How can over 250 Assistance League member volunteers help more than 48,000 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 most of our fiscal year, we still continued to serve our community as much as possible. Here are the highlights for our fiscal year ending May 31, 2021:
Backpack Buddies provided elementary school children with 850 bags of food. 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 2020 due to the pandemic.
Bears for Children provided 1,230 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 $70,000 in scholarships to 52 students in seven colleges and universities for the 2020-2021 academic year.
New Beginnings served 33,500 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 522 students with a week’s worth of school clothing. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools we serve closed in March 2020 and some students didn’t return until as late as March 2021. Therefore, the number of new clothing items distributed was substantially less this year because the students were being taught virtually from their homes. Of those served, 255 (49%) were homeless or fire victims. An additional 7,405 students received selected items of clothing. We also distributed 3,393 children’s books and 1,844 hygiene kits to the schools through the social workers.
Shepherd Center Patient Support served approximately 221 patients who are victims of brain and spinal cord injuries by providing rehab-friendly t-shirts and tear-away pants. We were unable to deliver our usual birthday gifts of backpacks that fit on wheelchairs.This was due to COVID restrictions.
Waste Not distributed excess items that we cannot sell in our Attic Treasures Thrift Shop, valued at $40,078, to numerous social agencies and other charities.
Wee Help assembled and distributed 888 layettes to seven medical centers and agencies for mothers who cannot afford going-home clothing for their babies.