Skull Camp Fire Department from Lowgap donated coats to children in Mountain Park Thursday.
“Skull Camp Fire Department has joined up with Mountain Park Fire Department to help get all the needy kids in Mountain Park free coats,” Skull Camp’s Lindsay Moose said. “Skull Camp did the fundraising and Mountain Park is helping out with the manpower and the location to make sure that we are able to give these kids coats for the winter time.”
The donations came as the weather dipped to near record lows for the dates.
“Since it’s just turned cold it comes in very good timing,” Moose said.
Children throughout the school were eligible for the coats, which were provided through Operation Warm. The brand-new coats are distributed in 41 states across the country.
Moose found out about the organization through the radio and contacted them to partner in the effort.
“I heard about it on K-Love, a Christian radio station. They were doing a sponsorship on there so I just looked it up and saw where they were getting involved with fire departments, and so we thought maybe it would be something for us to try,” Moose said.
“We’re the first fire department in the country to team up with Operation Warm to try to get coats to children with needs,” Moose’s husband Jason said.
Jason is the chief of Skull Camp Fire Department.
“We sent out permission slips to the whole school. They’ve already turned in their permission slips so we’ve got their names on a sheet and then if there’s any kids that, for whatever reason didn’t get a slip turned in we’ve got extra coats for them as well. So everybody that needs a coat will get one,” Moose said.
“We also did Cedar Ridge Elementary at the beginning of the month. We gave out probably 120 [coats], and we’re going to do Flat Rock in November and hand out probably about 120 there as well.”
Moose said the school had been kind in making the program such a success.
“Mountain Park has been very helpful in us getting these kids the coats that they want,” Moose said. “We’re giving out about a hundred – I think between 80 and 100 coats today,” Moose said.
The coats were given away between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday in Mountain Park Elementary’s cafeteria. The event coincided with the school’s fall festival.
Sandy Moody was the festival coordinator. She is the head of the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO).
“Our PTO does the fall festival every year,” Moody said. “We try to keep it very reasonable for the children to get to come. We just do 25-cent tickets, and everything is just one ticket.”
Some children wore Halloween costumes while others did not.
“Fall Festival is what we call it. We kind of don’t focus on Halloween anymore. We just kind of leave it open as a fall festival,” Moody said.
The parents and teachers help man the 16 booths while the fire department had a fire engine outside. Kids could participate in a cupcake walk, football toss, putt putt, and many other games. Children and parents filled the gym as they worked their way from booth to booth.
“We have enrolled in our school about 200,” Moody said, “ and I’m going to say at least half of them try to participate if they can.”
Following the Mountain Park success the fire department will head down the road to another Surry school.
“Hopefully through being able to help Cedar Ridge, Mountain Park and Flat Rock that maybe next year, if the county’s willing to or the fire departments want to get involved, we can do a mass county-wide school drive. It gave us the confidence boost that we needed to get it done,” Chief Moose said. “It’s been great.”
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