Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - January 31, 2014

Assisting with clothing and books

Shopping spree gets kids set for school year

Assistance League of Amador Valley once again stepped up last fall to help Tri-Valley families struggling to make ends meet, by taking their children shopping for clothes in a program called Operation School Bell.

The children were identified by their schools as those that could use some help, and this year the 76 Assistance League members helped out 354 youngsters, shopping at Kohl's and Pay Less Shoes.

The program is led by Nancy Carter and Carol Sum.

"The thousands of dollars were very well-spent," Carter said.

"One little boy couldn't believe he was receiving something new, having always had used clothes," Sum added.

They noted that when children feel better about the way they look, they have higher self-esteem and perform better in school.

This year, there was a book-raising event in conjunction with Operation School Bell, leading up to Make a Difference Day on Oct. 26, a national day of community service. So many books were accumulated that there were enough to hand out to each child during the month after they received the clothing.

"In some cases, this was their first book, and it helped add smiles on their faces," said Sandra Warren, committee chairwoman.

"Most of the children were very pleased they were receiving a free book they could choose themselves, and a first-grader was so thrilled with his choice that he proceeded to read it to me right there," added committee member Clare Carlson.

--Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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