Operation Warm - Rich Lalley
     Operation Warm provides warmth, confidence, and hope through basic need programs that connect underserved children to community resources they need to thrive.
     Operation Warm’s mission has always been focused on the whole child.  Our tagline, ‘more than a coat’ means that the coats and shoes we provide don’t just provide physical warmth, but also emotional warmth, the confidence to socialize and succeed, and hope of a brighter future.  We’re proud to say that over the last 23 years, these gifts have become a bridge between our partners and families in need to access critical resources.
     Operation Warm creates brand-new, high-quality coats and athletic-style shoes for children in need, offering a child both physical and emotional warmth.
     The gift of a brand-new coat or shoes empowers children by sparking self-confidence in a way that second-hand clothing cannot. The gift of a new coat or shoes can help students attend school, socialize with their peers and play outside with pride.
     Many families living in poverty struggle to provide necessities like food, housing, clothing and childcare. The gift of a brand-new coat or pair of shoes offers hope to both children and their parents, reminding them there are those in their community that care about their well-being and future.
     Operation Warm works to ensure that coats and shoes go to the kids that need them the most.  Our beneficiary organizations are nonprofits and 501(c)(3) organizations who support children and families in need like Head Starts or Title 1 schools where 40% or more of their students’ families are at or below 150% of the federally prescribed poverty level, or human service organizations like homeless shelters, community libraries, or foster care agencies. 
     During its 23 years in existence, Operation Warm has gifted over 30,000 pairs of shoes, over 4,000,000 coats, and served over 1,900 communities.
     Rich Lalley is the Partnership Director for Operation Warm and since joining the organization in 2009, over 3 million children have received the warmth, confidence and hope of a new Operation Warm winter coat and annual impact has grown five-fold from 110,000 to 525,000 children served each year.
     Rich received his BA in Advertising from Michigan State University in 1977 and has worked a number of organizations including Miller Brewing Company, Discover Financial Services and owned and operated a franchised home furnishings and interior design retail business before joining Operation Warm.
     He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield since November 2004.  He was President in 2009-2010 and has served as Secretary/Treasurer since 2014.  Since July of 2011, he has served District 6440 as Assistant Governor and Technology Coordinator working in the areas of Disaster and Humanitarian Relief.
     Rich will talk about Operation Warm and the good work it does.  This will be an interesting and informative program and one to invite a guest or prospective member to join us in person or via zoom.  Elise Cadigan will introduce our presenter and act as Rotary Host.