“How long have you lived here?” asked Darla, the very nice lady at the Annapolis Boat Show.
“Just one week,” I replied.
“Do you know anyone?” she responded.
“Not a soul,” I said.
“We’ll change that,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.
And she did. I was invited to the next meeting of Assistance League of the Chesapeake, and so began a decade of many friendships, serving the community together and uncovering skills I didn’t know I had.
Before I moved to Annapolis, I had never heard of Assistance League, much less my local chapter, Assistance League of the Chesapeake. I began to learn that National Assistance League is 23,000 members strong, with 120 chapters across the country. This past year, all the chapters served a total of 1.5 million people, returned $38.8 million to local communities and contributed 3.2 million hours of volunteer service.
Wow! And to think I could have missed being a part of this.
I learned that each program in every chapter has a complete focus on the community — serving seniors, children and families. Across the country, our members read to children, lead sing-alongs for seniors, provide school clothing, give food to those in need, lead enrichment activities for children, provide hygiene and grooming kits to young students, arrange for subsidized dental care, among many other wonderful programs. The range and depth of work of the various chapters is phenomenal. Volunteers truly work to transform lives and strengthen communities across the United States!
When we started our chapter over 15 years ago, we had strong support and guidance from National Assistance League. This enabled us to immediately begin making an impact in Anne Arundel County. Over the years, our core programs of Operation School Bell®, Kids In Need, Project Literacy tutoring programs, Kids on the Block puppet troupe, Sing-Alongs for Seniors and the Stork’s Nest Baby Shower have grown and thrived, in part because we learned from other chapters and from national leaders. With a warm and wonderful group of volunteers, and with ingenuity and gold old hard work, we have been able to adapt the National Assistance League programs to our local community.
You may have known as little as I did about Assistance League, or you may have heard it mentioned and wondered what it was all about. We trust that the above has excited you as much as it does us. Please browse our website, read our annual report and learn more about us!
Assistance League® of the Chesapeake