“Every student in my school needs clothes and they also need hygiene products, due to their family’s financial situation,” said Monica Keenon, resource coordinator at Ethel M. Taylor Academy.
Keenon and others participated in a survey to assess the needs of local children during the pandemic.
As a result, Assistance League volunteers packed 10,000 sets of toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and sanitary pads for every student in grades 4 to 6 at 43 schools where the need is greatest.
“Your gift brings hope, especially to our children,” Principal Halsey Mabry at St. Francis Seraph School wrote in a letter. “We are very grateful for your generosity.”
The hygiene kits are supplied in addition to new clothing that was distributed at the start of the school year.
“Since we started Operation School Bell® more than 20 years ago, 40,000 children have visited our facility to be outfitted for new school clothes,” said Assistance League Chapter President Audrey Stehle. “We missed their smiling faces this year, but we’re happy to know we could still help them with clothing other supplies they need.”
In previous school years, elementary students relished the “shopping” field trip to Assistance League headquarters. Paired with a volunteer, each child received personal attention while being measured and sent home with two new shirts, pants (altered when needed), a fleece jacket, belt, socks and underwear.
Primary funding for Operation School Bell is provided by the Charles H. Dater Foundation and the Woodward Trust.
Clothing, health and supplies are three of five needs areas the organization is striving to address for children. Hunger and literacy are also getting attention from Assistance League volunteers. They have donated almost 3,000 books to children at local schools since 2020.
In the past year, ALGC members and volunteers donated 12,500 hours valued at $387,000. People interested in becoming an Assistance League volunteer can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions can also be made on the organization’s website, www.assistanceleaguecincinnati.org.
Since 1998, Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati has served the unmet needs of 64,500 individual women and children in their time of need. The all-volunteer organization has earned the GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency for eight consecutive years and works closely with greater Cincinnati public and parochial schools, colleges, hospitals and women’s shelters to fulfill the mission of Transforming Lives through Community Programs.