Operation School Bell rings in the new school year

Abbie Leffler, Staff Writer

The Assistance League of Santa Barbara’s annual program, Operation School Bell, is now in full swing, helping needy families in the Santa Barbara area start off the school year right.

The start of a new school year means pumpkin spiced lattes, spooky season, fall and cooler weather, but it also means spending a lot of money on school supplies. As schools start up once again, it can be very daunting for a lot of families in the area to pay for all of the supplies required for school and new clothes for the cooler weather. 

The Assistance League members and volunteers have been busy these last few weeks purchasing items from local stores around Santa Barbara, stocking the shelves for the kids, and volunteering to personally help each kid pick out new clothes and shoes when they come in. 

The volunteers are dedicated to making sure every kid has new clothes and supplies to help improve school attendance, academic performance, and boost their overall confidence in the coming school year. They work one-on-one with the kids to make sure that the clothing fits well and that each kid feels special. 

The people that volunteer their time to help with Operation School Bell each year want to make going back to school exciting and fun for kids, even if their families can’t always afford the usual back-to-school necessities. 

When kids come into Operation School Bell, they receive a number of new items that are sure to encourage their success at school. Each child that comes in receives three new school outfits or uniforms, a jacket for the cooler months, and six pairs of underwear and socks. 

The children also receive essential school items like a new backpack, school supplies, and a chapter book to help them start off the school year in the best way possible. Going to Operation School Bell is extremely influential for the success of these kids and it sets them up for a successful year.

In addition to Operation School Bell, Las Aletas, an auxiliary branch of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, now serves 800 students from 10 different schools in the Goleta school district. 

The students involved in Operation School Bell get referred by personnel from 19 different elementary schools in the Santa Barbara, Hope, and Carpinteria school districts. The people who volunteer in this program are proud of the impact they have on the lives of so many children. They exist to serve the unique needs of the community. 

The items that the kids receive through Operation School Bell are bought in bulk with money from the Assistance League of Santa Barbara’s thrift shop. 

The thrift shop is vital to the program. The Assistance League of Santa Barbara is located at 1259 Veronica Springs Road and is the major source of funding for Operation School Bell.