Back to School Dressing puts smiles on kids’ faces

Assistance League Chapters Partner at Camp Pendleton

What makes a great weekend? If you ask any of the seven Assistance League of Temecula Valley Chapters for Children philanthropic program volunteers, they would say smiling children, happy families and enthusiastic volunteers and this is just what they experienced on August 10 &11 at the 13th annual Camp Pendleton Back to School Dressing hosted by Assistance League Temecula Valley and members of Capistrano Valley, Laguna Beach, Saddleback Valley, North Coast, Inland North County and Rancho San Dieguito Assistance League chapters.

During this 2-day event, 627 students were given new clothes, shoes and hygiene kits, which brought smiles to all. The military personnel served are not only thrilled their children are being clothed, they are also very grateful as expressed by the many thank you’s exchanged between families and volunteers. As volunteers heard multiple times, “it’s one less thing we have to think about.” Once these families leave you usually don’t see them again until the following year, however, this year, one family returned early on Sunday morning. The reason for their appearance was to bring a hand-written note, by two young boys, thanking us for what they were given. As their mom stated, they seldom buy new clothes and the children just wanted to thank us again.

The Temecula chapter provided two pairs of boy’s jeans to the 332 boys attending the event. A favorite story is about a boy, 4/5 years old, whose mom, while shopping, was looking through all the stacks of jeans determined to find just the right jeans.  When asked what style of jeans she was searching for: husky, skinny, etc., she said she’d know when she found it.  Finally, at the bottom of a stack she found the perfect pair, boot cut.  It was then she explained that he ONLY wears cowboy boots (stressing the word only). Sure enough, while the other boys were in tennis shoes and flip flops, her little one was wearing cowboy boots.

At the end of Sunday’s dressing if you asked the same seven volunteers why they continue to come back year after year, they will tell you that something truly special happens over that one great weekend. A sincere thank you to our servicemen and their families. We truly appreciate all you do.

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