Remember shopping for new school shoes, or bringing home a new winter coat? Deciding on an outfit for the first day of school? Thousands of students in the southwest Riverside County don’t have this traditional back-to-school experience. In fact, many of them have never shopped for new clothes or shoes or owned clothes that fit. They wear hand-me-downs or share shoes and coats with a sibling.
Assistance League of Temecula Valley is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its signature philanthropic program, Operation School Bell®. The nonprofit said it believes new school clothing contributes to a child’s self-esteem and a successful school experience. From Aug. 6 to Oct. 24, during the 18 “shopping” events, 2,554 identified low-income K-12 students selected their choice of new school clothing and shoes free of charge at local department stores within the defined service areas of Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Lake Elsinore and Romoland school districts.
A grandparent of a participating student said in a note to Assistance League of Temecula Valley, “I want to thank everyone involved for your kindness and generosity and helping provide my grandson with wonderful school clothes to help him feel proud of his appearance and be successful at school this year.”
The nonprofit thanked John Hine Temecula Subaru’s Bill Brumbaugh, vice president and general manager, for sponsoring the Oct. 14, Menifee Kohl’s and the Oct. 24 Murrieta Kohl’s shopping events and providing all 269 students participating with new school clothes.
“We are very appreciative of the continued support for Operation School Bell,” the Operation School Bell team said.
“John Hine Temecula Subaru is proud to take part in such a wonderful and fruitful event to help so many students and families in our area,” Brumbaugh said. “Our donation to Assistance League of Temecula Valley was made possible through the annual ‘Subaru Loves to Share’ event. Our donation this year of over $34,700 couldn’t have been possible without the support of our valued customers. Subaru donates $250 to one of five charities for each Subaru sold during the program period.”
This year’s “Subaru Loves to Share Event” runs from Nov. 14, to Jan. 2.
“Assistance League is such a fantastic organization, and it’s great have this opportunity once again and we look forward to what 2020 has to offer,” Brumbraugh said.
Assistance League Thrift Shop, 28720 Via Montezuma, in Temecula is Operation School Bell’s main fundraising source. Last year, chapter members volunteered over 31,000 hours of community service on behalf of local families in need. For more information about philanthropic programs or membership information, call (951) 694-8018 or visit www.assistanceleagye.org/temecla-valley.