LAS VEGAS -- Operation School Bell, which provides free clothing for at risk school children, expects to help more than 8,000 students this year.
For 36 years, Edye Risener has been helping kids shop for clothes to go back to school.
"Complete outfits from head to toes, at no cost," Risener said.
Operation School Bell is a volunteer service run by the Assistance League of Las Vegas. It provides shoes, shirts, jeans, winter jackets and much more for valley students who would otherwise go without.
"If they don't have clothes to look like the other children, they get embarrassed and they don't want to go to school," Risener said.
In 2008, about 4,500 kids used the program. This year, more than double that are expected to receive new clothing. Teachers and staff at schools are trained to identify children who need the clothes.
"If they see they are wearing the same clothes everyday," said Aida Dominguez with the Clark County School District. It is not unusual to see kids with holes in their shoes, she said.
Aside from clothes, each child also gets a health kit, which includes shampoo, soap and toothpaste. Dominguez said she often sees tears of joy from families and children when they receive the new items.
"They are very grateful, all of the kids and the parents," she said.
Operation School Bell relies solely on grants and donations from the public. They say a $75 donation can buy them as much as $400 worth of clothes for each student.