PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Local firefighters work every day to keep people safe, and now they're giving back in a big way.
"They don't look at it as just a job, you know? They really love to help people. And that's what we do all day as firefighters because we help people."
The mission to serve runs deep in firefighting, and that's why a new charity will allow firefighters an outlet to raise money and serve while they're not on duty.
It's called the Pittsburgh Firefighters Foundation.
"We're gonna have a ceremony starting at 9 a.m. to kick it off. We're trying to raise awareness for it and help people understand that, you know, like, it's a charitable organization. We can take donations, and it will, you know, give back to the community; anything they donate will come back to local communities in Pittsburgh," said Tim Leech, Vice President of Pittsburgh Firefighters, IAFF Local No. 1.
After that short ceremony, it's time for the kids to snag their free coats.
The annual Coats for Kids event starts at 10 a.m. Sunday for kids from kindergarten through fifth grade. Children need to be there to try on the coats at the firefighters' Local No. 1 union hall along Flowers Avenue.
Leech told KDKA-TV they gathered 2,000 coats.
"We bought over 2,000 coats in all different sizes, elementary school age children so, and there's no pre-registration required. Doors open at 10 o'clock on Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we're gonna give away coats to any child that walks through the door who needs one. There's no requirement. There's no income requirement. There's no, you don't have to show anything, prove anything. You just walk in, try a coat on, find a color you like, find when it fits, and walk out with it. And we're gonna do that until either two o'clock or until we run out of coats."
When the shifts end, and the bell's not ringing, Leech says the firefighters just want to continue to do good work.
Kids can also snag free winter hats and gloves to match their coats.
Leech says it's all possible thanks to sponsors like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Duquesne Light, and MSA.
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