Recognizing that military families sacrifice for all of us, seven Assistance League chapters from Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties say thanks each August in a very tangible way: new clothes and school supplies. The chapters hosted a “Chapters for Children” two-day “shopping” event at Camp Pendleton on August 13th and 14th for identified Marine dependents. Each chapter is responsible for providing a specific piece of clothing or item. Assistance League of Temecula Valley has participated in the event during the last five years and provides 2 pair of boys’ jeans to each boy attending the event. This year there were 304 recipients receiving two pairs of boys’ jeans.
Chapters combine their resources to rent a special tent and set up a “store” stocked with new jeans, shirts, socks, underwear, hooded sweatshirts, school supplies, personal care items and a gift card for shoes at a local retailer. During Saturday and Sunday, Assistance League volunteers help children find the items they want to make going back to school a success. Many smiles and joyful words of thanks were heard in the mammoth shopping tent as 680 children chose awesome new clothes.
Ann Steinhilper, event coordinator, said one aspect of this event that makes it unique is that kids get to choose what they want. “It makes it even more special for them,” Steinhilper said. “Everyone feels good, and we’re so glad we can do it because of what the military does for us.” All of the goods distributed are purchased brand new by each chapter. The funds used to make those purchases came from fundraising efforts earlier in the year.