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
100% of the students surveyed show improved self-confidence, school attendance, and classroom behavior
Today, OSB serves more than 8,499 children annually
Operation School Bell highlights
We take the time to make each child feel special. We help children grades Pre-K-5th 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
Middle School & High School Emergency Closets
We understand that a child’s needs don’t stop at the 5th grade therefore this year we are piloting an emergency closet program for our Middle School and High School students!
Through this program, OSB provides an assortment of clothing, underwear, socks, hoodies, blankets, towels, and miscellaneous grooming supplies to be on hand at student support offices so that underserved youth can choose the item or items they need most!
OSB was even lucky enough to provide skateboards to extremely grateful and excited youth! As many students live outside the radius for free LAUSD transportation, “anything with wheels” as one counselor put it, can make the difference in student attending class.
Operation School Bell on Wheels
In addition to offering the Operation School Bell program at our League Chapter House in Hollywood, we also 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, clothing, grooming supplies, school supplies, a backpack, a book, and much MORE! OSB on Wheel delivers support efficiently to nearly 300 children per event!