Why We Care

It's all about the kids

No one likes to wear their poverty. For many children, attending school is painful and they drop out. Others attend irregularly, or never enroll because their parents can’t afford even the most basic items of school apparel.

OSB helps children get to and remain in the classroom. We know that education is the best defense against the problems of poverty, illiteracy, drug abuse and crime.


  • Children who read at grade level by third grade have a much greater chance of graduating from high school and experience greater earning potential.*
  • To learn to read by third grade, children “need to be present in school, because they can’t learn if they aren’t there.”*
  • Children who don’t read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out and not graduate.*

59% of all LAUSD students are classified as English learners or recently classified as fluent in English.
79% of all LAUSD students qualify for reduced price or free lunch.
12% of all LAUSD students are disabled.
3%, or 13,500 students are homeless.

Operation School Bell is the only non-profit that meets the complete clothing needs of LAUSD school children. The new clothes and supplies encourage children to attend school on a regular basis and concentrate on their classwork.

We help children grades K-5 feel they fit in with their peers, so they may direct their attention to learning and not what they are wearing. OSB helps kids to attend class each day, learn to read and stay in school. OSB gives children in need the unique joy of many firsts:

  • the first time they’ve received new clothes;
  • the first time they’ve worn a pair of shoes that fit properly;
  • the first time they’ve owned new underwear or their own grooming supplies.

Often the most important gift they receive is a sense of well-being – when our volunteers help them feel that someone really cares.

* Stats from Annie B. Casey Report “2010 KIDS COUNT Special Report: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters.”


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