For 7-year-old Darion Neugent, getting a brand new, blue winter coat from an Oklahoma City firefighter was “awesome!”
The second-grader was one of 467 Greystone Upper Elementary School students to receive a new winter coat Monday morning from firefighters from nearby fire stations and volunteers through the Firefighters Coats for Kids program.
“I have a coat at home but when I try to play, it's not very good. It's a big coat,” Darion said.
Moments later, Darion excitedly talked with one of his friends who also chose a blue winter coat.
For third-grader Mary Kate Lee, 9, her brand new, dark pink coat is the only coat she has that fits her.
“All the coats I have at my house don't fit me anymore,” she said.
The boys chose between a green, gray or blue coat, while the girls chose between a purple, light pink or dark pink coat.
Before the second through sixth grades took turns getting their coats, most of the students there were wearing only their required short-sleeved, school polo, although Monday morning's temperatures were in the 30s.
“About two thirds of our children have yet to take that coat off,” Greystone Upper Elementary School Principal Max Miller said. “It's a sense of pride for them. Oftentimes, they're not wearing the same type of coats that many other kids that they see (wear,) and for them to be able to have a brand new coat makes them feel like they are other kids. It gives them a sense of confidence and self-confidence that they might not otherwise have. It means a lot to them.”