Warm Up Winter campaign: Protect a child from the bitter cold by helping purchase a coat

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Instead of battling fires, Milwaukee firefighter Scott Vilter spent Tuesday morning, June 24th fighting a very different issue -- Wisconsin's harsh, and bitterly cold winter.

"We`re sometimes helping people in their house and this time we`re out getting donations so we can help them in the future," said Vilter.

Firefighters throughout the city will be out on the streets with their boots in hand asking for donations to help children in poverty.

"As firefighters, we`re out and we see these kids on the street corners sometimes ill prepared for the weather and there`s something that we can do about that," said Lt. Brian Gardner with the Milwaukee Fire Department.

The Milwaukee Fire Department is kicking off its Warm Up Winter campaign.

This is the third year of the effort, which has provided new coats to 5,000 children in need at 11 Milwaukee Public Schools.

"Once you see them receive the coat, they`re very excited because a lot of these kids -- they`ve never had anything brand new," said Lt. Gardner.

Last year, Milwaukee firefighters raised $50,000 in just three days for Warm Up Winter.

Now they're asking for everyone's help. Even some of the youngest citizens -- like four-year-old Owen Schmetler are pitching in.

"It`s a good feeling because there are a lot of kids who don`t have it, so whatever we can do to give back -- that`s great," said Owen's mother Nicole as they donated money.

Milwaukee firefighters plan to deliver the coats to students at MPS schools in October, warming the bodies and hearts of our future.

Milwaukee firefighters will be out collecting money Thursday, June 26th through Saturday, June 28th from 2pm - 6pm.

For more information on the cause or to learn how to donate CLICK HERE.