Nonprofit decks out needy kids for school
The organization parked its 72-foot trailer – which, in addition to carrying uniforms, clothing, backpacks, shoes and socks, has built-in fitting rooms – at Reseda Elementary School. There, volunteers handed out clothing, grooming kits and other items to elementary- and middle-school-age children from throughout the west San Fernando Valley. “I think it’s awesome,” said Rosemarie Kubena, the school’s principal. “It gives us an opportunity to reach out to families we ordinarily wouldn’t help. “The kids light up. They get all the attention and clothing and brand new shoes. They get a chance to get something for them. No hand-me-downs here.” Operation School Bell relies on donations from the community. Its trailer, Operation School Bell On Wheels, is scheduled to make four trips to the San Fernando Valley this year. Each year, about 6,000 children in the Los Angeles Unified School District with limited resources receive support from the the operation and its many volunteers. Needy children through the 12th grade are also welcome to visit the nonprofit organization’s facility in Hollywood by appointment. On Thursday, youngsters with the Los Angeles School Police Department Explorer program, preparing themselves for a career in law enforcement, helped the children try on shoes. “Some of these kids’ parents can’t afford new clothes or shoes,” said police Officer Don Norek, who was supervising the future law enforcement officers. “This is an opportunity for the kids to feel better about themselves, and their self-esteem goes up.” [email protected] (818) 713-3699160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! RESEDA – April Bonilla, 7, went on a shopping spree with her little sister Thursday, grabbing everything from school uniforms to shoes. A pair of pink-and-white Skechers sneakers caught the second-grader’s eye. “They’re girly,” April said. “They’re pretty … I’m going to wear them right now.” The sisters were among hundreds of low-income students to receive free goodies donated by Operation School Bell, a Hollywood-based nonprofit charity that helps students from low-income families.