October 2, 2023
(CALIFORNIA, CA)- School is back in session in Long Beach, California, and that means Operation School Bell hosted Action Packed! Day earlier this month at Dooley Elementary School, in the heart of North Long Beach where over 300 families were provided with free school supplies.
Operation School Bell is the signature program of the Assistance League of Long Beach (ALLB), a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1974. Every year the committee of the ALLB picks one school in Long Beach to host the event and after students pick out their school supplies, they can enjoy a carnival-esque setting with games, face painting, and even a photo booth.
The program’s purpose is to assist in underwriting the costs of school uniforms and school supplies for students in need.
“My heart is filled with joy. You see the hundreds of smiles of children so happy to receive all these items and it reminds me of why I do what I do,” said Oscar Reyes, the director of Donor Relations and Development for Assistance League of Long Beach.
Since uniforms became mandatory for 77 out of the 84 schools in Long Beach since 1994, the program’s support has taken on a greater significance. The ALLB provides all grade levels: two collared shirts, two bottoms of their choice (pants, skirts, shorts), assorted school supplies and age-appropriate books for each student.
Currently ALLB has an operation budget of approximately $3 million that funds 11 transformative philanthropic programs that serve approximately 19,000 Long Beach residents in need on an annual basis.
Volunteers passed out reading materials to families about their other assistance programs such as orthodontic and mentoring programs.
“It always touches my heart when we hold this event. Seeing the excitement on the student’s faces knowing they get to pick out their backpack color and get free uniforms, supplies, and books. I know we’re making a difference in their lives” says Christina Mansour, a volunteer at the event