HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBS 2) – As the temperatures drop, families will need to keep their children warm so a group on Long Island is encouraging children to do just that and help other kids.

This year, the Kids Helping Kids program, along with the town of Hempstead, will hand out more than 3,000 coats around Long Island, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

The coats are all brand new — a fact that the program director said helps send a message.

“We felt like children, especially in this economy we live in, deserve something new,” Bob Eslick said.

On Monday, kids at the Evergreen Charter School set the tone for the event, jumping right in to hand out warm, brand new coats to families in need.

First graders said they were happy to pitch in and help keep other kids warm.

“I liked helping everybody because it keeps them warm,” said one student.

“It makes me feel like I’m proud,” Nancy Valentine said.

Knowing that she was helping other kids made Kalaya Hardy happy to be a part of the program.

“Some kids are freezing because they don’t have enough coats, so I think I should help them for the winter,” Hardy said.

The kids aren’t the only ones happy to help. The parents said they were grateful for the philanthropic actions of their children.

“It’s wonderful that people in the community still look out for those less fortunate,” said Jennifer King.

Local businesses teamed up with the program to donate the coats.

Some of the students were also on the receiving side and while a good warm coat may be practical, the ability to share brings along something extra.

“Christmas is about sharing and giving and there’s a lot of giving and sharing as you can see. It makes me feel very good,” said parent Kayon Reid.

The program will run through the winter season, but they accept donations — brand new coats and outerwear –throughout the year.

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