the playground warm and in style this season, along with 60 of her classmates.

That’s $2,100-worth of winter weather wear.

On Monday, the Paducah Fire Department will stop by another local school to surprise more first graders with new coats.

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