Operation School Bell
About the program
No one likes to wear their poverty. For many impoverished children, attending school is painful and so they drop out. Others attend irregularly, or never enroll because their parents can’t afford even the most basic necessities such as shoes and socks.
Operation School Bell (“OSB”) helps children get to school and stay in school. We know that education is the best defense against poverty, illiteracy, substance abuse, and crime.
Schools and organizations identify those children in greatest need and bring them to the Operation School Bell Program. The program is run by our Anne Banning Auxiliary members who welcome each child and outfit them with new school clothing, grooming products, a backpack, sneakers, school supplies, a book, and a small toy or board game.
Children come away with more than new items. They leave with a sense of joy, heightened self-esteem, and hope for the future.
In 1966 OSB served 169 children
Nearly 100% of the students served by OSB show improved self-confidence, school attendance, and classroom behavior
Today, OSB serves more than 6,700 children annually
As seen in
Dear Operation School Bell,
Thank you very much for making our students feel very special. They were rocking their new shoes and clothing the very next day. This wonderful new experience melted their hearts. THANK YOU!
Operation School Bell highlights
We take the time to make each child feel special. We help children grades K-5 fit in with their peers, so they may direct their attention to learning and not to what they are wearing. OSB helps children to attend class each day, so that they can learn to read and stay in school. OSB gives children in need the unique joy of many firsts:
- The first time they’ve owned new underwear or their own grooming supplies
- The first time they’ve received new clothes
- The first time they’ve worn a pair of shoes that fit properly
Our Prom Day for Disadvantaged Youth
OSB has a special annual event, Prom Day, where 200 high school girls experiencing homelessness or in foster care are fully outfitted for their school proms. We set up a prom boutique and work one-on-one with each girl to “go shopping” for the perfect dress, shoes, wrap, evening bag, and jewelry.
The dream of Prom becomes a reality for these girls who otherwise would never have this meaningful rite of passage. To see news coverage on our extraordinary Prom Day click here.
Operation School Bell on Wheels
In addition to offering Operation School Bell program at our League Chapter House in Hollywood we bring OSB directly to the schools. We have a fully stocked 48-foot trailer that visits different school sites during the year. The trailer is designed to clothe students in a safe and friendly environment. Each student is outfitted with shoes, socks, underwear, grooming supplies, jacket, backpack, a book, and a week’s worth of school and play clothing. OSB on Wheel delivers support efficiently to more than 250 children per day!