PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation awarded $100,000 to Assistance League of Phoenix as part of the D-backs' Grand Slam Awards. The D-backs and Assistance League of Phoenix will unveil Operation School Bell® Delivering Dreams Bus for fans to tour on the Gila River Casinos Plaza prior to the game this Sunday.
"We are proud to know that kids will now approach the D-backs Operation School Bell Bus to pick up these shoes, clothes and other necessities with feelings of excitement, rather than fear or embarrassment," said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. "We want them to feel like they are a part of the D-backs family."
The D-backs' $100,000 grant allowed the Assistance League of Phoenix to make appropriate renovations to the bus in order to make the 27-year-old Operation School Bell® program mobile. A 40-foot city bus has been retrofitted into a mobile dressing center, complete with a waiting area, dressing rooms, racks for clothing and shoes, shoe fitting area and a sewing station. The grant award from the Arizona Diamondbacks will enable the Bus to bring new school clothing, shoes and hygiene kits to low-income children at Title I schools throughout the Greater Phoenix area.
"By creating an exterior that is branded with the Arizona Diamondbacks - it will help to take away the stigma for many of these children that live in poverty. Kids will be excited to visit the 'cool' Bus", says Aimee Runyon, Executive Director of Assistance League of Phoenix. "Assistance League of Phoenix is deeply honored and grateful to be a recipient of the Arizona Diamondbacks Grand Slam Award. The partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks is perfect for this project, and will help more than 3000 children in need, to receive clothing assistance in its first year."
The idea to provide a mobile platform was sparked by the difficulty that many of the schools experience in bussing the children to Assistant League's Philanthropic Center, based on fiscal cutbacks and distance. The Bus solves this by bringing much needed basic needs (clothing) to the schools. The bus will begin operating in July and is already booked for the first few months.
Assistance League of Phoenix has more than 240 members and is part of a national non-profit organization with more than 122 chapters across the country. Last year, Assistance League of Phoenix members volunteered more than 25,000 hours and raised over $500,000 that served nearly 43,000 children and families in the greater Phoenix community through four Philanthropic Programs. The organization recently celebrated 50 years of service to the Phoenix community.
The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation established the Grand Slam Awards in 2002 to make a larger impact on community organizations by providing a grant for up to $100,000. The grants are made possible by fundraising efforts by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.