How can over 260 Assistance League member volunteers help more than 50,000 children and adults in need in our community? Through hard work, a generous spirit, a desire to help others and a large network of community partners, that’s how.
Our partner network includes 235 elementary and middle schools in DeKalb County, Fulton County and the Atlanta Public Schools; seven Georgia colleges and universities; numerous hospitals and medical centers; police and fire departments; and more than 15 social agencies and other charities.
To best serve the community, social workers, directors and financial aid officers identify those in need and act as liaisons between recipients and Assistance League. Although the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed activities in the last three months of our fiscal year, we still continued to help the community as much as possible. Here are the highlights for our fiscal year ending May 31, 2020:
Backpack Buddies, our chapter’s new pilot program this year, provided 30 elementary school children with 1,050 bags of food over a period of 30 weeks. This program fills the weekend hunger gap by providing food for students who might otherwise lack meals over the weekend. We continued to serve the children even after schools closed in March due to the pandemic.
Bears for Children provided 5,960 cuddly bears to small children who have been injured or traumatized in some way, providing comfort and help in calming the child in distress.
Links to Education awarded over $60,000 in scholarships to 41 students in seven colleges and universities for the 2019-2020 academic year.
New Beginnings served 32,000 children and adults in need through eight social agencies of which five are committed to homeless outreach and three are sexual assault centers.
Operation School Bell® worked with social workers in 235 elementary and middle schools to provide 4,709 students with a week’s worth of school clothing. Of those served, 1,789 (38%) were homeless or fire victims. An additional 5,626 students received selected items of clothing and hygiene kits. We also distributed 6,200 children’s books to their schools through the social workers.
Shepherd Center Patient Support served over 290 patients who are victims of brain and spinal cord injuries by providing rehab-friendly t-shirts and tear-away pants. To patients for their birthdays, we also distributed backpacks that fit on wheelchairs.
Waste Not distributed excess items that we cannot sell in our Attic Treasures Thrift Shop, valued at $50,000, to numerous social agencies and other charities.
Wee Help assembled and distributed 880 layettes to 10 medical centers and agencies for mothers who cannot afford going-home clothing for their babies.