Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan members were overwhelmed when they entered the Manufacturing Engineering (ME) conference room at FCA US LLC headquarters in Auburn Hills for the "Presentation of Donations" event. Adorning the walls were new winter coats, hats, gloves, and tables lined with tops, underwear and socks-donated by FCA US employees for Assistance League's Operation School Bell® program.
"The donations and generosity are greatly appreciated. It's the commitment from groups like FCA US that help us continue to clothe, feed, educate, and comfort children and adults through our community-based programs. I can envision big smiles of so many students wearing these new winter coats," said Assistance League President Rosemary Dirksen. In addition to the clothing, ME employees presented an $8,405 check to President Dirksen.
For several years, FCA US employees have participated as community volunteers at school distributions. Along with Assistance League members, they help in the warehouse, load trucks, and transform school gymnasiums into a store-like atmosphere filled with clothing, necessities, and books. "The most rewarding experience for FCA US employees, however, is shopping with students as they select their own clothing with excitement," added Dirksen.
Operation School Bell, a signature philanthropic program of Assistance League, provides a free new coat, uniform pants, tops, hat, gloves, underwear, hygiene kit and a book for every student - all carried home in a new duffle bag. Since 1995, 38,345 local students have benefited from the clothing distribution with the aim of improving self-esteem and school attendance.