Feb 19, 2015

First Student Driver Collects Hundreds of Winter Coats for Students in Rochester

CINCINNATIHundreds of children in Rochester, Minn., have new coats to keep them warm this winter thanks to an initiative by a First Student driver.

One morning last December, the wind chill in Rochester was -23°F when driver Linda Bowar picked up one of her students. The student was not wearing a coat. When Bowar asked him why he was not dressed appropriately for the weather, the student said his family could not afford a coat.

Bowar was inspired to help to not only help this student, but others in the community she serves. With the support of the First Student location in Rochester, Bowar organized a coat drive that she named “Operation Cold Kidz.” Bowar contacted numerous department stores in Rochester and received hundreds of donations of new coats, hats, gloves and scarves.

“We were honored to serve our local community in this way,” said Jon Goetz, Location Manager of First Student Rochester. “The smiles on the faces of all the children who received these new items warmed all of our hearts. Linda’s compassion for her student riders and our community of Rochester will have a lasting legacy in Operation Cold Kidz.”

The location distributed the coats and other items last month to benefit more than 200 children in the Rochester area.