Tri-Valley Foundation, Assistance League Team to Provide School Clothes for Area Children

The Assistance League of Amador Valley, backed by a grant from Hacienda's Tri-Valley Community Foundation as well as a grant from the Mervyn's Foundation, recently helped outfit over 200 children from low-income families with clothes, shoes, and backpacks for school as part of its Operation School Bell program.

"We took about 250 children shopping at Mervyn's in Livermore and they were each able to purchase school clothes, which included a winter jacket, pants, and underwear, as well as a pair of school shoes from Payless Shoes," says Harriet Smith, the Assistance League's spokesperson. "We're extremely grateful to the Community Fund for this grant. This is our one project that really requires cash. The more money we have, the more kids we can help."

The Assistance League of Amador Valley, a chapter of the National Assistance League, is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of Tri-Valley children, young adults, and the elderly through the collective activities of its volunteers. In addition to Operation School Bell, the group's 80 members contribute more than 10,000 hours each year pursuing a variety of projects, including Screening Eyes Early, where trained volunteers screen pre-school children for vision disorders; Books of My Own/The Gift of Reading, which provides new books for Title 1 children in the Tri-Valley; tutoring at-risk children at a local elementary school and school-age mothers and fathers at Horizon High School in Pleasanton; providing volunteer care to the retired and elderly at Pleasanton Convalescent Hospital and the Senior Citizen's Center in Pleasanton; and the distribution of assault survivor kits to victims who must relinquish their clothing as evidence following an assault.

The ALAV has no paid staff so 100 percent of donated funds go to support their projects. Community assistance has also come from the Ruby Hill Giving Thanks Ball and Adaptec, as well as from their popular fundraisers such as the annual Heritage Home Tour, sales of Sharing Our Best, the group's cookbook, and other events. The group's next fundraiser is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, to be held April 8. For tickets and information, contact Annette Kenney at (925) 462-5275 or .

The group meets on the third Thursday of every month at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1225 Hopyard Road in Pleasanton, with the social meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. and the business meeting following a half-hour later. New members are always welcome and are invited to call Janis O'Rourke, membership chair, at (925) 484-1354 for more information.

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