December 07, 2007 16:32 ET

BELL, Operation Warm and Bank of America Partner to Provide Winter Coats to Boston Elementary Students

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2007) - BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a non-profit educational organization headquartered in Dorchester, has partnered with Operation Warm and Bank of America to provide elementary school students in BELL After School programs in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury with new winter coats. The donation is part of Operation Warm's mission to help ensure that all children have the warmth of a new coat to help them stay healthy, attend school and develop strong self-esteem. The program was underwritten by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, underscoring the company's commitment to education and health and human services in the community.

The more than 700 students at six schools receiving the coats are part of the BELL After School tutoring program and have just successfully completed the first stage of their After School academic program. BELL provides tutoring and enrichment services to students in grades K-6, who BELL calls "scholars," in six schools in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury.

"BELL scholars are active participants in the learning process, taking ownership of their academic success," said BELL CEO and Co-founder Earl Martin Phalen. "Operation Warm and Bank of America are helping us to reward scholars who attend and participate in the program, while helping to provide the basic necessities that keep our scholars healthy and happy."

"If children's basic needs aren't fulfilled, then they will have a difficult time prospering in and out of school," said Robert E. Gallery, president, Bank of America Massachusetts. "Bank of America is pleased to provide some needed coats to these children. We hope this will make their holidays brighter."

"The impact of a new winter coat is so much greater than warmth; it helps build self-esteem and eliminates the social isolation that children without a coat feel," said Kim Fremont Fortunato, President of Operation Warm.

Executives from BELL, Operation Warm, Bank of America, and representatives from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's office will be on hand this week as the new coats are distributed to BELL scholars.


Operation Warm provides new winter coats to children in need through strategic partnerships with donors and community organizations. Operation Warm's vision is that every child wearing a new winter coat is healthy, able to attend school regularly, and has strong self-esteem. Operation Warm hopes that each child we reach believes, "I am of value." Founded in 1998, Operation Warm is about more than coats. It's about giving a child confidence and getting to school warm, on-time, and ready to learn.

What better gift is there to give than that of warmth? When you donate to Operation Warm, you can offer a child the gift of warmth and confidence through a new coat. For information about how you can make a difference in the lives of children living in poverty, visit or call 610-925-5700 or 800-730-WARM.

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Bank of America has embarked on an unprecedented 10-year goal to give $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the quality and vitality of their neighborhoods. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank one of the most generous corporate donors in the world. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contribute more than 500,000 hours each year to improve the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit

About BELL

BELL, founded in 1992, is one of the nation's leading providers of quality After School and summer educational programs. It is committed to enhancing the educational achievements, self-esteem, and life opportunities of children living in low-income, urban communities. BELL serves more than 10,000 children annually in public schools throughout Baltimore, Boston, and New York City. Please visit for more information.

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