EVERETT, Wash. — When you donate or buy something at the Assistance League of Everett Thrift Store, it's not just a transaction. The money raised from everything sold supports their philanthropic programs, and that includes Operation School Bell.
"Items in the thrift shop are donated by the community and that enables us to buy brand new clothes for the kids. It's important they have brand new clothes," explained Donna Day, who serves as President of Assistance League of Everett.
Operation School Bell also provides hygiene kits, shoes, and winter gear.
Between 2019-2020, more than 4,000 children in Snohomish County benefited from the program.
Everyone who works in the store is a volunteer, whether in the back sorting donated items or in the front of the store ringing up purchases.
When students come to the store to receive their clothes, it's like a shopping day and each child is assigned a volunteer.
"They are so thankful. They can't believe they don't have to pay for these clothes. They get brand new clothes and shoes. Our knitters do our hats and scarves and the kids are so appreciative. Teachers will tell us the kids come back and maybe they haven't smiled all year. They come with brand new outfits and some sleep in their outfits when they go home. It means a lot to them," shared Nancy Juntwait an Assistance League Volunteer.
Operation School Bell is one of several programs funded by Assistance League of Everett. They also provide everything from Community College scholarships and high school graduation awards to starting over supplies and transitional support.
The Thrift Shop is located at 5107 Evergreen Way in Everett.