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Caring and Commitment in Action

Operation School Bell®

Established in 1984, the flagship program, Operation School Bell, has provided new school clothing to children whose families cannot afford to provide them with necessary clothing. Children in need are identified by their schools and social service agencies, and Assistance League members give each child individualized attention with the goal of improving their attendance, academic performance, as well as their self-esteem.

Students, grades pre-k through elecmentary, select two pairs of pants, belt, five shirts, six underwear and socks, jacket, new shoes, backpack, and grooming kit--essentially school clothing for a week. Clothing is purchased at wholesale with funds raised by Assistance League of Austin’s THRIFT HOUSE, grants, and generous donations from volunteers and the Austin community.

High school and non-uniform middle school students are given the opportunity to shop at a designated retail location in the Teen Outfitters Project. This program, in its fifth year, has proven itself very popular with the older students.

Above:  Video by Advisory Board Member Kim Barnes


  • Operation School Bell has grown from clothing 75 children its first year, to more than 5,000 per school year
  • Each child receives individual attention with the understanding that self-esteem is key to their success
  • The new clothing gives entire families a boost
  • Teen Outfitters Project takes high school students to shop for school clothes

"OPERATION SCHOOL BELL gives our children hope, restores self-respect, brings them joy. Many of these children may never have known what new clothes, shoes, or backpacks were if it weren't for School Bell. Words cannot express the looks on their faces when they receive these items. For this, we say thank you and express our sincerest appreciation to your wonderful organization. You do make a difference in children's lives."

Sylvia Del Tora, Parent Support Specialist

Little Helping Hands Thank You

Little Helping Hands come frequently to help assemble toiletry kits for students. Some students say they have never had their own toothbrush.

Operation School Bell frequently receives Thank You cards and banners after students visit us. Martin Middle School is no exception. We love hearing from the students.

Shop with us
Patti, Diane and Judy show the wardrobe of new items students receive when they "shop with us"
Pat Reid
Pat Reid helps a student find just what he needs for school

Here's a Thank You note from Celeste, Jennifer and Jose. Thank You Note

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