Submitted by Assistance League of Bellingham

A scenario in the life of a Bellingham family…

It’s the first week of August 2022 and school will soon begin. Enter a household with a very limited income. Around the kitchen table the discussion is centered around the rent, the utilities, the food budget and now the potential additional cost of school clothing for their little girl. Her mom knows that though she is just eight years old, clothing is more than keeping her warm, it is a sense of identity.

Outgrown clothing from friends and thrift store “finds” have allowed her mother to dress her for school.  But … and a large BUT … she never had the money to take her to a department store and choose a new outfit.

Her thoughts are interrupted by the phone ringing and the school counselor on the line. She tells her of a philanthropic program called Assistance League of Bellingham’s Operation School Bell Program. The counselor thought she would be a great beneficiary of the program. She would be given a $100 gift voucher for Target and she could choose clothing and shoes for her daughter.

With a sense of optimism and looking to the future, she thinks of the benefits of this gift. It will not only purchase a complete new outfit for her daughter, it may empower her to use her strengths for her confidence and her own self growth. 2022!  My daughter’s life has changed for the better! That evening as she closes her eyes, she thanks Assistance League of Bellingham for this special gift.

A special note of appreciation to all the school counselors who have worked tirelessly in facilitating this program with the students and Assistance League of Bellingham.

Because we value our children and their well being, over 2,100 students will have received new school clothes via gift vouchers of $100 each to our local Target Store.  What is good for our children is good for all of us.

Funding for this program is made possible by the generous donations from the community, revenue from our Thrift & Gift Shop, fundraisers, and, most recently, a generous grant from the Bellingham Bay Rotary Club.

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