For the fifth year, Fred Meyer, The Salvation Army Alaska Division and Lynden Transport teamed up to provide new coats for children throughout Alaska through the Coats for Kids program. The program helps prepare Alaska's neediest schoolchildren for winter. More than 4,500 Alaska students received free winter coats. The shipment arrived in Anchorage courtesy of Lynden Transport, in cooperation with Totem Ocean Trailer Express, and was unpacked and sorted with the help of Fred Meyer volunteers. Lynden Transport donated the shipping costs of the coats from Fred Meyer's distribution center in Chehalis, WA to Anchorage and donated shipping to the following communities: Cordova, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Angoon, Ketchikan, Haines, Hoonah, Juneau, Kake, Kenai, Klawock, Petersburg, Sitka and Wrangell.
"One of the deliveries was made to a community of 500 between Nome and Kotzebue and the town is still abuzz with the excitement of Operation Santa Claus," says Jenni Ragland of the Salvation Army. "I heard from one of the community members about a family with three boys that was in particular need of winter coats. They had been wearing the same light jackets for a year. The look on the 12-year-old's face was wonderful. He tried not to show it, but he was very proud and happy. He couldn't keep himself from hugging the coat to his chest. Thank you so much for all you do. You really touch lives."
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