Operation School Bell program almost reaches assistance goal

Posted at 9:41 PM, Nov 03, 2023

GARDEN CITY, Idaho — Back in August, the Assistance League of Boise began its annual benchmark program Operation School Bell, where they take students in the Treasure Valley on their own shopping spree.

“We're here at Operation School Bell I brought about 40 students to come down here and we are getting some new clothes jackets, shirts, and even a book,” says Brody Leatham.

Brody Leatham is the counselor for Hillcrest Elementary, just one of many schools that participate in the program. Depending on the need, some schools can take advantage of the program more than once.

"This was a really big help,” says Kyle, a 4th grader at Hill Crest Elementary.

Alissa Wali, a fifth grader at Hillcrest says, “I usually always come here because my mom wants me to come and get free clothes because she likes the clothes here and that I look good in them and so I can have a fun time here.”

The Assistance League of Boise only has 23 more schools left to serve and that makes them even closer to their goal to serve 3,400 students here in the Treasure Valley.

“So far, we've done close to twenty-nine hundred,” says Kathy Henkel, co-chair for Operation School Bell

Twenty-nine hundred students is just around 80 percent of the group's goal. The last day of the program is November 17th. After some regrouping and planning, in January, The Assistance League will begin buying all new clothes for Operation School Bell 2024.

“I love this program it's fulfilling. Just seeing the children some of them are sort of shy and then one of our volunteers takes them to shop and they go out with a smile on their face,” says Kathy Henkel.

Operation School Bell is entirely run by volunteers, the group would like to give a special thank you to the Boise State Softball team and Athletics.