Thunderbirds donate $20,000 to Operation School Bell to help Valley students in need

When you hear the name Thunderbirds, you may think of those dapper men dressed in colorful slacks who host the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but what you may not realize is how much philanthropy they do in and around like Valley. 

By way of Operation School Bell, Assistance League of East Valley provides school clothes, shoes, and hygiene kits to elementary school children in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, and Kyrene School Districts.

Thanks to the Thunderbirds' donation of $20,000, more students can get help. 

"When we do our target dressings and we have children that come up and some of them are saying that this is the first time that they've ever had their own brand new pair of shoes to be able to wear at school," said Janifer Gorney, volunteer. 

Volunteers like Janifer Gorney says it's through money generated from their thrift shop ad donations from the Thunderbirds that they're been able to dress well over 10,000 students. 

"One of the keys that we have found, is the key to a happy life is being able to provide things for another person to have a happy life," said Gorney.

Bonnie Domin says there's nothing like knowing you've helped a child in need feel more confident.

"They really appreciate it and the parents really appreciate the new clothing, it's like Christmas and it's fun to work that because it's like Christmas for us too when we are able to give them the things that they want," said Domin. 

Sometimes, something as simple as a new outfit for school can change a lot more than just your appearance. 

"We also have outcome surveys and things that we've done that have shown that kids' attendance in school may improve, their attitude toward school may improve when they have new clothes to wear to school," said Domin. 

For more information on Operation School Bell and the Assistance League of the East Valley, click here.