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Review for Assistance League of Kansas City, Gladstone, MO, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have brought children to operation School Bell, a program for disadvantaged children to choose new clothes, for many years. This program is provided by the Assistance League of Kansas City. It gives these children h\the opportunity to walkback into their school wearing brand new clothes that they hve chosen. There are so many eamples of how this experience has helped build self esteem and pridein our students. One of my favorite, bittersweet memories was of a student who would not take the price tags off the clothes until they fell off so others would know they were new clothes. Another student, who had a kinship with pigpen from the Peanuts cartoon was so proud of his new clothes, he insisted on wearing a new outfit back to school. By the time we arrived back at school 15 minutes later his new clothes were already filthy but he still proudly marched up to his teacher to show off his new outfit. We never did figure out how he got so dirty in that short amunt of time, but the memory of his enthusiasm puts a smile on my face even today. There are humdreds of children I have taken over 20 years to OSB at the Assistance League, and i still believe it is a ray of sunshine in the lives of all of these children just as I did on the very first trip. children wil approach me i the halls fo the school asking when we get to go our our special new clothes field trip again. If ever an organization has make a profound difference in the lives of children in such a simple way, it would be this organization. The volunteers take these children into their small clothing center and give the attention and smiles that these kids will remember for a life time. I often have high school students pop in to say high and say, "do you remember when we went to et new clothes?" What a gift they give.

I cannot close withut giving a shout of approval out to their 'i'm in Charge" curriculum. This is a curriculum complete with a professional quality video and enough high quality bookets forevery student in one grade level each year. It is not ean exaggeation to say that this curriculum resource is the best discussion starter among my students about the subject of safety available. The students literally follow me down the halls after class to discuss being oe alone safely, internet safety or a miriad of othe safety issues pertent to their lives. The teachers get tickled watchng me looking like the Pied Piper as children tell me their stories or try to get answers to their "what if " questions or sadly tell me of dangerous situations they need help dealing with. One 7 year old in our school went home to an empty house on a dark winter late afternoon when mom thought she was at girl scouts. She told me when asked how she knew what to do, "I sat on my front step for a minute and cried then I remembered what you taught us bout going to my contact people for help." She literally had to go to 3 contact people's houses before finding anyone at home, but because she had a plan she kept her cool and did it. These are only 2 example of what this great organization does for the children of our community and surrounding communities. They are changing lives one shirt, one safety booklet, one smile and helpful hand at a time.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the way the lives of children are improved by knowing their are good strangerout there who care about whether they have adequate clothing and who care about their happiness and safety.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them raise even more funds to help the growing numbers of children who need help. Their services are invaluable and the need keeps growing year after year.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?


Will you recommend this organization to others?


What is unique about this organization?

I do not kow of any other organization who focus on programs that build confidence becase the children get to choose their own new clothes and their choices are respected. This organiztion teaches on a wide spectrum of safety issues. I know many organizations that provide used clothing for parents to come and get for their families--none other that provides new clothing. I know of many resources that focus on one type of safety for chilren such as stranger danger or internet danger. i know odf none that focus on the total experiece of the child and teach gun awareness, fire safety, how to handle things that go wrong at home like a water faucet that breaks or setting up safe emergency contact people in their neighborhood.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I identified the students to receive the services of the ALKC and provide transportation for the children. I also teach their "I'm in Charge" curriculum each year.