Maureen O’Boyle of WBTV, Charlotte, NC wrote:
The picture wasn’t posed; it was just snapped in all the excitement of Operation School Bell 2012 at the Assistance League of Charlotte. It captures the happiness of a young girl, so overjoyed you can’t help but smile when you see her face.
I was the lucky lady on the receiving end of this little girl’s embrace. I had been her “personal shopper” that day. It was my job during Operation School Bell to help her pick out a pretty new winter coat, two full new school uniforms; we had to try on several pants to make sure the fit was just right!
The uniforms, and this hug, represent more than just new clothing to the children served by the Assistance League’s Operation School Bell. The uniforms help level the playing field for kids. They give kids a fresh start, build their self esteem, and allows them to focus on their schoolwork and not on clothing that doesn’t fit, or is old or tattered.
I am thrilled for photographer and volunteer Jo Ann Parry for this recognition (award winning photo). And selfishly I’m happy this little girl wins too. To know that her joy, which washed over me on that chilly October morning, will warm hearts all over the country makes me smile often.