By Spc. William E. Henry
Indiana Army National Guard
INDIANAPOLIS - Four students at the Stout Field Elementary School received a surprise Thursday.
Indiana Adj. Gen. Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, presented the students with winter coats along with the adjutant general's coin.
The students were part of a program National Guard employees, state and federal, from the Stout Field area participate in called Warm Hands, Warm Hearts.
The program helps provide new coats, hats and gloves for children who may need them and might otherwise go without.
Over the last three years it has provided about 40 coats and about 120 hats and gloves to students attending the school according to Stout Field Elementary School home and school advisor, Casey Foust.
Foust said this is her third year participating in the program with the National Guard and believes it made a difference in many children's lives throughout the winter months.
"These kids get excited about the coats and for the kids to be able to go outside and play and not get cold it just makes a huge difference," said Foust.
Foust explained some families working to get by may be strained for the extra money to purchase coats. So she and other faculty members keep a good lookout for those students who may not have a good winter coat.
"If the families don't have to buy a coat that's more money they can use to buy other things they need," she said.
"These coats are from all of us in the National Guard," explained Maj. Gen. Umbarger to the students.
The adjutant general expressed his concern about the children in the community.
"This is kind of like our school, being that it is right next door to us," said Maj. Gen. Umbarger.