As Houston temperatures dropped, the gift of warmth arrived just in time for hundreds of kids at Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary School in East Houston.
FedEx Cares teamed up with Operation Warm, a national nonprofit that provides brand new coats to children in need, to deliver coats to every student enrolled at N.Q. Henderson. Nearly 40 FedEx volunteers helped more than 300 students pick out a free, brand-new coat in their size and favorite color.
“I am so excited for our campus,” Principal Alana Holloway said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our scholars. We are very appreciative. I know that our parents and families will be extremely grateful.”
N.Q. Henderson is considered 100% economically disadvantaged. Principal Holloway said most of her students walk to and from school and do not have adequate clothing to keep them warm. Many students, she said, are also without adequate electricity and heating in their homes.
“One of our major concerns was that our scholars were not warm coming to school and leaving school,” she said.
Over the last 20 years, Operation Warm has gifted nearly 3 million new coats. Each coat comes with a soft fleece lining and a detachable hood. Operation Warm states that a brand-new coat not only provides warmth but boosts a child’s self-esteem and school attendance.
“Our coats are more than just a coat,” said Gabriella De Leo, Operation Warm Project and Events Coordinator. “We really think it instills hope and confidence in these kids. Being warm goes a long way.”
N.Q. Henderson fifth-grader Maylynn Harrison agreed.
“Getting this jacket was next level,” she said. “I am thankful they gave me this jacket, so I don’t miss school and I can be successful!”