Assistance League donates clothing to military children


Enlisted military personnel at Camp Pendleton recently joined their children as they chose new clothes for the coming school year. More than 675 children were able to take home jeans, shirts, underwear, socks, toiletries, sweatshirts, shoe vouchers, a backpack and even a ready-to-love stuffed animal.

All of the merchandise was donated by several Southern California chapters of National Assistance League, which was founded in 1935 to promote the growth of effective volunteerism. Participants included Assistance Leagues of Rancho San Dieguito, Capistrano Valley, Inland North County, Laguna Beach, Saddleback Valley and Temecula Valley.

This is the 12th year Assistance League chapters have presented the Operation School Bell (OSB) event at Camp Pendleton and it is the League’s “significant philanthropic program,” according to a news release.

At the 12th annual event, 6-year-old Ceslynn and her brother Colin, 8, were anxiously waiting in line after remembering the stuffed animal as being their favorite item from last year. Another child, 5-year-old Ryu, frequently expressed his happiness at the event by sharing a peace sign.

Later, a volunteer from Assistance League Rancho San Dieguito was made aware of how happy the children were when one of the younger boys ran up to her, threw his arms around her and presented her with a big hug and a smile.

A message from one of the military fathers highlighted the importance of Operation School Bell to the families at Camp Pendleton:

“I just wanted to take time to thank you all for all that you do. My family and I really appreciate everything from your time and support to your love and care that makes serving as an active duty member in the United States Military a little bit easier. I cannot thank you all enough. Just going through the lines with a person that helped me with getting supplies and clothes for my children meant so much to me and I cannot even fathom words to say that could express my gratitude. I was going to try to have them send a letter but they stated that they were doing their homework LOL. So on behalf of (names of five children) they all say thank you and God bless you all.”

For information on becoming involved with the Assistance League and Operation School Bell, visit

— Submitted press release