Crouse students get early Christmas presents

January 9, 2014 by  

Students at Akron’s Crouse Community Learning Center were able to celebrate Christmas several days early last month, thanks to Akron firefighters.

Members of Akron’s fire department came to the school on December 19 with new coats for the students. The firefighters distributed the garments as part of a nation-wide effort, known as ‘Firefighters Coats for Kids’, in which fire department personnel raise money to buy new coats for low-income students in the communities they serve. In order to make the program a success, the firefighters ask local companies to join them in providing the funds necessary. Firefighters Coats for Kids is backed by the International Association of Firefighters.

The Akron Fire Department joined the effort last year, which was the first time Akron had been involved. Matt Coleman, one of the 2012 participants, noted that good coats were an absolute necessity in Ohio because of the region’s cold, snowy winters. He added that students who are forced to go without adequate winter clothing can find themselves struggling with their education because it may be too cold for them to get to school, or they can become ill. He also said that when the children outgrew the new coats, he wanted them to pass them along to younger students.

In addition to receiving winter coats, the children were able to tour fire trucks pulled up outside the school, and discuss the firefighters’ emergency gear with them.

The program is new and still growing. Akron firefighters might work with brochure printers to create a pamphlet for local businesses, explaining the program and seeking their participation.