Washoe county School kids receive new clothes through Operation School Bell

3000 WCSD kids will get new clothes
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:18 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For many families in the community, outfitting children with new clothing and school supplies is a financial hardship. That’s where the Assistance League’s Operation School Bell can help.

“You just wait until they come to school tomorrow,” said Allison Fannin, Principal of Katherine Dunn Elementary.

The start of the school year can be an exciting time with all of the shopping for supplies, making new friends, and of course, updating the wardrobe. And, building self esteem through well-fitting clothes, is key according to Paula Jones, the President of Assistance League.

“The idea is that if they look good, they feel good in school, and they do much better in class,” said Jones.

But, Jones adds, the school year can make many students nervous, especially when they don’t have everything required. To help students in need, the Assistance League of Reno kicked off Operation School Bell for the 39th year providing clothing for 3,000 elementary kids within the Washoe County School District.

“We’re a title one school and so any additional funding we can get for our families is beneficial,” Principal Fannin said.

Inside the stores, little shoppers browse through rows of clothes to get anything from basic necessitates like a shirt and pants to frivolous items that showcase each kids unique personality. The funding mostly comes from the Assistance League thrift store, located on Vassar Street. Every dollar spent there goes right back into the community. Jones says that while Assistance League has many programs, Operation School Bell is the largest.

According to the program, the retail value of everything each kid gets is around $125. But if you ask the volunteers who run the program, they’ll tell you that its priceless.

“It feels so good to work with the kids,” Jones says.