For Santa Barbara families, the end of summer means shopping for school clothes, but for many families in our community, that is not possible. Enter Operation School Bell®, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara’s annual program which provides clothing and school supplies for children in need.
Assistance League members are busy purchasing items from local stores, stocking shelves on-site, and volunteering to personally help each child select clothing with the goal of improving school attendance, academic performance, and self-esteem. Each student receives three new school outfits or uniforms, a zippered jacket, six pairs of underwear and socks, a colorful backpack, school supplies, hygiene kit, and a chapter book. The items are bought in bulk with the money made from the league’s Thrift Shop.
Qualified students are served through referrals from personnel in nineteen schools of the Santa Barbara, Hope and Carpinteria school districts. In addition, Las Aletas, an auxiliary branch of Assistance League, serves 800 students from ten schools in the Goleta School district. In 2007, an outreach program with the Santa Maria School district was added, which includes fitting over 400 more students from thirteen schools in the Santa Maria-Guadalupe School district. Teen School Bell serves approximately 180 junior high and senior high school students.
Assistance League of Santa Barbara exists to serve the unique needs and challenges of our community. Funds serve local needs, and services are locally designed, organized and carried out to fit these needs. Along with its auxiliaries, Las Aletas and Assisteens, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara’s 391 members volunteer over 50,000 hours a year. The Assistance League Thrift Shop, located at 1259 Veronica Springs Rd., is the major source of funding for these programs. For additional information visit www.assistanceleaguesb.org