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Transforming Lives • Strengthening Community


Assistance League in the Community

Back to School Shopping

August always brings to mind the fun and the stress of the back to school season.  Whether it is memories of when we were younger and getting to shop for a new backpack or when our children were younger and having to brave the crowds to shop for school supplies.  Whatever comes to mind, there can be no doubt that Back to School Shopping is the resounding theme for the month of August.

However, what if this August we changed the focus from buying new items to buying “new to you” items at one of our thrift shops?  With over 80 thrift shops across the country just imagine the treasures you could find.  Friday, August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day―how many of our thrift shops do you think you can visit before then?

Need a new wardrobe for the new school year? The items at our thrift shops in Newport Mesa, Riverside and Long Beach will surely fit perfectly.

Perhaps it is time for new shoes?  Our thrift shop in San Luis Obispo has sandals, boots, heels and more.

Is your child moving to college and maybe needs a couch or big comfy chair for late night study sessions?  Check out the great selections at our thrift shops in Austin and the Triangle Area.

Or maybe you know someone looking for the perfect dress for her big day?  Our thrift shop in Greater Placer has a great selection of wedding dresses sure to make someone a stunning bride.

Whatever your need may be, one of our 80+ thrift shops will surely have exactly what you are looking for and at a fraction of retail prices.

Funding for these programs is as varied as the programs themselves. Whether through grants from local and regional foundations, or funds raised by managing thrift stores or hosting grand gala events, each dollar raised stays in the local community. The key to the success of these programs lies in the heart of each volunteer who gives so freely of their time and talent.

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News from our Chapters

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.

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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.