Even if some shoppers aren’t ready to give up their sunglasses and flip-flops, retailers have already plunged into their second most important shopping season. The period from mid-July to mid-September generates 16.1 percent of retailers’ annual sales, compared to 28.1 percent for the Christmas and December holidays, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York. Americans will collectively shell out $39 billion for back-to-school clothes, shoes, electronics, books and other supplies, about 3 percent more than last year.
What happens to the kids in need who do not have the opportunity to participate in a back-to-school shopping spree? This is where Operation School Bell comes in. Nearly fifty years ago as a one-woman effort to provide clothing to disadvantaged children; it is now the signature national philanthropic program for Assistance League. Operation School Bell has provided new clothing, including jackets and shoes, to over one million school children nationwide. How is this possible? Volunteers!! Fitting each child and helping them select clothing; for many children these are the first clothes that belong solely to them.
This philanthropy doesn’t stop there, The national Operation School Bell Award is given to honor those who, through significant financial, in-kind service, hands-on or spiritual support, have had a direct, powerful and positive effect on Operation School Bell in a chapter’s community and thus warrant recognition from the national organization. The 2009 recipient was Irvine Kohl’s Store 598.
For more information on Operation School Bell, please visit: http://irvine.assistanceleague.org