Minnesota Contractor Provides Coats for Students in Need

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This week, schools in many different regions, including the Northeast and Midwest, were forced to close due to the harsh weather.  While some students could retreat into their homes or bundle up with warm clothes, others may not have these options.

Linda Bowar, a school bus driver with First Student in Rochester, Minnesota, decided to take matters into her own hands when she learned one of her students did not own proper winter wear.

On one December morning, when the weather was 23 degrees below zero, she picked up the student and noticed he was not wearing a coat. When she asked him about this, the student said his family could not afford to buy him one.

Bowar then decided to organize a coat drive with the support of First Student in Rochester. She got in touch with several local department stores and gathered hundreds of new coats, gloves and scarves. As part of the “Operation Cold Kids” drive last month, more than 200 children received winter clothes from the Rochester location.

“We were honored to serve our local community in this way,” said Jon Goetz, location manager of First Student Rochester. “The smiles on the faces of all the children who received these new items warmed all of our hearts. Linda’s compassion for her student riders and our community of Rochester will have a lasting legacy in Operation Cold Kidz.”

First Student also helped gather coats for approximately 150 children in the Cincinnati area last year.

Several school districts throughout the country closed their schools Friday including the Baltimore City Public Schools, Pittsburgh Public Schools and Richmond Public Schools in Virginia.  

Chicago Public Schools reopened Friday after closing Thursday amid a temperature as low as minus-8 degrees that broke a 79-year record.