DETROIT (WWJ) Every fall when school gets back in session, the Assistance League of Southeast Michigan clothes about 1,800 children in the tri-county area through Operation School Bell.
And they’ve done it every year since 1995 — helping more than 17,000 children overall.
Members go to the schools during Operation School Bell, set up a store and one by one the children selected by the school’s social workers choose a new winter coat, hat, gloves — and a week’s worth of clothes including underwear, socks, shoes, jeans, school uniforms, and a hygiene kit, all packed in a new duffel bag.
“Usually in a gymnasium, (we go in) and set up a store-like setting, we have racks and we have thousands of items — everything we get is brand new,” said Assistance League President Suzanne Dobbelstein.
Money for the supplies comes from the League’s resale Shop the ReSale Connection, 204 S. Main Street Rochester.
And shopping day a special day for everyone involved. League members stroll around as personal shoppers.
“We have them try on their coats and we have other members walk around with mirrors,” Dobbelstein said.
The 310 members of the Assistance League don’t stop there. They also give out assault survivor packs, items for new moms in need, and buddy bears for kids in crisis.