Assistance League in the Community
Operation School Bell® Underway
Can you imagine never having a new pair of shoes, only attending school half of the time as you must share your clothes with a sibling or an entire family sharing one toothbrush? This is happening to 50% of the children in our country. Operation School Bell, the national program of Assistance League, strives to meet the needs of children across our country. During the past year, over 331,000 children were reached by the 120 chapters. Since the program was started in 1958, over 4.3 million school-age children have been served.
Many chapters provide new school clothing, shoes and coats along with other items, including backpacks, books, school supplies and food for the weekend, in their programs. Another aspect of this program is to provide dental or vision care and personal care kits. The goals of providing children with these items are raising self-esteem, building confidence in the students and make a tremendous impact in their education. This program also reduces the teasing and bullying of these students.
Watching the children as they are given new shoes, shop for clothing for the first time or receiving a new backpack is as rewarding to the member as it is for the children. Whether the chapter provides vouchers, shops with the students in a local store or clothes them in their own facility, the members feel such a bonding with these students. Operation School Bell takes a huge amount of effort, dedication, funding and manpower, which is willingly given by the members.
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million people served
million dollars returned to local communities
million hours of volunteer service
News from our Chapters
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.
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.