Posted on Oct 13, 2018
There is a special bond between Rotary clubs and Operation Warm. Starting as a small project in 1998 at the Rotary Club of Longwood of Kennett Square, District 7450, it has grown into a program supported by Rotarians and other organizations across North America. District 6440 joined in in 2009.
Three Reasons Rotary Clubs and Operation Warm Are a Great Fit
For both Rotarians and Operation Warm, the interest that binds is the commitment of service to those in need, the love of the positive work we do and our loyalty to each other.
“Rotarians believe in ‘Service Above Self’ and Rotary clubs are deeply involved in their communities,” says Rich Lalley, Operation Warm’s Development Director and Past President of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield. Rich was introduced to Operation Warm at PETS Training in 2009.
“Operation Warm is a project that perfectly aligns with Rotarians’ values and interests in being ‘People of Action’ who make a positive difference in the world,” he says. “It is also a perfect project to showcase Rotary clubs in their community, as the media love covering stories about helping children. So, in addition to being a part of community service plans, it should be a highlight of clubs’ public image efforts.”
Rotary Clubs and Operation Warm Positively Impacting Communities
For 20 years, over 300 Rotary Clubs in more than 50 districts have partnered with Operation Warm to conduct service projects that provide brand new winter coats to children in their communities and beyond.
In fact, Rotary clubs have provided brand new winter coats to over 300,000 children, helping Operation Warm reach and impact communities throughout North America.
“There are children right now who would not have been given a gift of warmth, confidence and hope, if it weren’t for our long-standing partnership with Rotary clubs,” Rich says.
Operation Warm in District 6440
Clubs in District 6440 began partnerships with Operation Warm in 2009, with 31 clubs conducting service projects or supporting other clubs over the years. Clubs include:
Arlington Heights, Carpentersville Morning, Dundee Township, Evanston, Evanston Lighthouse, Glen Ellyn, Glenview, Grayslake, Gurnee, Illinois Beach Sunrise, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Morning, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Libertyville Noon, Long Grove - Kildeer - Hawthorn Woods, Mount Prospect Sunrise, Mount Prospect/Prospect Heights, Northbrook, Palatine, Park Ridge, Schaumburg AM, Schaumburg Hoffman Estates, Skokie Valley, Wauconda, Waukegan, West Chicago, Wheeling, Wilmette, Wilmette Harbor, Winnetka Northfield, Woodstock Noon.
Over the years, over 20,000 Northern Illinois children have received the happiness and hope that comes with the gift of a brand new coat through a Rotary club support!
How an Operation Warm Rotary Program Works
Each club identifies its own beneficiary organization(s). The club may find the need greatest in a local school or youth services agency. Next, the Rotary club raises funds to support its project. Operation Warm provides the coats, materials, guidance and additional tools and resources.
To learn more about Operation Warm, visit the Rotary Partners page. To reach out directly to Rich Lalley, contact him via email