Operation School Bell ®
Operation School Bell, the signature national program of Assistance League, originated with the purpose of clothing children who might otherwise be unable to attend school because they lacked the most basic school attire. What began in the 1950s as a “clothes closet” that distributed used clothing to school children has evolved into a comprehensive program providing new clothing, health assistance, learning materials and enrichment programs to more than 300,000 recipients annually. Assistance League of Flintridge is proud to have been a part of Operation School Bell since 2005 and serves approximately 1,500 students each year.
The goal of Operation School Bell is to provide appropriate school clothing and materials to children with the aim of raising their self-esteem, increasing school attendance and improving classroom performance. Assistance League of Flintridge works with the La Cañada Unified School District to identify students in need and to provide new clothing, backpacks, school supplies and shoe/clothing gift cards to these children. Additionally, ALF partners with Assistance League of Pasadena in their OSB program. Assistance League of Flintridge members assist Pasadena students during school clothing fitting sessions and prepare the personal care kits. Our auxiliary members, Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals (CAP), also staff during fitting sessions and have donated money to the program.
In 2016, when members of Assistance League of Flintridge learned that over 600 students in the neighboring Sunland-Tujunga area were identified as homeless, the program was expanded to serve this need. Working with the Homeless Education Program of Los Angeles Unified School District, the ALF Operation School Bell committee proposed that 400 vouchers for $25 to purchase shoes and personal care kits be provided for homeless students in Sunland-Tujunga. ALF members enthusiastically approved the gift and have since coordinated a number of projects in the region.