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Firefighters begin handing out 4,000 coats to MPS students

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee firefighters have been raising money throughout the year to support its "Coats for Kids" program. On Wednesday, November 12th, they were at Hampton Elementary School on the city's north side and began distributing new winter coats for 4,000 students in nine Milwaukee Public Schools. That's up from 1,000 students in two MPS schools in 2012.

Lt. Casey Kerwin of the Milwaukee Fire Department tells FOX6 News the money was raised mostly in the summer from generous donations from the people of the city. He says firefighters stood on corners with buckets to collect the cash needed to buy coats for the kids.

"It's always important for firefighters to go out there in the community and represent the community, become closer with the community, and help out as best we can," said Kerwin.

Lt. Kerwin says it's important to take every opportunity to talk about fire safety to kids. But it's rewarding for firefighters to be able to help in this way too.

"Some of these parents have very limited income and sometimes they have to choose between a brand new coat or to put food on the table. And if we can make it a little easier for them, at this point by getting them a new coat, maybe they can spend their money somewhere else," said Kerwin.

Lt. Kerwin says the Milwaukee Fire Department already plans to collect money for kids' coats next year.

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