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Assistance League of Ventura County

"A Brighter Tomorrow for Today's Children"

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Operation School Bell

Since 1993, members of Assistance League of Ventura County, through Operation School Bell, have provided new school clothing to children in need from the Oxnard, Hueneme and Ocean View Elementary School Districts. In 2010, the program was expanded to include children from the Ventura Unified School District. The children are referred to Operation School Bell by school district personnel and are brought to one of two Operation School Bell sites by school bus or by their parents.

At Operation School Bell, each child receives a sweatshirt, six pairs of socks and underwear, two new tops, a gift card for pants, shorts or skirts, a gift card for shoes, a personal hygiene kit, school supplies and an age appropriate book. Having clothes that fit and look like the other children's has increased these youngsters' confidence and self-esteem and has given them a sense of belonging to the school community. Parents, teachers and administrators have commented on how proud and happy the children are to go to school with all new clothes - many for the first time.

Picking out a uniform

Operation School Bell is run entirely by chapter member volunteers who purchase the clothing, stock the "store," maintain inventory and assist the children in selecting their new clothes. During the 2015-2016 school year 1,341 children received new school clothes, 21,312 since the program began.

Operation School Bell is not a revenue generating program. It relies heavily on donations from grants and individual and corporate donations.

Operation School Bell Program Recognized by Oxnard School District

Assistance League of Ventura County's Operation School Bell Program was recognized by the Oxnard School District Board of Trustees and the Oxnard School District Superintendent at their June 2015 regular Board Meeting. The philanthropic program Operation School Bell provides new school clothing and supplies to underprivileged youngsters who are identified by the Oxnard schools. Marikaye Phipps, Oxnard School District Pupil Services Director presented recognition plaques to member volunteers of Assistance League of Ventura County.
Assistance League has partnered with the Oxnard School District since 1993 to outfit deserving children. Each child referred by the district receives two school outfits, shoes, a sweatshirt, six pairs of socks and underwear, toiletries and a new book. During the 2014-2015 school year, 983 students from the Oxnard School District were provided these items.

Marcia Semple Operation School Bell Vice Chairman, Barbara Houser Philantropic Program Chairman, Sally Keevy Assistance League Past President, Linda Krahenbuhl Operation School Bell Chairman and Marikaye Phipps Oxnard School District Pupil Servces Director.

Operation School Bell Celebrates clothing 20,000 children

On September 8, 2015, Operation School Bell clothed its 20,000th child. Along with the 44 students and school personnel from Art Haycox Elementary School and the Assistance League volunteers for the day, attending were the two people instrumental in establishing the program in 1993 – Assistance League’s Barbara Houser and former Oxnard School District Superintendent Richard Duarte. The Ventura County Star Reporter interviewed them and others while the photographer took many pictures for their newspaper article. Large banners, balloons and refreshments added to the festivities.

Assistance League members and the children we serve are grateful for the support and generosity of the following:

  • Martin V. & Martin K. Smith Foundation
  • Borchard Foundation
  • Harriet H. Samuelsson Foundation
  • United Way’s Stuff the Bus program
  • Hilford Moving and Storage
  • Annenberg Foundation
  • Swift Memorial Health Care Foundation
  • Montecito Bank & Trust
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
  • Union Pacific Foundation
  • Rabobank
  • Gene Haas Foundation
  • Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Foundation

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