Assistance League of Bellingham is best known for its signature program, Operation School Bell, which provides new school clothing to students in need in grades K through 12 in all eight Whatcom County schools: Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, Meridian, Mt. Baker, Nooksack Valley and Lummi Nation. Each district is allotted a specific number of “slots” based on enrollment percentage of low income and homeless families. The school district liaison coordinators, who work with low income and homeless families, select the students who participate in Operation School Bell.
We have partnered with Bellis Fair JCPenney to allow students and their families to shop together according to their own schedule. Each approved student receives a $125 gift card to purchase their school appropriate clothing. Any balance left on a gift card is returned to Operation School Bell by JCPenney to provide additional funds to be used for helping more students. We have a hard working team of school coordinators, JCPenney employees and Assistance League of Bellingham volunteers who consider it a privilege to help so many students in need and we 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.