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

The National Operation School Bell® Award

Sometimes a simple “thank you” just isn’t enough.  Assistance League chapters frequently receive support for their Operation School Bell programs from those in the community. This support might come from individuals, groups, businesses or other organizations. They want to share in our mission to help children succeed in school by providing new school clothing and, in some cases, health assistance, such as hearing, vision or dental care. Their help comes in many forms:  financial and in-kind donations, promotions, hands-on assistance, etc.  Often, their support is not just a one-time thing but is available on an on-going basis.

Chapters can show their appreciation to those who have had a powerful and positive effect on the success of their Operation School Bell programs through the National Operation School Bell Award.  This award is usually presented at a special event such as an annual gala or meeting to give the recipient(s) much-deserved recognition. A congratulatory letter from our national president accompanies the award.

Some honorees this past year include a group of firefighters who, on their free time, drive the children to the chapter to receive their clothing and help with sizes and shoe selection; a division of a large company whose employees selected the local Assistance League chapter for their holiday giving program by donating clothing and money; an orthodontist who with his family helped students select clothes at Kohl’s and ended up providing free braces to a middle-school student and plans on doing the same for more students in the future; a foundation which has provided financial assistance since 2009;  and the list goes on.

Honoring your supporters is newsworthy and is an opportunity to get the word out about the work your chapter is doing. With permission from the honoree, it is good P.R. to announce it in your local newspapers and on social media. Be sure to include photos of the presentation ceremony. Award recipients usually don’t mind others hearing about their philanthropy, and businesses especially appreciate the publicity.

To find out how to nominate an individual or group for the National Operation School Bell Award, click here.

Find a Chapter or Thrift Shop


million people served


million dollars returned to local communities


million hours of volunteer service

News from our Chapters

Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears stood out among the volunteers for the Disney Family Volunteer Fund Raiser to support the Operation School Bell® and Teens Helping Teens programs of Assistance League of Victor Valley.  Disney encourages families and kids to volunteer together by offering nonprofits the opportunity to earn Disneyland tickets to use for fundraising, […]

Assistance League of Huntington Beach generously awarded more than 100 teachers from the Ocean View School District with classroom grants as part of its annual “Links to Learning” program. Teachers from 13 schools in Ocean View were thrilled to receive grant awards totaling over $47,000 from Assistance League of Huntington Beach. The classroom grants vary […]

As seen in photo, Assistance League of Diablo Valley Corporate Partners Committee Vice Chair Pam Pitts (far l.) and President Lyn Smith (far r.) thank Fehr & Peers employee volunteers Sarah Kistler, Kelsey Kiley (Team Leader), Melanie Conrad, Ryan McClain, Mike Rodriguez, Meghan Mitman and Rose Rodriguez. Since 1994, Operation School Bell®, Assistance League’s nationally acclaimed […]

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Assistance League of San Antonio Receives 2019 Best of San Antonio Award San Antonio Award Program Honors the Achievement SAN ANTONIO September 15, 2019 — Assistance League of San Antonio has been selected for the 2019 Best of San Antonio Award in the Thrift Store category by the San Antonio […]

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.