Our Operation School Bell® has been giving brand new clothing to underprivileged schoolchildren since 1989. For seventeen years it operated out of the back room in the thrift shop; then in 2009, we were fortunate to be able to convert a beauty shop around the corner (at 1525 N. Sierra Nevada) into Operation School Bell’s permanent home. Stockton Olive Oil Project Company, one of our generous donors did much of the work.
For many children, this is the first time they have ever owned brand new clothing. Many of Stockton’s schools have a majority of their students on free lunches, evidence of their lower socioeconomic status; thus, the needs of our children are many.
Sometimes, due to the schools’ transportation difficulties, we use the children’s size charts to fill bags with the new clothing, and then the school counselors take the bags to the school for the children.
“You mean I get to keep all of this…for free? I don’t gotta pay?”
“This is gonna’ make my momma so happy.”
“Can I live here forever?” (asked while sitting in the Operation School Bell building).