BACK TO SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assistance League ‘Operation School Bell’ and AzCA supply drive aid kids

Charitable organizations are attempting to raise funding and provide clothing and supplies for school children who need them as the new school year is upon them. – file photos

August is National Back to School Month and thousands of needy schoolchildren will get a boost from a $20,000 grant to Assistance League of East Valley for its signature program, Operation School Bell.

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Through the program, the group provides new school clothes, shoes and hygiene kits to elementary school children in need in Tempe and Kyrene school districts, Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa.

During the 2019-2020 school year, the organization supplied or fitted a record 10,466 children with essential items.

“Assistance League of East Valley is changing the lives of our vulnerable youth in the East Valley,” said Scott Jenkins, president of the Thunderbirds, a Phoenix-based charity that provided the funding.

Assistance League is an all-volunteer group that raises funds through its thrift shop at 2326 N. Alma School Road in Chandler, and through events during the year. It is a chapter of a national nonprofit organization.

“The donation … makes a huge difference for the families of the students we clothe for school,” said Joyce Godfrey, president of the area Assistance League group. “Many of these families were hit hard during the past year, either by having jobs that were low paying but essential or being laid off from service-industry jobs. Having uniforms and other school items provided this coming year is a relief to them.”


Valley nonprofit Arizona’s Children Association is seeking donations to help kids get the supplies they need for the 2021-22 school year.

AzCA is among the state’s oldest and largest child-welfare and behavioral-health nonprofit agencies and serves more than 40,000 children and families in all 15 Arizona counties annually.

Monetary donations or the following items are needed: laptops, backpacks, pencil cases, paper (filler and graphing), composition books, sketch books, pens, pencils, erasers, markers, crayons, colored pencils, index cards, hand sanitizer, face masks, tissues, scissors, rulers and glue.

More information on needs: AzCA’s Amazon Wish list for back-to-school items at

To donate:



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