Prior to COVID-19, Assistance League® of Bend would hold Operation School Bell® shopping events at a local retailer where children and their families shopped for back-to-school clothes. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was not possible to hold large-scale shopping events due to governmental regulations. In response, Assistance League of Bend developed a new Pop-up program where families could drive by and pick up essential items at local schools and churches during food bank distribution events. The pop-ups became an effective way to reach more children.
Assistance League of Bend recently held a pop-up event to provide free knit hats and waterproof gloves to hundreds of K-12 students to help keep them warm as Central Oregon temperatures drop below freezing. Click here to see the pop-up clothing distribution in action on KTVZ. Over the past two years, Assistance League of Bend has also used the pop-up events to distribute hundreds of new socks, underwear and books, providing hope and comfort to families that need a helping hand.
Even though Assistance League of Bend has returned to in-person shopping events, and provided new clothes to 1,600 students at Walmart last fall, the pop-ups remain an important part of Operation School Bell and an effective way to serve additional families facing hardship.