Programs

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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. Our goal in 2018-19 is to have clothed 100,000 children since our inception, helping them feel good about themselves.

Contact: Rinda Gildner, Operation School Bell® Chair, schoolbell@alaustin.org

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 ALA 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, operation_wish_list@alaustin.org

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Outreach

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, outreach@alaustin.org

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.

Contact: Susan Pettigrew, Studio Chair and Faith Stevens, Scheduler, toycart@alausting.org

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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 DCMC 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, assault_survivor_kits@alaustin.org

Assistance League Scholarships

Assistance League of Austin members and Community Volunteers mentor students to help provide success in their chosen fields in courses at Austin Community College (ACC). Tuition, fees and books are paid for selected scholars. Austin Community College Foundation selects scholarship recipients on the basis of need and desire to learn. They are required to maintain at least six credit hours per semester and a minimum 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: Anna Stewart, Scholarships Chair, scholarships@alaustin.org

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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.

Contact: Nancy Housel, Fresh Start Chair, fresh_start@alaustin.org

Waste Not

This program, established in 2009, with an expanded community service emphasis has been established 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, waste_not@alaustin.org

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