Assistance League has been lending a hand in our community since 1968. During this time, our membership has developed and maintained five philanthropic programs that support and nurture children and adults in Benton County.
Operation School Bell provides new clothing to eligible Benton County schoolchildren to encourage attendance and increase self-esteem. Each student receives a warm jacket, shoes, jeans, shirts, sweats, socks, underwear, a personal grooming kit and other supplies as needed. Recipients are referred to the program by school personnel and other agencies. In 2009, we also began providing paper products, feminine hygiene supplies, head-lice shampoo, and other related items to families who need them through a program called Hygiene Help.
Operation School Bell has become the signature philanthropic program of Assistance League across the nation. Operation School Bell became our first program when our chapter was established in 1968. We are proud to have clothed over 18,000 Benton County school children since then.
Dental Education committee has created an award-winning video, The Power of Healthy Teeth, to accompany a hands-on dental education presentation for sixth-grade classes. During the presentation, students are given a dental-hygiene kit to practice with and then take home for further use.
SAT Review classes are offered to Benton County high school juniors and seniors for a nominal fee. Courses taught by qualified teachers are held weekly for six weeks each fall and winter, providing subject review and testing tips and strategies to help students become better prepared. Students take a practice test and review their results with the teachers. Scholarship assistance makes the class available to everyone.
Hug-a-Bear program provides an ongoing supply of teddy bears to local police, fire departments, and other Benton County agencies. These brand-new bears are given to comfort children in traumatic situations. In conjunction with other Assistance League chapters, we also provide bears to the Oregon State Police.
Clothing Assistance in Real Emergency Situations provides clothing to the hospital to be given to accident and assault victims who have had their clothing cut away or taken for evidence at the emergency department. Other Emergency Department patients are given clothing as needed.