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Transforming Lives • Strengthening Community


Assistance League in the Community

Assistance League Scholarships
Transforming Lives Through Higher Education

Commencement ceremonies will soon take place in high schools throughout our communities as graduates celebrate past accomplishments and anticipate a future bright with possibilities.  What an exciting time for the graduates. But, even in the land of opportunity, higher education and youth enrichment programs are beyond the reach of many children and young adults.

The importance of education and literacy are at the very heart of Assistance League. The co-founder of National Assistance League, Ada Edwards Laughlin, attended Stanford University in the 1890s and taught school. Today, many Assistance League member volunteers are active or retired teachers who carry on the promise of education for all.

Believing in the importance of education as the means to a better life for children and adults, chapters across the nation annually spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on scholarships. Collaboration with high schools, colleges and other community organizations make it possible to ensure that the best candidates receive scholarships and have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

The tradition began as early as 1956, with a college scholarship awarded by Assistance League of Huntington Beach to graduating senior Arnis Luters. The scholarship for $4,000 would cover his four years of college. Scholarships awarded during the 2017-2018 fiscal year will exceed $210,000. Recipients include nursing students and veterans in the Police Academy at Golden West College, Project Self-Sufficiency single parent clients, high school graduates, Junior Lifeguard and Therapeutic Riding Center program participants.

Assistance League of San Antonio supported college students this year by giving away 11 scholarships to juniors and seniors in college for a total of $33,000. These students were older students going back to continue their education.

Assistance League of Omaha gave out five $500 scholarships this year to teen parents who are graduating from high school. The students can use the scholarship money to enroll in any post- secondary further education: college, beauty school, tech schools, etc.

Assistance League of Kansas City gave out 20 $1000 scholarships to students from 10 area high schools. Each recipient can use the scholarship money towards higher education.

These are just a very few examples of how Assistance League supports higher education. The many thank you notes received from scholarship recipients expressing their appreciation are heartwarming. They are so grateful that an organization like Assistance League cares about their dreams and is willing to invest in their future.

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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.