Operation School Bell program helps 40,000th child with school clothes, supplies
Program will help another 3,200 students this year
Last Updated: 239 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - They've been giving new clothes and school supplies to impoverished Indianapolis kids for years, but Thursday Operation School Bell reached a major milestone -- helping its 40,000th child.
Ten-year-old Theodoria was the 40,000th child to pick out a duffle bag and walk through the doors of the Operation School Bell Shop.
About 60 kids a day do the same, picking out brand new school clothes, supplies, toiletries and things to keep them warm all winter.
"(I got) a hat, gloves, scarf, pants and a jacket," said 6-year-old Devon. "(I'm) very excited!"
Operation School Bell has been clothing kids in Indianapolis for nearly 30 years.
Keith Beatty was one of them when he was 7 or 8 years old. He knows first-hand how these new clothes will transform kids on the inside as well as the outside.
"It's more that you have a different mentality going into school, because you worry less about what you look like," Beatty said.
For Beatty, the program brought confidence that allowed him to concentrate on his school work.
Each child gets a personal shopper to help him or her pick out just the right things.
The 40,000th child to walk through the store's doors had one word to describe the experience:
"Fun," Theodoria said.
Each duffle bag, once filled with items from the shop, has a retail value of about $115. Donations come from local donors and grants.
This year the program will fill duffle bags for 3,200 elementary school students at Indianapolis Public Schools and in Lawrence, Pike, Warren and Washington townships.
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