Dressing Children in Need
In the Greater Wilmington Area Schools
This national philanthropic program was founded in 1958 with humble beginnings as a clothes closet in a Los Angeles schoolroom after Ruth Ann Montgomery, then a teacher, discovered that members of one family were alternating their days in school because they had to share clothes and there were not enough to go around.
Since then the program has served more than three million children in need nationwide. In the 2017-2018 school year, our chapter has touched over 2,300 children in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. There are many ways one can lend a hand: sewing underwear bags, shopping for clothes and other included articles, stuffing the book bags and going to the schools to help with the distribution. You will see a lot of happy faces there. All members are invited to help and can sign up at the monthly meetings.
Operation School Bell has wrapped up the 2017-2018 school year providing filled backpacks for 31 schools for a total of 1254 students. Another 1056 students were recipients of assorted clothing, hygiene items, underwear, and sneakers.
A little boy told one of our members,
“I’ll never forget this day for the rest of my life”
and another one said,
“this is not my day to wear underwear and now I have my very own.”
Each Child Receives:
- two pairs of pants
- two shirts
- six pairs of underwear
- six pairs of socks
- a personal care kit containing personal items
- two books of their choice
School counselors identify children who qualify for uniform packages based on established criteria, and send Assistance League the list of students and their correct sizes. Please see your child’s school counselor for qualifying requirements. Requests for uniform packages must come through your child’s school counselor or principal.
For many children these are the first new school clothes they have ever worn. We are proud to celebrate our years of continuing service to the children in the Wilmington community.
Schools appreciate our level of generosity towards their students that may be in need of extra assistance. For example: one school reported “Such a special program that our students truly enjoy! We value the kindness and thoughtfulness displayed to our students.” Another school reported “This is a magnificent program that really helps our students. They feel better about themselves in new, clean, well-fitting uniforms. The children are also excited about the books!” A middle school reported “We thank you so much for the support given to our middle schools. As a middle school we are often overlooked for needs/supplies. We appreciate your continued support to our 500 students. The Assistance League members were wonderful to work with. Thank you for your time.”