Assistance League purchases 1,600 school outfits for children

The Walmart children’s department buzzed with families picking out clothing for their kids. The Assistance League set up booths to hand out vouchers to children in kindergarten through fifth grade as a part of Operation School Bell. One of the excited shoppers, a ten-year-old boy, found Jo Hatley, president of the Georgetown chapter of the Assistance League, and asked, “Can I give you a hug?”

“Of course!” she said, her heart melting.

Last year, the Assistance League spent $120,000 on clothes, shoes, and socks for 1,600 children from Georgetown, Jarrell, and Florence. Having new clothing boosts self-esteem and improves children’s experience in school, helping them to focus on learning and performing better. Each child, chosen by school counselors, receives a $75 voucher.

“One year, we had a family with four children who had just moved from Alabama to Georgetown,” Jo recalls. “They fell on financial hardship when they got here. They told us that they were working hard to get back on their feet. We were able to be an integral help in a hard time. That’s what we love to do and what makes it all worthwhile.”

The Assistance League’s Georgetown chapter started in 2001, although some members started meeting as a guild in 1998. The membership of 120 (and growing) volunteers supports five charities, four of which support children’s education. This year, members voted to offer scholarships to graduating seniors. Four students, two from Georgetown High School and two from East View High School, each received $2,500 this past May.

“All of the members join to help children. We want to clothe them while they are young and read to them in elementary school,” says Judy Swain, vice president of philanthropic programs. “And now we are excited to help them in that next step—their transition into adulthood.”

To support the efforts of the Assistance League, donate cash or items to the Assistant League’s upscale resale shop, Thrift Store. See the chapter’s website for other ways to donate.

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