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Assistance League Of Norman Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Administer community philanthropic projects that enrich the lives of the community.

Programs: Provides new school clothing, shoes and grooming kits to needy children in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in the norman and little axe oklahoma public schools. Students are referred to operation school bell by counselors in the school system

sponsors may fair, an annual arts festival featuring over 100 artists and crafts people. The festival, a long-standing norman tradition is well attended by the community who come to andrew's park to enjoy fine art, children's art activities, a student art show, restaurant specialties and state entertainment. The 2014 fair featured a 5k run to promote physical fitness in the community.

assistance league of norman has several other philanthropic projects. "bears for children" provides soft stuffed animals to children involved in accidents or other traumatic siturations. "care kits" provides grooming kits to battered women and children in the women's resource center and housekeeping supplies and groceries when they move into their own home. "assault survivor kits (ask)" provides clothing and other items to rape victims following an exam at the rape crisis center. "seniors r&r" provides entertainment and companionship to ederly citizens attending full circle day center. Children are given a new book through the chapter's "book of my own" collection. Community outreach, is a short-term project, that meets immediate need within the community.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Operation School Bell is such a blessing to so many students of all ages in Norman Public Schools. As a school counselor in the district I have had the opportunity to see how this program benefits different age groups. Prior to this year, I witnessed the excitement and anticipation of high school students as they learned about their shopping trip, and watched them return to school after their shopping experience with smiles and more confidence.

This year, my first year as an elementary counselor in the district, I had the opportunity to take students to Operation School Bell and watch their experience first-hand. The volunteers who give their time to organize everything and to create a positive shopping experience for these children deserve much praise. I am in awe of the patience and kindness they exude and maintain throughout the entire process. Because of this, the students have such an amazing, life impacting experience.

Most of the students I took to School Bell this year, had been before. The excitement on the bus ride was filled with song, laughter, and stories of previous year's trips. Upon arrival, I was surprised by the patience my students practiced while they waited their turn. Most would take the time to color, choose their stuffed animal and book, or just visit with their friends. I was shocked at how quickly my older students claimed their stuffed animals - showing that no matter how old you get, you still need to be comforted sometimes. When students finished shopping, they would come back to the waiting area with their new backpack full of things just for them. They had huge smiles, pride in their selections, and once again, a little more confidence. While they waited for everyone, they organized their backpacks, tried on hats, showed off necklaces, and basked in knowing that this was their stuff. They felt special!

Operation School Bell is so much more than just new clothes, a book, or a stuffed animal. This program communicates to students that their community supports them, that their community thinks they are special, and that their community thinks they are deserving and that they should be confident in who they are!

Thank you Operation School Bell volunteers and donors for giving selflessly to support and better our community!

Tori Christiansen, Counselor
Washington Elementary

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

To all,

I am a mother to 3 children ages 1 month, 22 months, and 6, and a stepmother to a 12 year old and 15 year old. Each of my school age children received the donations from your program this year and it is so appreciated. I am from Texas and have been in Oklahoma for the past 4 years, 2 of which have been here in Norman. I have never heard or seen of anything quite like Operation School Bell in my life and I think it is truly amazing! My family has had a difficult year financially and your help with school clothes, shoes, and winter jackets has made such a difference. My hopes are that whoever reads this email shares my expression of true gratitude for everyone involve

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you to the women who spend countless hours organizing clothing, to the women who take the time to talk to my students, to the women behind the scenes working on fund raising and grant writing. Operation School Bell is a resource like no other_the opportunity it has given so many of my students is unmatched. When my students see me in August, "School Bell" is one of the first questions I get. The smiles these trips put on the faces of my students warms the heart. Thank you ,Assistance League of Norman for making"my students" "OUR students". Monroe Elementary has a very grateful heart for all you do!!
With gratitude,
Sarah Kirk
Counselor
Monroe Elementary

Review from Guidestar

Read more

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank you Assistance League for such an amazing program! Operation School Bell is a program my students enjoy more than any other. Your donors are appreciated and your staff is top notch!
Thank You!
Sara Smith
Counselor
Jefferson Elementary

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had heard about Operation School Bell when I was a classroom teacher from students and faculty. Students were always excited upon their return and they always had a little more pep in their step. After taking students as their counselor, I can see first hand just how awesome this program is. Students are always greeted and made to feel welcome and they are able to take home items that they want and need. This program helps so many students and their families and can not imagine not having this available in our community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been an active member of Assistance League of Norman for over 21 years. My favorite is the Operation School Bell project. This project provides brand new clothing to Norman and Little Axe Public School students in need. Each child has a personal shopper, assisting them in selecting fashionable, on trend clothing. Each student visiting the on site store receives pants, tops, socks & underwear, a winter coat, grooming kit, and a voucher for shoes at a local shoe store. The students also get to select gently used items from the other side of the store, where they often double the amount of fun clothing that they proudly carry home in a new, completely stuffed full, backpack!
The impact that this program has on these children is remarkable. They can hardly wait to show off their new clothing, and an immediate change can be perceived in their self confidence. Receiving new clothing can immediately level the playing field for these students. They are proud to come to school in their new clothes, and boosting their confidence, and providing them with new clothing often gives them the extra push to want to stay in school and succeed. Teachers, counselors, bus drivers and other school officials have told us of the impact that we make on their students. What a difference it can make to give a child some new things. What a win-win situation for all involved.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

About 60 students from the middle school I work at are services by school bell every year. We are so lucky to have a program to provide necessities to our children. The smiles and excitement each child has going to and from school bell says it all. Thank you assistance league!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough positive things about the Assistance League of Norman! Their program, Operation School Bell, has clothed more of our students than I can count. Beyond that, they do not just provide clothes for our students, they make our students feel special and important. It would great to just send clothes to school for our students to take home, but this is so much more! They welcome our students to their facility, provide one on one assistance as students browse for clothes, and send them home with a bag full of brand new clothes that students were able to personally pick out for themselves. The sense of pride and empowerment behind the smiles on my students' faces when they leave are priceless.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We love Operation School Bell! Being a Title 1 School we have many students in need of clothing. School Bell goes about and beyond to accommodate our students. Every year we need to clothe more students than the allotted spots we are provided each year. School Bell lets us bring as many students as we need, above and beyond how many students we have spots for. The School Bell ladies are fantastic and you can tell they really enjoy helping the students shop for new clothes. Several times, if a student is unable to make it to School Bell they allow us to shop for them and bring them their clothes. The students LOVE going to School Bell. Being able to provide students with new shoes, coats and warm clothes is so important and we would not be able to do it without the support of School Bell!!!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known many students throughout the years who have been helped by the Assistance League of Norman's Operation School Bell and I have many heart-warming stories. However, my favorite was shared by a student this year.

This year, the Assistance League made the truly innovative decision to allow high school students to actually shop for their clothes at Kohl's. My students have always appreciated the opportunity to get new clothing at the Assistance League office, where Operation School Bell is housed, but they were very excited about a "real" shopping experience. Keep in mind that there is not a lot of discretionary income in these households and shopping trips are rare.

Many students came in to show me their new clothes, but one girl's story in particular, humbled me and warmed my heart. She loved her new clothes, but what she really enjoyed was the opportunity to shop with her mother. This 16 year old girl had only been clothes shopping with her mom on one other occasion and the trip to Kohl's, made possible by the generosity of the Assistance League of Norman, provided much more than needed clothing to this family.

Thank you, Assistance League of Norman!

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an elementary classroom teacher, I could always see the excitement in the students eyes when it was time for their trip to Operation School Bell and even more so when they returned! This year, I got to take 14 7th graders, as their middle school counselor. Now, I could experience the excitement first hand! As well as, the relief of their guardians knowing they would be taken care of. I had parent calls and students asking if they could go and when it would be. The kids that have been before, can't wait to go back! It is such a welcoming, comfortable, clean place for them. It's like a department store! The volunteers are so helpful to the students! Middle School can be a tough time for kids. This gives them some self confidence that is needed at this point in their lives. One less thing to worry about! Operation School Bell is an incredible program and a vital part of Norman Public Schools. Don't know what we would do without it! Thank you to OSB!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Norman is an incredible resource to the Norman community. The support they provide is unmatched. As a counselor in Norman, I have depended on them for assistance numerous times. It never fails that they not only fulfill our needs but they go above and beyond and with a smile on their faces! Monroe Elementary is forever grateful of the volunteers, donors and supporters of this great organization!

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am a school counselor at one of the elementary schools that the Assistance League serves through Operation School Bell. The volunteers that serve our kids are helpful, friendly, and have a big heart for our kids. They always leave feeling loved and spoiled. The clothes that they provide are top-notch as well. We are so grateful for OSB!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for Operation School Bell! I love the thrill that a student gets when they pick out their new clothes and the smile when they model them. A counselor once told me that it is not just the clothes that make a difference but the one-on-one attention that they receive from each volunteer.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Today, I was lucky enough to get to take 14 of my students to Operation School Bell. Since I am a first-year School Counselor in Norman, this was my first trip to School Bell. It brought me a great deal of joy to see my kids so happy. The ladies who took them "shopping" were so kind and encouraging. All I had to do was gather permission slips and accompany my students on the bus. It was very organized and extremely easy. For an overloaded counselor with not enough hours in the day, I am eternally grateful...that my students have new clothes, that they know their community cares, that their hardworking parents and grandparents feel supported, and that I got to witness this awesome gift. Assistance League of Norman is a top notch organization. I am blown away by this experience for my students. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of the people who continue to make this possible. Thank you for impacting the lives of 14 students today and many, many more throughout the year.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a bus driver who has been bringing children to Operation School Bell for four years. I think the ladies of Operation School Bell are super heroes. What they do for these kids is amazing. I love looking at the kids' faces when they get back on the bus! Bill

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Assistance League of Norman is changing the lives of students through Operation School Bell. Operation School Bell served 1,700 students in Norman Public Schools last year ! As Director of Guidance and Counseling for Norman Public Schools, I have the great privilege to see and hear of the student benefits through participation in this program. Each of the 1,700 students received several new clothing items such a winter coat, jeans, slacks, dresses, sweaters, sweatshirts, t-shirts, underwear, socks, personal hygiene items and a book of their choice. For each age level of students, the clothes are great, new "with-it" styles and appropriate for their ages. As the students would say,
" Super awesome !". In addition to the clothing, students receive a voucher to go to a local shoe store and select a new pair of shoes that fits !

These amazing volunteers provide a personal shopping experience for each student. A volunteer personally shops with each student and lets them select colors and styles that they like. The students try the clothes on to ensure the right fit. Some of our special needs students with physical challenges need modifications to their clothing. Assistance League members always do alterations to ensure each child has the perfect fit. This is the first experience for some students to go to a store-like setting and select brand new clothes. It is not uncommon to see tears of joy from students and sometimes the volunteers. This is a heart-felt mission for the Assistance League.

The Assistance League members lead busy lives yet they find the volunteer time to fund raise, shop, stock and be personal shoppers to students. These purposeful actions sends the message that you are important, we care and we want you to be successful. It is the hope that someday that these students will find it in their heart to volunteer and make their future communities a better place. As adults, we need to model meaningful ways to enrich the lives of others and the Assistance League of Norman is an outstanding example.

Operation School Bell is already in second month of serving students. Hundreds of students have already been to School Bell for the 2013-2014 school year. Once again the goal is 1,700 students being served. From Norman Public Schools, thank you just doesn't convey how much you are appreciated and valued. I have to state again, " Assistance League of Norman is changing the lives of students".

Sharon Heatly
Director of Guidance and Counseling
Norman Public Schools
Norman, Oklahoma

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I enjoy donating clothes to Operation School Bell because I know my donation is going to a worthy cause. I took the opportunity to visit the OBS facility and I was amazed at how well it was organized and the selection of clothes and other items available to the children. The volunteers are wonderful as well!

Stephanie84

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being a volunteer at Assistance League of Norman for Operation School Bell (OSB). Often times children come in w/ down cast eyes, won't talk much or are scared. They leave with a smile on their face and chatting away about all the new clothes they get to take home. OSB allows these children to shop with pride knowing that they are receiving brand new clothes (not just cast offs). The volunteers are so loving and welcoming to all the kids, treating them with the love and dignity they deserve.
I can't say enough about the wonderful impact OSB has on the kids in our school district who might otherwise have to go without.
It is also a humbling experience for the volunteers. It's a reminder that while we might have so much we can always do more to make someone's life better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Today was our school's last day to attend Operation School Bell this year. Thank you for the countless hours you worked in order to help our students have a wonderful experience and be set for the winter with appropriate school clothes! The building is beautiful, the shopping carts and take-home bags are special, the volunteer shoppers are gracious and loving, the clothes are beautiful and it's all done with such a sense of dignity for the children.
I wish you could see all of the children as they walk down the school halls wearing their new clothes! They always look at me with a big smile and with pride shining from their eyes as they tell me, "I got this at School Bell!"
Thank you!!
Suzie Price, LPC
School Counselor

Client Served

Rating: 5

From all of us at Madison Elementary, a big THANKS for the wonderful opportunity for our stdents to attend Opertion School Bell. It only gets better every year. This year a special thanks for the extra trip to help our students. Please extend our appreciation to ALL for the dediction and attention to make a difference in the lives of our children!
Peggy James
School Counselor
Madison Elementary