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La Crosse firefighters give back

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Two fire trucks were at La Crosse’s State Road Elementary School Thursday, but they weren’t there to fight a fire.

“This is just a wonderful gesture and a wonderful donation from our local firefighters who actually see day in and day out as we do the real challenges that sometimes occur for our families and our community,” said La Crosse School District Superintendent Randy Nelson.

The La Crosse Firefighters International Association of Firefighters Local 127 has donated more than 120 coats to students in the La Crosse School District.

Lieutenant Lance Tryggestad said it’s a way to give back.

“Something as simple as getting a coat on a kid to get them to school and help them feel good about themselves and out the door to breakfast and lunch and staying in school is important to us and obviously to the community as well,” La Crosse Firefighters IAFF Local 127 President Lt. Lance Tryggestad.

Students who are part of State Road Elementary’s safety patrol helped to unload and unpack the coats.

The coats were purchased through Operation Warm, it’s organization that supplies coats to kids in need.

“We actually wish we could have done more coats. We raised a lot of money locally to do this many coats,” said Tryggestad.

Superintendent Randy Nelson said that at any given time the La Srosse School District has 100 or more students who meet the standards for being homeless.

He said the struggles they face aren’t just financial.

“Challenges to stay warm and to actually participate in things that other children do whether they’re going to be outside on the playground and of course just be warm and safe,” said Nelson.

Tryggestad said he hopes the La Crosse Firefighters IAFF will be able to do this again next year.

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