Students 'shop' for new clothes, supplies with Operation School Bell

- By now, you would think elementary students already have their new school clothes and supplies. Yet, thousands of Michigan students don't have access to a new coat, books or even underwear.

Operation School Bell changes all that by letting students in need "shop" for new school clothes and supplies - for free.

About 300 students at Hiller Elementary skipped out on lessons to shop for some goods, courtesy of the Assistance League.

"We choose to clothe, feed, support and educate children and help women that are in need," says Marjorie Deliddo, President of the Assistance League. "This is Operation School Bell where we go to elementary schools and provide clothing."

Manned by volunteers, schools are chosen based on need, with the demand increasing for this free clothing drive each year.

"We started out with one school and kept everything in our basements, and it's grown to needing a big warehouse and two big trucks to get here so it's gotten very big," Deliddo says.

"We just think that this is such a great thing from the Assistance League. We are just absolutely amazed at the amount of volunteers and people who are here to help not only our kids but also a lot of kids in the state of Michigan," says Hiller principal Jennifer Cumiskey.

Hiller Elementary is just one of several Detroit area schools participating in OSB. This year alone, the Assistance League has provided 4,000 students with new clothes.

Thursday, Operation School Bell will be at Marcus Garvery Academy. Free clothing and supplies will be provided to 15 schools at that location.

For more information on Operation School Bell and the Assistance League, visit www.semich.assistanceleague.org.

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