Operation School Bell is a program of the Assistance League providing students with new uniforms and shoes. The program improves self-esteem and makes children feel better about attending and staying in school. Scross the countynearly 250,000 children participated in this program in the past year at a cost of $13.3 million.
Since its local inception in 1998, Operation School Bell has grown from clothing a few children to clothing nearly 1,350 children in the past academic year at a cost of over $67,000. Children are selected by school social workers and come from over 20 public and parochial schools in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Helping children select clothes and shoes requires a dedicated volunteer membership for the entire month of September. About 50 students arrive by bus each morning and are warmly greeted by an Assistance League volunteer. This hands on approach gives each volunteer a chance to make a personal connection and share in the joy that a trip to Operation School Bell can provide. The clothing is packed into a duffle bag for the return trip to school, but many children are anxious to wear their new things right away. Each child leaves with new clothing, new confidence and improved self esteem.
The Charles H. Dater Foundation has become our major funding source for this program. Several large grants have been awarded by the Dater Foundation to Operation School Bell over the past six years. Bruce Krone, President of the Foundation, assisted several boys in the selection of their new uniforms at Operation School Bell 2006.
The need for Operation School Bell expansion exists. Many additional schools are on the waiting list to be added when funds become available. Assistance League volunteers are committed to Operation School Bell and meeting the needs of the community.
Connections is a publication of the Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati.