Assistance League of Sacramento
Share page
Organization Details


Operation School BellĀ® is the signature program of Assistance League of Sacramento. Serving schools in four area school districts, we touched the lives of over 8,000 children in this fiscal year. Operation School Bell addresses such critical needs as clothing, literacy, health, and education.

- Children in 39 elementary schools (K-6) whose students have the greatest economic need were recipients of back-to-school pants, shirts, shoes, socks and underwear.
- 6,864 children who may have never owned their own book proudly took one home to share with parents and siblings. Assistance League volunteers provided classroom reading support.
- The precious gift of healthy vision was our goal as we screened over 1,100 preschool children to detect possible vision problems, particularly amblyopia (lazy eye).
- Puppeteers performed educational puppet shows for over 700 students in grades K-3, addressing critical issues such as bullying and safety.
Program Successes
Our goal is that every child in Sacramento County should have the opportunity to learn and receive the best education possible. We know that a child who is dressed in warm, well-fitting, new clothes has a strong self-esteem, which is conducive to learning. We know that children who are not reading at grade level by the time they are 8 or 9 years old may have reduced literacy skills. We measure impact with an electronic survey to our targeted schools. We also gather anecdotal information from educators.

Even with the disruption of learning caused by the pandemic, 27 schools responded to our May 2020 survey about the impact of new school clothing on students from low-income families.

Survey results:
- Program had a positive effect on student confidence -- 5 agree, 20 strongly agree, 2 don't know.
- Program had positive effect on classroom behavior -- 14 agree, 8 strongly agree, 5 don't know.
- When asked if they believed program serves a high priority need in their school, 78% said yes and 22% do not know.
We provide services to address critical Community Needs. The most compelling needs of today have become even more critical, as COVID-19 has impacted the ability of nonprofits to provide much needed services. Over the past year, our outreach to the problems of homelessness, foster youth transitioning to independence, and commercial sex trafficking have grown.

- Teddy bears calm and comfort both young and old. We distributed over 2,200 bears to children in medical emergencies, women who were victims of sexual violence and seniors with memory impairment.
- Acting as a bridge between seniors who want to give back and infants/children who are served by public agencies, we provided supplies for the creation of blankets, caps, scarves, drawstring bags and other handmade goods. 2,200 items were produced by 25 senior community volunteers and delivered to eight (8) local agencies.
- Dressing for success is a critical step toward new life beginnings. We clothed 78 formerly homeless women for the workplace who completed a job training program and foster youth as they seek employment.
- Support to foster youth transitioning from institutional care to independence is so essential. We provided housing essentials for bed, bath and kitchen when they moved into their own apartments. We also provide newborn essentials so that these new mothers have the ability to care for their new baby. This can be the stabilizing factor that bridges the gap.
- A fresh start is vital to victims of sex trafficking, as they work their way through the painful process of recovery. We provided 300 victims of sex trafficking, who are in a court mandated program, with celebratory gifts, clothing, housing starter supplies, hygiene products and street outreach kits to women who are participating in one-on-one counseling and peer-led programs, as well as life-skill training.
- Homelessness is one of the greatest issues of our time. Working through partner agencies that provide either day shelter or permanent housing assistance, our rapid-response system provided hygiene products, Welcome Home housing starter supplies, transportation diapers, and housing assistance. Over 2,800 individuals were aided last year and the number continues to grow.
Program Successes
- 75% of the sex-trafficked victims completed a court mandated Reset program.
- 125 formerly homeless individuals that we helped last year are still in permanent housing.
- 300 foster youth were provided the housing essentials needed to begin living independently.
- 25 new mothers received newborn essentials to bring the baby home from the hospital.
The Scholarship program aids continuing community college students who have life circumstances that are more difficult than most students encounter. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine units, be a California resident and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better. A special component has been approved specifically serving students aging out of foster care. Four foster youth designated scholarships will be given this year.
Program Successes
- This program helps students with difficult life circumstances to advance their education. Many go on to a four-year college and several have won prestigious scholarships to such schools as, University of California Berkeley, University of California Davis and Columbia University.
- Last year, 23 students received scholarships with a total of 142 scholarships given since 2009.
- $45,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year.

Jack* was homeless and living in his car while attending American River College. He was a three-time recipient of our scholarship. He completed community college, went on to complete a Bachelor of Science at UC Davis and is now the recipient of a full doctoral program scholarship at UC Davis.