Operation School Bell began over fifty years ago as a one-woman effort by Ruth Ann Montgomery, who lived in Los Angeles and then Bakersfield CA, to provide clothing to disadvantaged children. It is now the signature philanthropic program for Assistance Leagues nationwide. Since its inception in 1985, Operation School Bell has provided clothing to over 75,000 children in the Wichita public school system. Children in need are identified by nurses, teachers, counselors and other school personnel. The social worker has all the information and registers a student for Operation School Bell. The Assistance League of Wichita is partnering with J.C. Penney's West to deliver our Operation School Bell program. Students and families go to Penney's on designated dates and times, and choose their own clothes.
Assistance League of Wichita Scholarships
Assistance League of Wichita Scholarships are awarded each year for vocational programs at Wichita Area Technical College or Butler County Community College. These scholarships, based on need and motivation, are awarded to deserving Unified School District 259 high school seniors.
Sexual Assault Victim Support
Assistance League of Wichita provides seasonal clothing and toiletry kits to sexual assault survivors through the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center. The SANE/SART (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Team) nurses at Via Christi-St. Joseph Campus and Wesley Medical Center distribute the clothing and toiletry items to the survivors.
Our Bear Hugs program distributes new cuddly bears, totebags and journals or sketchbooks to children who are victims of violence. It helps a child to have a bear to hug while being interviewed and examined by the SANE/SART nurse or staff at the Via Christi-St. Joseph Campus and Wesley Medical Center. Also statistics indicate it enables children to heal by sketching or journaling.