Warming Bodies, Warming Hearts

As easy as it is to complain about cold weather, sometimes it’s just as easy to forget that many in our community lack proper gear when Jack Frost gets especially rambunctious. With a grant from Dominion Energy, Operation Warm seeks to meet that need for disadvantaged children who could use a little extra help staying—well, warm.

“Operation Warm is a program that we started about four years ago to give underprivileged children in the Clarksburg area a brand new winter coat,” says Mark Walsh, President of Clarksburg Firefighters Union. “We work with the schools, the principals, the counselors, and the teachers to identify children in need. We go in, we size them, they get to pick out the color coat they want, and then we go in and write their name on the inside—so it’s personal, it’s theirs, it’s brand new.”

A grant from Dominion Energy helps Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in need.

For the firefighters who volunteer with Operation Warm, giving meaningful aid to their communities is just as fulfilling as putting out a house fire.

“What’s interesting to me is that a lot of times we go on these calls, and we see these kids and their parents and whatever the situation may be, and we’re only stopping their immediate need,” says Marion Watts, Firefighter First Class of the Clarksburg Fire Department. “What’s neat here is that we get ahead of the game a little bit, and we’re able to provide something for them that we normally would not have been able to do that really betters their lives.”

With help from organizations like Dominion Energy, the project is only growing.