Assistance League® of Reno-Sparks is conducting its annual Operation School Bell® program to clothe deserving Washoe County school children with brand new clothing. This fall, almost 2,000 students from 48 local schools will be invited to attend Operation School Bell shopping events at local Target and Walmart stores.
Eighteen shopping events are scheduled in September and October for groups of 75 to 134 students, all selected by the guidance counselors at their schools. Additional shopping events are planned for early 2022. Each shopping event is staffed with Assistance League volunteers, who check in the students, help adding up merchandise prices, and help with check out and bagging.
In fiscal year 2019-2020, Operation School Bell purchased new clothing and school uniform shirts for 14,798 Washoe County School District students. During the 2020-2021 school year, the Operation School Bell program volunteers had to discontinue most of the shopping events but were able to furnish clothing for school clothes closets as well as uniform shirts for many schools. Since Operation School Bell started in 1984, over 69,000 children have been dressed under this program.
“As our largest philanthropic program, Operation School Bell is a huge endeavor that is close to the heart of all of our members,” said Ellen Fockler, Assistance League president and Operation School Bell co-chairperson. “As an ex-teacher, I know how important it is for children to come to school with decent clothing. It affects their ability to learn and thrive in a school environment.”