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Southern Team Subaru Warms Winter Hearts

On a heartwarming Saturday, January 20th, 2024, the Subaru Love Promise found its fulfillment through a collaborative effort with Operation Warm. The Southern Team Subaru, in a compassionate initiative, procured sufficient winter coats to extend warmth and comfort to 480 children, friends, and neighbors facing urgent needs. No bureaucratic hurdles, no paperwork, just a genuine act of kindness. Recipients experienced relief, free from the entanglements of red tape, as they attended the event and selected a brand-new coat, ranging from sizes 2T to XXL, covering toddlers to a few adults.

Jason Hariston, our beneficiary TAP Event coordinator, played a pivotal role in securing a location for a full boutique setup with clothing racks and size signs. Volunteers, including Southern Team employees, TAP employees, and church members where Mr. Hariston serves as an associate pastor, joined hands to make the event a success.

Volunteering often brings personal pleasure, but it’s the impactful moments that leave a lasting impression. Three touching stories stand out:

A 7-year-old boy, recently immigrated from Afghanistan, arrived in tears, expressing the coldness outside. His mother, struggling to learn English, shared their journey. Selecting two coats—one slightly larger for future walks—provided warmth and comfort. A church member and I drove them home, reassuring the mother that it was no trouble.

A mother seeking a coat for her four-year-old revealed her own threadbare and hole-ridden coat. Recognizing the need for adult sizes, we pledged to include more next year, ensuring warmth for everyone.

Helping a deaf young lady choose a coat became a memorable moment. Limited sign language conveyed a compliment, lighting up her face with a radiant smile and a blush.

These stories reinforce the power of small gestures—adapting plans, offering warmth, or learning a few words in another language. I’m grateful to Southern Team and Subaru for providing a job that allows personal growth through meaningful experiences.

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