YUMA, Ariz.- Once a month during the school year, this group of mothers, teachers, and community members support the Assistance League of Yuma. They are “Las Dedicadas” and chairman Roxanne Dehl tells us what they are doing to help the children of Yuma county.
She says, “Las Dedicadas is an auxiliary of the ‘assistance league of Yuma’, we support their philanthropic mission of ‘Operation School Bell’ by assembling hygiene and school kits. So when school children come to ‘Operation School Bell’, they each receive two kits: one a hygiene kit with various items like toothpaste, wash cloth, comb, etc. And then the school kit has a new folder, notebooks, pencils, crayons markers those kinds of things.”
In addition, high school kids are also getting the help they need to further their education.
“Each school year, we have given $5,000, a thousand to each of the high schools. They take that and turn and give it to students to who need high school credits yet to graduate,” she said.
Their main mission is supporting ‘Operation School Bell’, which provides clothes for children in need. Throughout the school year nurses and teachers refer children in need, and with permission from the parents, brings the children to the school bell building. The children are then fitted with two complete outfits, a book bag with books, as well as school supplies and hygiene kits provided by ‘Las Dedicadas’.
Treasurer Leeanne Lagunes says the need is growing.
“I think really the need has just grown. There’s a lot of people who are very hard working, they have multiple jobs, and they’re still not able to get these basic necessities that their kids need,” Leeanne said.
Although ‘Las Dedicadas’ is a busy group of women living their own lives, they see the impact their program is making, and cant help but continue to change the lives of families here in Yuma County.
Renee Summerour: “You seem like your getting a little emotional right now.”
Roxanne concluded, “Yeah when your on that end, and you see the kids coming back, with their brand new shoes, and brand new clothing, and to think that those basic needs aren’t in those homes because the parents are having a hard enough time putting food on the table. So that’s not always the first thing they buy, and to think that, now those students have those things.”