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

Shop Small to Make a Big Difference

When do you start your holiday shopping?  Are you a planner who starts shopping and hiding gifts around the house in early summer, or are you a last minute shopper who pays extra for overnight shipping on December 21st every year?  Either way, what if you took a new approach this year and embraced the spirit of the season by shopping small? Even better, what if every dollar you spend can also make a difference in your community?

Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday where every shopper is encouraged to skip the long lines at big corporate stores and instead visit the small shops in your area.  With over 80 thrift shops across the country we have the best Small Business Saturday opportunities for all your holiday needs.  Just imagine the treasures you could find!

Many of our thrift shops serve as the main fundraising source for our chapters, with every dollar spent going back to the community through our philanthropic programs.  This means that every extra dollar you spend on Small Business Saturday will go towards serving the needs of the underserved in your community.  But you don’t need to wait until Small Business Saturday to make a difference, our thrift shops are already stocked full of holiday decorations and supplies.  Come in and pick up everything you need to deck your halls!

Find a Chapter or Thrift Shop


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News from our Chapters

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Although the back-to-school shopping frenzy may not be as big mid-semester as it is at the beginning of the school year, many students are still in need of new clothes — but may not be able to afford them. Run by the Assistance League of El Paso, Operation School Bell® provides […]

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.