BOISE, Idaho — The Assistance League of Boise (ALB) will provide clothing to nearly 3,400 students enrolled in Ada County schools, with a record $310,000 donation.
Each year, students are selected by Ada County school personnel and bussed to Operation School Bell, in Garden City, to shop for back-to-school necessities.
Over the last 30 years, the organization has provided new clothing to over 70,000 elementary students, ranging in age from kindergarteners to sixth-graders.
ALB has been working with school districts since 1990, giving new clothing to students and making them feel empowered going into the new school year.
Organizers with ALB began stocking the Operation School Bell "store" this June. They have worked rigorously to make sure students are prepared for the upcoming year with clothing they not only deserve, but need.
"Our goal at Operation School Bell is to provide clothing and personal care items to students in order to improve their self-confidence at school," Leslie Anderson, Operations School Bells chairperson said.
Students will be bussed to the store location on Sept. 1, and leave with a large bag of brand-new items that will bring some relief ahead of the academic year. Over the course of 54 days, an average of 60 students will pass through the store with an ALB volunteer to go shopping.
Every student will get two pairs of jeans or sweatpants, a winter coat, a sweatshirt, two t-shirts, six pairs of underwear, six pairs of socks, a personal care kit with toiletries, a new pair of shoes, a book of their choice and gloves and hats when available.
"Even during the height of the pandemic when students could not physically visit our store, we continued to supply students with clothing and serve every student that needed assistance, as identified by their counselors," Anderson said. "This year we are thrilled to have the students visit us in person again at Operation School Bell. It is a blessing to guide them in choosing the clothes they love and see those smiles that we've greatly missed!"
Operation School Bell is largely funded using donations from community members, private contributions, grants and proceeds from the sales at their thrift shop located in Garden City.
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