Operation School Bell®

Operation School Bell is the flagship program of Assistance League chapters across the United States. Austin’s Operation School Bell provides school-age children in need with a wardrobe of new school clothing, shoes, and toiletries. Since the inception of the program, we have clothed nearly 110,866 students. In the 2020-2021 year, we provided clothing to more than 3866 students, helping give them the confidence to focus on their education and remain in school.

Contact: Shanna Kribbs, Operation School Bell Chair,

Operation Wish List

Operation Wish List was created in 2010 to provide an opportunity each year for faculty and staff of a carefully selected Austin ISD elementary school to submit a Wish List of items for Assistance League of Austin to fulfill. The selected items are to enhance the educational experience for their students. Other PreK or middle schools in the greater Austin community may also receive educational items. Additionally, Operation Wish List provides books for the AISD’s Buford, the Book Bus.

Contact: Susie Olson and Jane Traugott, Operation Wish List Chairs,



Outreach was established 11 years ago to help Assistance League of Austin move quickly to meet a range of community needs on a onetime, short term or annual basis, enabling us to respond in a flexible manner. For example, since formation of the program, the committee has aided Hurricane Harvey victims, as well as many homeless Austin families transitioning into shelters.

Contact: Sharon Torrico, Outreach Chair,

Toy Cart

Toy Cart was the first program established by Assistance League of Austin in 1973 and serves more than 20,000 children and families annually. We visit hundreds of children hospitalized at Dell Children’s Medical Center, four days per week, year-round, bringing books, toys, crafts, games, and magazines. These newly purchased gifts are individually chosen by each patient. Our Toy Cart Studio team spreads extra love and comfort by sewing receiving blankets and burp cloths, crocheting caps, and providing onesies for infants throughout the hospital.


Laurie Nelson, Toy Cart Chair,


Assault Survivor Kits®

Assault Survivor Kits (ASK) program provides support services to child and adolescent assault survivors seen by SANE nurses (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners). Items provided include stuffed animals, writing journals and new clothing. We serve two Dell Children’s Medical Center locations—in the hospital setting where acute sexual assault evaluations take place and at the non-acute sexual abuse clinic.

Contact: Jan Moynahan, Assault Survivor Kits Chair,

Assistance League Scholarships

Assistance League of Austin members and Community Volunteers advocate for and mentor Austin Community College students to help them excel in their chosen fields. Assistance League of Austin is proud to cover the costs for tuition, fees and books for scholars selected by the Austin Community College Foundation on the basis of need and desire to learn. Students are required to maintain a minimum of six credit hours per semester and a GPA of 2.5. Preference is given to Austin area students who have a strong desire to become productive members of this community and who do not have college experience in their family background.

Contact: Stephanie Dempsey, Scholarships Chair,

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Fresh Start

The Fresh Start Program was established February 2012. Fresh Start serves foster youth in the Greater Austin area who are graduating high school, exiting the foster care system, and moving into independent living. Fresh Start provides individualized Life-Kits to foster youth through referrals from the Department of Family and Protective Services Preparation for Adult Living program. Fresh Start collaborates with other social service agencies and retail stores to provide goods to foster youth. Items may include laptop computers for these teens.


Waste Not

This program, which has an expanded community service emphasis, was established in 2009 to oversee distribution of excess and unsellable items donated to (or purchased for use by) THRIFT HOUSE, Operation School Bell, or any other Assistance League of Austin program. This distribution will be made only to other nonprofit agencies with 501(c)(3) status, or entities otherwise pre-approved for such donations. The program will increase our return to the community—a major philanthropic goal that helps make Austin a giving place to live.

Contact: Dot Sunday, Waste Not Chair,