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.

During 2020 – 2021, Operation School Bell was able to purchase Chromebooks and “hot spots” for La Cañada Unified School District students as well as students at Learning Works Charter School in Pasadena, many of which did not have an internet connection at their place of residence.  For those who participated in the Friends in Deed food program with their families, OSB provided students with backpacks, school supplies, masks and hand sanitizer.  We also assembled over 1,200 hygiene kits each year and passed them to Pasadena Unified School District students.  Additionally, Hillside School and Learning Center of La Cañada Flintridge was the recipient of laptops for their classrooms and textbooks to replace their outdated books. Finally, we were able to continue our shoe program, providing shoes to every student in the Learning Works program for both 2020 and 2021. 
Within the last two years of adhering to pandemic protocols, the OSB committee has not been able to be in person with the students we serve.  However, we have been able to re-think how we do things and redirect our energies to provide much needed assistance in ways we would not have otherwise had the opportunity to explore.

Typical Hygiene Kit

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.

Contact Operation School Bell

For more information or to leave a message for the OSB Chairman, contact the ALF Programs Office.  We will respond as quickly as possible.  Office hours vary.

(818) 790-2211

Assistance League of Flintridge
4607 Oakwood Avenue
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011