Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan brightens students' day with Operation School Bell

New school clothes, winter gear, & books

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - More than 400 students at Herrington Elementary School received a huge duffel bag of new clothes and personal items Thursday, September 26 – all thanks to the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan 's Operation School Bell event.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to give back to the community," said Barb Bakker, ALSM President.  "To see the smiles on the children's faces and hear their thank-yous is our reward."

This Assistance League chapter started Operation School Bell in 1995.  It is the Assistance League's signature philanthropic program.

More than 100 volunteers set up a "store" setting at a school for one day.  Each student is paired with a volunteer who helps them select a new winter coat, hat, gloves, school uniform, casual clothes, a book, underwear, socks, a hygiene kit, a duffel bag, and a shoe voucher.

The Assistance League says 2,276 students were the recipients of Operation School Bell in the 2012-13 Fiscal Year.

The organization runs the program in three school districts – Detroit, Warren-Fitzgerald, and Pontiac.

"The kids are adorable, and they're having a ball," said WXYZ Morning Anchor Alicia Smith who helped some students try on new winter coats.  "You can tell they really appreciate the whole shopping spree experience and showing their personality by picking out cool colors or designs that they like."

Alicia Smith is the Honorary Chairperson for the Assistance League's Mistletoe Marketplace fundraiser.  Money raised is used to buy the brand new clothing and personal items for the kids.

2013 MISTLETOE MARKETPLACE

Thursday, November 21, 2013

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Palazzo Grande Banquet and Event Center, Shelby Township, Michigan

$90 per person ($75 before October 25 th)

Proceeds benefit the philanthropic programs of the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan

For more information, email: mistletoe.info@gmail.com .

The Assistance League's Resale Connection store in downtown Rochester is another fundraising tool.  It is open year round and is staffed by their volunteers.

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