Assistance League of Bellingham is best known for our signature program, Operation School Bell, which provides new school clothing and shoes to students in need in K through 12 grades. Operation School Bell serves eight local school districts; Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, Meridian, Mt. Baker, Nooksack and Lummi. Each district is allotted a specific number of “slots” based on enrollment. The school district homeless liaison coordinators, who work with low income and homeless families, select the students who participate in Operation School Bell.
We partner with Target to allow students and their families to shop together. Each student receives $100 to select school appropriate clothing and shoes. It is a wonderful experience for our volunteers to hear the happy voices and see the excitement in the children as they pick out new clothes for the school year ahead. Target employees, school counselors and Assistance League members all work together to make this happen.
Our Teen Team program is a voucher program for homeless high school students identified by the homeless high school coordinators. The students are given a $125 voucher to purchase clothing and shoes at the Lakeway Fred Meyer. We are very excited to be able to help these students who have expressed a desire to graduate from high school under adverse circumstances
Books and Beyond, formed in 2021, is the newest program of Assistance League of Bellingham serving preschool through 12th grade. The purpose of this program is to coordinate with local school districts as well as other local non-profits for the promotion of literacy programs. The program is divided into two segments; some members tutor children in the classroom and another group works with the distribution of used children’s books that are donated to the chapter. Volunteers in the classroom look forward to helping students develop better reading skills beginning this October. Members working with the used children’s books coordinate their efforts with another local non-profit, Kids Need Books, for distribution of books to Whatcom County disadvantaged families in migrant worker camps, local pop up food banks and school literacy festivals.