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We are 23,000 members in 120 chapters nationwide focused on making our communities a better place to live.

Transforming Lives • Strengthening Community

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Assistance League in the Community

Volunteers – The Heart of the Organization

February is known for Valentine’s Day… a celebration of love for family and friends. Assistance League member volunteers express their love year-round. They, along with our programs, are the heart of Assistance League and the communities served. With loving and giving hearts, our 23,000 member volunteers in 120 chapters across the nation participate in programs focused on basic needs, education and self-esteem. These programs touch the hearts and minds of children and adults who need our help.

Our hearts know no boundaries. Assistance League programs serve those in need, whether they are young, old, students, teachers, homeless, abused, or mentally and physically challenged.

What does this mean to our communities?

Last year, our member volunteers returned $39.3 million to local communities, served 1.5 million people and donated 3.2 million hours of their time.

Through our signature program Operation School Bell®, 331,000 children received new school clothing; health assistance, including hearing, vision and/or dental care; and literacy, cultural and higher educational enrichment.

How else does Assistance League touch hearts? Here are just a few examples:

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1.5

million people served

$38.8

million dollars returned to local communities

3.2

million hours of volunteer service

News from our Chapters

Assisteens® Spotlight

HISTORY OF ASSISTEENS®

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.