Through their Operation School Bell® program, Assistance League of Bend is providing new clothing to over 2,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12 during the month of October. This back-to-school clothing campaign is taking place at the Redmond and Bend Walmart stores on 12 shopping days throughout the month. The high school and middle school students will shop for new school clothes using $100 vouchers and the elementary students will shop for new clothes using $80 vouchers provided by Assistance League of Bend. The vouchers are distributed to students in need by the Family Access Network advocates at each school. Assistance League of Bend has modified the shopping events to help keep the students and volunteers safe and they are excited to be able to support students in person again this fall.
Assistance League of Bend continues to see a rising need to provide local children with basic clothing items. One in five local children live in poverty. In addition to meeting essential clothing needs, Assistance League of Bend has found that new clothes elevate a child’s self-esteem, help them feel more accepted by their peers, and empower them to learn. Children with better self-esteem are more likely to complete their education, breaking the cycle of poverty. Click here to see Operation School Bell in action on KTVZ.