Imagine a child who has to attend school not wearing underwear or socks, a child who owns only one pair of pants, who goes to school without a jacket or only has flip flops to wear in the middle of winter. This is the daily reality for thousands of children in our Salt Lake community.
Operation School Bell has outfitted almost 100,000 of these children since its initiation in 1976.
Each year over 5,000 preschool, elementary and junior high children in Salt Lake, Granite, Murray, Jordan and Salt Lake City school districts return to the classroom with new parkas, jeans, sweatshirts, shirts, underwear, socks and shoes thanks to Operation School Bell. Schools identify and refer children that are in need of this service. Delivery is yearlong with a major thrust in September, October and November. Community volunteers are important and critically needed to accomplish the distribution before cold weather sets in.
There is a clear and growing need in our community for these services. School psychologists and social workers have observed that children who come to school inadequately dressed are at a disadvantage. Appropriate school clothing improves school attendance, classroom performance, conduct, self-esteem and health.
Operation School Bell is made possible thanks to our donors, members, community volunteers and the cooperation of compassionate school personnel.
"Operation School Bell is critical for our kids. It's easy and allows teachers and counselors to perform higher leverage interventions for the child and family."
Susan Tensing, Elementary School Social Worker, Salt Lake District
Please note: We accept referrals only from school counselors. If you are a parent in need of clothing for your child, please contact your school counselor. Thank you!!