WATERLOO — Members of the Waterloo Downtown Rotary Club raised $18,000 to purchase new children’s coats for seven schools. The project was done with the joint support of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.

A total of 1,200 coats were distributed to Cunningham, Highland, Irving, Lincoln, Lowell, Blessed Sacrament and Sacred Heart elementary schools, all in Waterloo.

The coats come from a Rotary Foundation in Pennsylvania called Operation Warm. They were provided in 24 colors and designs for girls and 24 colors and designs for boys, allowing each student to choose what they like. The students are among 6,000 to 7,000 children in the area needing new coats.

The club has helped purchase more than 5,000 coats in the past eight years and been involved in many other projects to help locally and around the world during its 100-year history. Among those are projects helping thousands of children and pregnant women in Nicaragua annually for the last 16 years.

Donations to Operation Warm-Waterloo Rotary Fund at the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa can be sent to Steve and Liz Thorpe, Waterloo Downtown Rotary, P.O. Box 118 Waterloo, Iowa 50704.