Fall 2019, Assistance League of Bend partnered with Walmart stores in Bend and Redmond. The fall sessions were completed the end of October. Approximately 2,150 students in the Bend-La Pine, Redmond and Sisters School Districts were provided with new school clothing. A second session will take place in February 2020.
Operation School Bell is the signature program of Assistance League of Bend and has, for over 25 years, enabled thousands of vulnerable Deschutes County schoolchildren in grades K-12 to go to school with confidence and self-esteem wearing new clothing they have chosen for themselves.
According to the Oregon Department of Education, one in five children in Deschutes County live in poverty. Surveys show that children go to school with confidence and self-esteem when wearing new clothing they have chosen for themselves. Attendance improves and bullying decreases.
The students are referred by the local Family Access Network and have the opportunity to shop with a parent and Assistance League’s all-volunteer members and many nonmember community volunteers. The program has been administrated in partnership with Walmart stores in Bend and Redmond and is made possible through grants, fundraisers and donations from the supportive and generous people within the community.