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El Paso Water’s 2018 Charity of Choice focuses on children with the Assistance League of El Paso

The Public Service Board this week approved El Paso Water’s 2018 Charity of Choice recommendation put forth by the employee selection committee. This year’s non-profit partnership – Assistance League of El Paso – will focus on school-age children through Operation School Bus, a program that provides free school clothing to economically disadvantaged children between the first and fifth grades.

“We’re excited to partner with the Assistance League of El Paso and are looking forward to raising funds to help a program that has such a positive impact on our community,” said Gerardo Gomez, El Paso Water Charity of Choice chairman.

Operation School Bus is in its 50th year of serving the El Paso community and aids children in all 9 school districts within El Paso County, which equates to 143 public elementary schools. Teachers identify students in need, and the Assistance League of El Paso steps in to provide nearly a week’s worth of clothing, shoes, and hygiene items. Last year, the program was able to help nearly 3,800 children and expects a similar amount this year.

“We try to keep up with what the kids wear today, and this year we have embroidered pants for the girls. All clothing is new, and uniforms are the comparable to the ones you see at the store,” said Armida Hernandez, Chairman of the Assistance League of El Paso’s Grants and Special Gifts Committee.

Employees organize fundraising events after hours or on weekends, and Gomez says he hopes to have a record breaking year with a goal of $60,000. Raising funds begins immediately and ends in August.

“We’re going to have volleyball, bowling, basketball. We brought softball back last year, and we’ll see it again this year. We’ll also have a fishing derby that the public is invited to attend,” he says. “For those who can’t attend and would still like to participate, we accept direct donations.”

For more information on the Assistance League of El Paso’s Operation School Bus, visit