North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington firefighters give coats to local kids


January 3, 2018 | View PDF

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo Arlington firefighters recently handed out free coats to local children.

As a cold snap blankets the Puget Sound region, some needy children will be dressed for the elements thanks to the actions of charitable firefighters.

Firefighters from Fire District 21 - the Arlington Rural Fire Department - and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3728, which represents the Arlington Fire Department, teamed up last month to collect coats that were given to children in need.

"We were able to give quite a few coats at elementary schools in Arlington," said Chad Schmidt, chief of Fire District 21.

Firefighters handed out new coats in the days leading up to the holiday break for the students. Students at Presidents, Kent Prairie, Eagle Creek, and Pioneer elementary schools received coats several days before the start of their winter break.

"We're just very thankful the fire department is supporting the students like this," said Gary Sabol, director of communications for the Arlington School District.

The firefighters started collecting in late-October and they gathered around 100 coats that people donated online through Operation Warm.

Originating in Pennsylvania, Operation Warm provides a brand-new coat to a child in need. The organization's website,, states the new coat helps improve a child's self confidence, peer acceptance, attendance in school and wellness.

Schmidt said the firefighters decided to work with Operation Warm because 100 percent of the donations collected goes to the purchase of coats.

He also pointed out that other groups got involved with coat collection efforts. In addition to the IAFF $3,000 donation, an AAU basketball team in Arlington as well as the Arlington Heights Improvement Club also supported the coat drive.

"It truly is a community event," Schmidt said.


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