We are over 22,000 members in 120 chapters nationwide focused on making our communities a better place to live.  See us in action.

Transforming Lives • Strengthening Community


Assistance League in the Community

When it comes to giving back, everyone wins!

At this time of year when we gather to give thanks for all that we have, it’s a good time to take the opportunity to consider how we might “give back.”  Since 1919, Assistance League has served as a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization of volunteers helping the less fortunate. Today, across the USA, 120 chapters through their member volunteers address the emotional, educational and physical needs of children and adults in their local communities regardless of race or creed.

How does Assistance League garner such volunteer support to carry out its mission? The call to “give back” may seem like a tired, overused phrase, but finding a way to deepen the emotional and tangible connection between a person, family or business and the community has never been more necessary and important. Giving back is among the most important and valuable things a person can do. Giving back is when you give and then nothing happens–you receive no benefit, no recognition, nothing tangible. Your biggest and sole reward is the realization that you have made a significant or positive change in someone else’s life.

Contributing to society has many rewards and there are many ways to get involved. Since there are almost an unlimited number of causes to choose from, it is important to know who you are supporting:

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million people served


million dollars returned to local communities


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News from our Chapters

Around 3,500 students in need in Washoe County got to shop until they drop this Thursday evening thanks to a local nonprofit. Selected students from the Washoe County School District got to shop for free at the Target at Legends in Sparks. This was all made possible by Operation School Bell put on by the […]

Assistance League of Northern Virginia was thrilled to be selected for Ono Brewing Company’s Tips to Charity program. Through this initiative, co-owners Cyndi and Scott Hoffman, and their employees, donate 50% of tips to local causes that serve vulnerable communities. Ono’s generous donation is greatly appreciated. The funds will be used to purchase essential new […]

Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s Operation School Bell-Clothing® is a nationally acclaimed, hands-on philanthropic program that has served the local community since 1994. Last year alone, 6,000 students in grades K-12 received new clothes, all of which contributed to improved school attendance, campus citizenship and academic performance. Since 2006, Assistance League of Diablo Valley has forged a […]

Families in need with kids in the Northshore, Lake Washington and Bellevue school districts are getting a much needed helping hand, thanks to the efforts of the Assistance League of the Eastside. Operation School Bell® now in its 22nd year locally, gives qualifying students, ranging from elementary thru high school, the opportunity to shop locally […]

Assisteens® Spotlight


Assisteens is the youth auxiliary of Assistance League chapters.  Assisteens provides volunteer opportunities for young people in grades 7 through 12.  The goals are to develop a sense of community responsibility, self-reliance, personal responsibility, poise, public speaking, leadership skills and to support the chapter.  Assisteens raise money in a variety of ways to fund ongoing Assistance League and Assisteens philanthropic programs that benefit their community.

Assistance League was founded in 1919 by Anne (Mrs. Hancock) Banning and her friends, based on an informal charity in Los Angeles started in about 1894.  In the 1890s, social events raised money for local charitable giving. Assistance League, with Anne Banning and Ada Edwards (Mrs. Homer II) Laughlin and friends, provided money and clothing for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire victims.  When the war started in Europe in 1914, Anne and her friends worked for the Red Cross and, in 1917, set up the Red Cross Shop that raised $150,000 in one year.  After the war ended in 1918, the ladies wanted to continue working together, helping people in need.

In 1919, Assistance League was formally organized, with Good Samaritan providing aid to returning veterans and their families and the Film Location Bureau raising the needed funds by renting private properties to movie companies.  Founding members were prominent women of Los Angeles of all faiths and political views.  In 1923, Assistance League moved to DeLongpre Avenue in Hollywood where the campus of Founder Chapter (Assistance League of Southern California) remains today. The motto was “All For Service and Service For All.”  Anne Banning felt that women worked best in like-minded groups, so auxiliaries were formed.  Day Nursery was added in 1924, followed by Girls’ Club, Theatre for Children, Toy Loan and Boys’ Club. Junior Auxiliary was formed in 1929 for post-college-aged young women.

Read the full history of Assisteens.

We Need Your Help

Join us! Become a part of an incredible group of volunteers who are dedicated to making a difference in your community. Assistance League offers unique volunteer opportunities that fit your interest and time.