Kindergarteners from Tendoy Elementary

Kindergarteners from Tendoy Elementary receive a brand-new coat.

POCATELLO — On Feb. 17, Operation Warm, in partnership with the Mountain America Credit Union, delivered brand-new winter coats to every learner attending Tendoy Elementary School. Tendoy provides pre-K-5 education to 225 learners and is a Title I school. Tendoy learners enrolled in the district’s online learning program also received a coat.

As a proud sponsor of the Idaho State University Bengals, Mountain America Credit Union committed to donating to a charity for every first down and three-pointer completed by the Bengals during the past three football and basketball seasons. This season, Mountain America selected Operation Warm as the recipient of its three-point and first down charitable programs. With the basketball season coming to a close, Mountain America, in partnership with Operation Warm, donated over 2,200 coats to children in the Pocatello area, including 225 at Tendoy Elementary.

Operation Warm provides brand-new coats, offering a child physical and emotional warmth, confidence to socialize and succeed, and hope of a brighter future.

The program is not just a coat drive. Operation Warm works directly with manufacturers to create their own line of thoughtfully designed winter coats, made just for kids, in a wide variety of styles and colors.

According to the Operation Warm organization: “We believe that every child, regardless of circumstance, deserves to feel the warmth, confidence and hope that comes from the gift of something new, made just for them. We manufacture our coats to the strictest industry standards — ensuring that kids love the way they look and feel in their brand-new coats, and keep them warm and protected throughout the year.”

Tendoy’s principal, Mrs. Janice Nelson, says that the coats help with outdoor play during winter months since learners are often outside for 15-20 minutes.

Mrs. Nelson said: “Idaho can be cold, 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. It has made my day as I’ve walked down the hall with groups of children. They could hardly contain their excitement.”

Angela Phillips, Mountain America Credit Union’s public relations manager, said, "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. It's just amazing to see firsthand the looks on these kids’ faces when they get their coat."

The learners at Tendoy could hardly stand still as they waited in line for their turn to pick out their favorite color of coat. Many were jumping up and down and smiling from ear-to-ear.

Operation Warm’s Michael Andrews said, “The chance to help these kids is heartwarming, and I’m always excited to see these kids and the reaction when they get their brand new coat.”