A Basic Necessity: Sanford Continues Coat Drive for Children

Mayor Thomas Menino and operation Warm founder Richard Sanford help a young Maverick Landing resident put on her new coat as part of a coat give away at the housing Development Saturday sponsored by operation Warm, the Boston Foundation and the City.

In 1998 Richard Sanford read a story in his hometown paper in Pennsylvania that both angered and inspired him.

“I learned that children in my town were freezing while waiting for their school bus, because they had no winter coats,” said Sanford at Maverick Landing in East Boston Saturday.

Sanford said he was puzzled how this could occur in a relatively affluent Pennsylvania community. Sanford said he then began paying closer attention to the children in his neighborhood as they were on their way to school.

“I noticed it was true and many of these children were in fact not wearing winter coats,” said Sanford.

With his own money, Sanford went to a local department store and bought 58 coats. With the help of the Longwood Rotary Club, they distributed the coats to local children who did not have them.

As they say, the rest is history.

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