A handful of local elementary school students will be a little warmer this winter, thanks to the Coal Valley Fire Protection District.
The fire department held its first Coats for Kids event on Saturday at Walmart in Moline.
Firefighters and families spent the day helping nine kids in need and their families buy new coats, hats and gloves.
The department says it was looking for a new way to give back to the community, so it reached out to Bicentennial Elementary and asked the school to choose some families who could use some help this winter.
Parents and firefighters say the best part of the day was watching the kids' faces light up as they tried on their new winter gear.
"That's the best feeling of all. That's why we do this. We just want to see everyone taken care of, and the feeling is overwhelming when you see them smile and they get to pick out their own things," said Shane McKee, a member of the Coal Valley Fire Protection District.
"I think it's just wonderful. It's a blessing, really. because kids want something new and fresh, and they need warmth for winter. I think it's a wonderful thing," one parent, Diana Williams, added.
The Coal Valley Fire Protection District bought the coats with money raised at its annual summer pancake breakfast.