Lubbock firefighters continue 7-year tradition of giving coats t - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock firefighters continue 7-year tradition of giving coats to kids

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Every year, the Lubbock Fire Department gives out hundreds of new coats to students across the school district. 

Capt. Chris Kemp helped start this coats for kids donation drive seven years ago with the goal to give even one kid a coat during the holiday season...

In fact, he said the campaign would have gone away if it weren't for firefighters taking their paychecks and putting them toward new coats for kids. 

Now, it's grown to a point that even Kemp cannot believe. 

"In the early years, we were doing 200-250 coats. Last year, we did two different schools -- which was our first year doing that -- and we did approximately 800 coats. This year, we chose two of the bigger schools at 600 a piece, so it's roughly a little bit over 1,300 coats that we'll give this year," Kemp said.

He said he gains extra motivation with each year of this event, adding if he can give one kid what he needs, it is all worth it.

Specifically, he pointed to what happened the first time he gave a coat to a student.

"I had a little boy ask me: Is this my coat? Do I get to keep this coat? Some of these kids have never had a new coat in their life, and that broke my heart. That's why I want to continue this program," Kemp said.

Throughout the seven years as one of the leaders of this campaign, Kemp said he still sees the need for coats each time. 

"Driving over here this morning, I saw kids walking to school without a coat on -- with just a T-shirt. It breaks my heart. I want to make sure every kid has one. I wish every kid in LISD can get one," Kemp said.

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