Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County (San Luis Obispo, CA)


  • Name:Mrs. Charlene Ables
  • Title:Chair Grants Committee

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County
  • Address:P.O. Box 14904
    San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:805-466-3563

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Mission Statement: Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County (ALSLOC) is a nonprofit volunteer organization whose members are dedicated to serving families and children through its philanthropic programs.

  • Overview:
  • Our philanthropic program, Operation School Bell®, provides new school clothing to K – 12th grade students in need, living and attending school in all ten (10) school districts in San Luis Obispo County. The 2015-2016 program budget will provide new, school-appropriate clothing to 770 6th – 12th grade students. Fostering academic success by boosting self-esteem and improving the lives of children within the local community is the very essence of Operation School Bell.

    The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education reports that 46% of students attending school in San Luis Obispo County are living in poverty. In the San Luis Obispo County Schools Annual Education Report 2014, it states that students living in poverty are 20% to 55% lower in academic achievement than students who are not.

    The number of students clothed from each of the ten (10) school district in our County is based on the percentage of students qualifying for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program statistics from the State of California.

    An educated population is the desire and social responsibility of our community. Students who fail in school typically become at-risk youth, often using the precious resources of their families and communities. Children who succeed in school become contributing members of society and, in turn, offer stability to their communities.

    Our program goal is to improve school attendance and participation by enabling students to attend school without feeling self-conscious or out of place due to a lack of proper clothing. Operation School Bell was created with the belief that when children go to school feeling confident about their appearance, it results in a more successful academic and social experience. This may be our last opportunity to change the educational experience of 9th – 12th grade students by removing one obstacle of poverty - “looking different.” Clothing is the tangible resource we provide to students but a focused education is the ultimate goal.

    The students are referred to Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County by school personnel. Social service agencies and area shelters direct their families to their children’s schools for referrals. Assistance League members provide the referring entities with the dates and times for students to be clothed. The students are met at a retail store location, Kohl’s in North County and Old Navy in South County. Each referred 6th – 12th grade student receives $125 in shopping credit and the store provides additional store discounts and recognizes our tax-exempt status. This allows the students to purchase approximately $155 worth of new clothing. The students are greeted by our volunteers and are assisted with their shopping experience. This is an exciting opportunity for these students many of whom have never shopped for new clothing.

    In addition, each student will be given a copy of MY FUTURE, MY WAY: FIRST STEPS TOWARD COLLEGE booklet provided free by the U.S. Department of Education. It addresses: Vocational or Trade School, Two-year College, Four-year College, More than Four Years. Well written with graphs, charts and pictures, it lists a multitude of career choices including: hairstylist, bookkeeper, teacher, physician and astronaut. One eye catching graph shows Annual Earnings based on Level of Education. The booklet explains the cost of college with opportunities for grants, student loans and scholarships.

    Parents and guardians are asked to complete a confidential survey at the time of their children’s clothing appointments. From the answers to the questions we are able to determine the family’s occupation, income range, family size and how the Operation School Bell program helps them. From this data we have determined that: 78% of families served are employed, and 91% of the families served earn $20,000 or less, placing them below the National Poverty Level for 2014.

    Our online secure database tracks families and children by year, prior service through Operation School Bell, school district, school, city of residence, grade level, and gender. At year’s end, we will be able to determine how many of the budgeted 770 6th – 12th grade students we have clothed.

    Assistance League volunteer members began clothing the students in August 2015. The program will be in effect for the entire school year of 2015-2016. The Board of Directors is responsible for all functions required to maintain the program. The VP Philanthropic Programs, Operation School Bell Chairs, Volunteer Coordinator Chairs, and Computer Data Entry Chairs will directly oversee the scheduling, organizing, staffing of clothing days, coordinating those dates with the retail stores and recording the student data in our database system. The members of Assistance League will spend thousands of volunteer hours to make this program successful.

  • History:
  • Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County was incorporated in 1991 and chartered as the 95th chapter of National Assistance League in 1996. Operation School Bell was adopted in 1995 as its philanthropic program. Operation School Bell provides a most basic need – clothing. From 1995 forward, our chapter has provided new, school-appropriate clothing to more than 20,000 students from low-income families in San Luis Obispo County.

    In 1995, we were providing clothing to disadvantaged children in grades K-6th grade. These students were clothed at Operation School Bell sites located in classrooms on school campuses. The classrooms were provided rent-free from the school districts in our County. Assistance League shopped for the clothing inventory from wholesale retailers. The clothing sites were stocked and maintained by our member volunteers.

    In 2009, middle school students (grades 7th and 8th) were included through a sub-program of Operation School Bell, titled Sue’s Stars. We chose to clothe these students through a retail shopping experience. We felt we could not maintain sufficient inventory in sizes for these students who vary greatly in height and weight. In 2014-2015, we added high school students to Sue’s Stars.

    Because of fiscal considerations, some local school districts were no longer able to provide us with facilities rent-free. Their generosity had enabled us to clothe hundreds of children over the years with the money we saved on rent. However, more than once we were notified at the last moment which put us in a very compromising position of having to scramble around to get another clothing site, make the new facility accommodate our needs, move our inventory and re-do our paperwork with the new address. Our chapter considered all the possibilities and decided we had to control our own destiny. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, we now clothe all students regardless of grade placement through the same manner – a retail shopping experience.

    Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County is an all-volunteer organization with 122 members and no paid staff. We have been able to successfully administer, staff and fund our program for 20 years. In 1995, our first year of Operation School Bell, we clothed 100 children. Each successive year budgeting and working with purpose and determination, we have clothed more and more students. In the 2014-2015 school year, we clothed over 1,600 students in need in the County. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, our volunteers donated 24,333 hours to our community which is the hourly equivalent of 11 1/2 full-time employees. The IRS values these hours at $565,985.58. All of our member volunteers are mentored and trained.

  • Year established:1991
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:77-0337378

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:770337378
  • Organization Address:PO BOX 14904
  • Organization City:SN LUIS OBISP
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:93406-4904
  • Group Exemption Number:4176
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:9
  • Ruling Date:May, 1994
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:16
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization that normally receives no more than one third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes. 509(a)(2)
  • Activity Code(s):600
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Community Chest, United Way, etc.
  • Organization Code:5 (Association)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:May, 2017
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:May
  • NTEE Code:
  • Asset Amount:$470,686
  • Asset Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • Income Amount:$469,829
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$461,756
  • Last Updated:2/22/2018 6:59:42 am

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.