POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Children in the Pocatello area will be warm for the next few months.
Operation Warm partnered with Mountain America Credit Union to deliver brand-new winter coats on Tuesday to every student attending Tendoy Elementary School.
Tendoy is a Title I school that provides pre-K-5 education to 225 students. Students in the district’s Online Learning Program also received a coat.
"It’s made my day as I’ve walked down the hall with groups of children," said Principal Janice Nelson. "They could hardly contain their excitement. They don't get it very often and to have it be so beautiful and warm and just for them to be able to pick out the color has just been awesome."
Mountain America Credit Union committed to donate to Operation Warm with every first down and three-pointer made by the Idaho State Bengals during the past football and basketball season.
Public Relations Manager Angela Phillips says she loves seeing the kids get their coats.
"I enjoyed the smiles on those kids faces and the way they lit up knowing that was their coat, and how much they loved the colors," Phillips said. "It's just amazing to see firsthand the looks on these kids faces when they get their coat."
For Operation Warm's Michael Andrews, the chance to help these kids is heartwarming.
"Well I'm a crybaby, so I'm always excited to see these kids and the reaction when they get their brand new coat," Andrews said. "It really encourages outdoor play. A bunch of the kids who got coats are outside playing in their coats."
Nelson says these coats will help with that outdoor play during the winter months.
"We go out for quite a length of time, up to sometimes 15 to 20 minutes and as you know Idaho can be cold," Nelson said. "So, the fact that they have very warm clothing when they're out there, they'll be able to enjoy our new playground equipment even more this year, so that's awesome."
With the economic hardship resulting from COVID-19, Andrews says he's glad to see people help out in any way possible.
"The pandemic has caused a lot of need," Andrews said. "So, whatever way you can participate in helping these families, I would encourage it, not just with Operation Warm, but with any of the nonprofits. There are many really good nonprofits out there, so I would encourage people to help where they can."
Operation Warm and Mountain America Credit Union also donated over 2,200 coats to children across the Pocatello region.