Town of AV Grant to Operation School Bell: Clothes for Kids

By: Simone Graham – Editor: Going to school can be difficult for any child. Learning new material every day, striving for good grades and navigating playground social circles can be intimidating. However, for some kids, going to school is daunting because they lack adequate clothing that would allow them to attend class with dignity.

This is where Operation School Bell comes in. Since its inception in 1982, the Assistance League of Victor Valley has provided thousands of disadvantaged children new school clothes, so they can walk into class with their head held high.

“This is more than a shopping trip. It’s more than just putting smiles on kids’ faces when they walk out of the store,” said Kim Lindsey, Assistance League Marketing and Communications Chair. “We did a survey last year and found that the kids who participated had better attendance, better behavior, and increased their academics.”

The program serves children in grades K to 8 all over the Victor Valley including Lucerne and occasionally Barstow. Recommended through the district with referrals from teachers, students are chaperoned by volunteers who help them shop for school appropriate clothes within their budget of $100 for elementary students and $125 for middle school students. School offices are usually open again one month before school begins in each district. Parents or interested parties may inquire at their local school office how to include a child in Operation School Bell. Local League office and Thrift Store(760) 961-1433.

Last year, 428 Operation School Bell recipients were from students were from Apple Valley. The Assistance League of Victor Valley is one of several local agencies that received funds for the 2018-2019 fiscal year from the Town of Apple Valley’s Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

Each year, Apple Valley receives funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide decent, affordable housing, a suitable living environment and economic opportunities for people with low to moderate incomes.

While most of the federal funds are used for residential rehabilitation loans, capital improvements, including parks and streets, and job attraction and creation programs, HUD allows municipalities to distribute 15% of the funds toward grants for local social services, which the Town Council does each year.

“The process to select these nonprofits is highly competitive, and thanks to an evaluation by our Community Development Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and feedback at public hearings, the Town Council is able to designate funds that will help hundreds of Apple Valley residents improve their quality of life,” Mayor Art Bishop.

A total of 10 agencies received funding this year and participated in a check presentation ceremony in July. In addition to Assistance League of Victor Valley, agencies that received funding were:

  • Assistance League of Victor Valley: Operation School Bell, $12,500
  • Cedar House Life Change Center: Transitional Age Youth Housing, $6,000
  • Church for Whosoever: Child literacy center, $5,000
  • Family Assistance Program: Transitional housing, $10,000
  • Orenda House: Veterans’ Project, $5,000
  • High Desert Homeless Services: Resources for the homeless, $15,000
  • Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board: Fair housing services, $10,000
  • Moses House Ministries/Rose of Sharon: Resources for pregnant or single mothers with kids under 6, $10,739
  • Victor Valley Community Services Council: Home repairs for seniors, $12,500
  • Victor Valley Domestic Violence: Outreach services/A Better Way shelter, $7,000

For more information regarding Community Development Block Grant Funds, call (760) 240-7000, x 7921 or visit

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