Oceanside CA— Each year the National Assistance League asks its 120 chapters all over the United States to help celebrate the birthday of the founder of the organization, Anne Banning, whose birthday is February 24th, by creating an event during Action Week February 24th-March 1st.
The Assistance League of North County decided to tie their event together with the Operation School Bell Program, “Footsteps”. In October Sondra Peppe, president of the chapter, and her husband Fred organized the group’s first ever virtual fundraiser in which members were asked to walk, skip or jump or jog as they, “Step Up for Kids”. Thanks to the many members and supporters of the chapter over $19,000.00 was raised. Kriss Stewart, philanthropic chair, used funding from the event to purchase over 10,000 books for the “I Love to Read” program so every elementary child in Oceanside, Carlsbad and Vista would have a book to take home. One of the books chosen was “The Elephant’s New Shoe”.
The plan for Action Week was to coordinate the Footsteps and I Love to Read Programs together. Jon Jobe, Footsteps coordinator, purchased new tennis shoes and Betsy Crane, school advocate for Maryland Elementary in Vista, met with the school liaison, health clerk Libby Arteaga to find the names of the children who were in the most need of shoes. Members of the chapter met together to bag up the shoes, six pair of socks, a health kit and the book “The Elephant’s New Shoe” for 71 students at the school.
When the items were delivered to the school on February 26, it was the first time the chapter had been able to deliver shoes to students since March 2020 when we were hit with the coronavirus. The principal Frankie Leivera was very grateful to have his students be part of the National Action Week Celebration.