New coats warm city kids, firefighters' hearts | New Hampshire
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New coats warm city kids, firefighters' hearts

December 21. 2014 8:37PM

Manchester firefighters who delivered about 300 brand new coats to children around Manchester last week were surprised by how quickly they were able to raise the money to buy them.

“It blew up more than we expected,” Manchester Fire Capt. Brendan Burns said.

It took only six weeks to raise $10,000 to purchase the coats through Operation Warm, a nationwide organization that helps provide new coats to children in need.

Burns said the money came in from small fundraisers at The Pint and Shaskeen, as well as donations from area businesses and a raffle for a dinner and private tour at the firehouse. Each ticket was $34, which is the cost of one of the American-made coats purchased through Operation Warm.

Knowing the coats were made in America was one of the biggest lures to participating in Operation Warm for the first time this year, Burns said.

“They are all new, American-made coats,” said Burns, explaining they are made in different styles and colors by a manufacturer in Georgia.

The firefighters had only planned to raise enough for 100 coats, but with the money they raised, they were able to distribute coats at three Manchester organizations that work with low-income youth, including Bring It, The Way Home, and Families in Transition.

Now that the word is out, I have a feeling this project is going to be even bigger next year; Burns said firefighters plan to start fundraising much earlier in 2015. I will be sure to let you know how you can help.

Coats for adults, too

Homeless men and women will be getting gently used coats and a hot lunch this Christmas Eve at 1269 Café on Hanover Street.

The coats are being provided by Manchester clothing recycling company Apparel Impact, which collects clothing and other textiles from individuals and through bins placed at local businesses.

I am glad to hear this business, started by Manchester’s Joe Whitten and his family, is still growing. While Apparel Impact is a for-profit business that makes money through textile recycling, the Whittens are committed to their local and global community.

Each year, Apparel Impact provides more than 40,000 pieces of clothing to New Hampshire families, sponsors more than 100 haircuts for the homeless and feeds 30 children at the Vision International Orphanage in Haiti.

Businesses that place an Apparel Impact bin at their location are able to have a percentage of the proceeds collected through the recycling of the clothing directed to a charity of their choice. They also receive a tax write-off. To learn more, visit

Mike’s Munchies

If you are wondering where former WZID morning host Mike Morin has been lately, he’s traded in his microphone for a mixing bowl. Morin’s passion for cooking and baking has turned into a whole new career as he launches the first product of his new Chew Hampshire brand.

Morin’s award-winning Chocolate Infinity cookies are now available for sale at Cupcakes 101 in Bedford. Morin said he plans to add new sales locations and new cookie recipes in 2015. You can keep up with his new endeavor on the Chew Hampshire Facebook page.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

If you are not in the Christmas spirit yet, I recommend getting over to the Palace Theatre tonight to see piano soloist Jim Brickman’s “The Magic of Christmas” performance.

Brickman and special guests will deliver the perfect blend of music and entertainment, making lasting memories for the whole family.

The show starts at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit

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