BUTTE — Winter is just around the corner in Montana, so it’s really important to have a nice warm jacket. And with the help of a team of local FedEx employees, kids at Kennedy Elementary School in Butte received a special delivery of brand-new winter jackets.
"On the playground it’s been getting really chilly. The other day I was at school without one single coat and I was so cold at recess. So, second recess I wasn’t gonna be able to [go out]," says second-grade student Mattea Sargent.
Seven-year-old Mattea is one of about 200 students at the Butte elementary school to receive a free winter jacket donated by Operation Warm, a national nonprofit based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that partners with FedEx to deliver winter coats and shoes to underserved school children across the nation.
"Operation Warm and FedEx select the schools and then we set up the volunteers and help out. It’s a feel-good situation for us that we can give back to our community," says Greg Peters, the Butte FedEX manager.
Peters says his employees also added tote bags filled with socks, boots, gloves, and hats for kids who need them.
"It’s pretty fun. I’ve been needing new coats. I’ve been needing one because I really had none," says Aria Giacoletto, a second-grade student who chose a light purple jacket to match her love of the Butte High School Bulldogs.
"This means everything," says school secretary Kailee Fabatz.
Fabatz says she’s often in search coats, hats, and gloves to keep the kids warm during the winter.
"As a whole, every kid in this school benefits from a coat. So to make this happen, for FedEx to make this happen, for this whole organization to make this happen and for our school, specifically in Butte, to be nominated and recognized, it means everything," she says.
For Mattea and her friends, winter in Butte seems like a really long time. When asked how long winter is, she pauses.
"Maybe a couple of years?" she says with surety.
Sometimes it does seem like winter lasts for years here in Butte but at least these kids now have warm coats for the upcoming season.