NBA Player Surprises Middletown Elementary Students with 300 Winter Coats

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With a bitter blast of arctic air expected to sweep across the state Thursday night into Friday, students at Bielefield Elementary School in Middletown are getting a little extra something to stay warm. 

Each student, 300 in total, were able to pick out a winter coat gifted by an anonymous NBA player. 

It’s all part of Operation Warm’s mission to provide brand-new winter coats to children all across the country.

Just this winter, half a million coats have been handed out to children nationwide and in Canada. 

“So amazing,” 7-year-old Alexander said. “I feel so amazing.”

“It is really fluffy on the inside,” 7-year-old Reyniel said.

There was a perfect parka for everyone. Students were able to pick from over a variety of colors and patterns. 

“We picked it [this one] because we love cheetahs. They run fast,” Alexander said. “Yeah, they run very fast,” 7-year-old twin Alyssa added.

Operation Warm said NBA players who donated coats this year usually donate to the city they play in, or their hometown. 

Based on Bielefield track record, students think they know who the coats may be from — Alumni Andre Drummond. 

Drummond tweeted last month, “From my roots in Middletown, CT to the Rocket Mortgage Field House, I’m honored to feel warmth, confidence and hope anywhere I go. That’s why I’m giving back #Morethanacoat with @OperationWarm and donating 800 brand-new coats to kids in need, so each kid can stay warm this winter.” 

"We gave a few coats out earlier in the week for students who we thought would definitely benefit on having one sooner,” Suzanne Shippee-Lopez, Bielefield Elementary School Principal, said. “We are just so grateful.” 

The kids who received the coats said they’re grateful and celebrating after a difficult year. 

Operation Warm said they saw a much bigger need for coats this year because of the hardships families were facing during the pandemic. 

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