OPERATION SCHOOL BELL®

Operation School Bell is the program that all chapters within Assistance League fund and maintain.  Elementary and middle school students are selected by school personnel to receive new clothing for school.  The program in our chapter is unique because of our strong partnership with JC Penney’s, our local department store.  Students, their parents, and  Assistance League of Visalia volunteers come to a clothing event at Penney’s to shop for clothing appropriate for school.  Students are recommended for this shopping trip by the Visalia Unified School District’s SAFE technicians.  The technicians are often treated to a “fashion show” when students wear their new clothing to school for the first time.  Assistance League of Visalia  members are touched by the joy in the faces of the children and their parents.  Our Operation School Bell program also provides to Tulare County schools, student backpacks filled with school supplies.  In 2018/19 1,600 students started school with new backpacks and supplies.

For the 2017/18 school year, Assistance League Visalia began using large in-store clothing events held on Sunday at JC Penney before the store opened. It was so successful, our chapter will continue with 3 large events each year, two in the fall and one in the spring. Students will still be clothed throughout the school year as emergencies arise. Our chapter volunteers clothed 795 students in 2018/19 and project to clothe 850 or more in the next school year.

Volunteers for OSB clothing events can expect to work 3 to 4 hours on a Sunday morning from 8 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. A variety of jobs are included in this event:
checking in families for the event,
helping families shop,
barcoding items to determine prices and totals,
helping families with check out,
giving students a hygiene kit.
It is a very rewarding three or four hours with lots of smiling children and grateful parents.