Assistance League of Denver has been serving the greater Denver community for 61 years. The Denver Chapter was organized in 1953 and chartered in 1958 and was the first chapter of National Assistance League located outside of California. Last year, in 2018, our members devoted 34,000 hours to service. We served 9,600 people and returned $459,000 to meet the needs of people in the Denver community. Our chapter is highly motivated to effect change in our community because we care about the outcome.
We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of children and adults through it’s innovative philanthropic programs: Operation School Bell®, Hospital Equipment Lending Program, Scholarship, Hospitality House, Assault Survivor Kits®, Arts for Kids, ALDO Bears, and Serve Our Seniors.
Our Thrift Shop is located at 6265 E. Evans Avenue, Suite 8, in Denver. Store hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday. We welcome your clothing and household donations.
Other funding sources include grants, corporate and individual donations, “The Happening” and “Summer Sizzle” fundraisers, an annual appeal letter requesting monetary donations, participation in “Colorado Gives”, as well as our Endowment Fund.
HISTORY OF ASSISTANCE LEAGUE
Assistance League was the first nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization founded in the West to recognize the potential of volunteers in helping those less fortunate to a better, more meaningful life. Today, chapters across America address the emotional and physical needs of children and adults of all ages regardless of race or creed.
Anne Banning, founder and Ada Edwards Laughlin, co founder were members of a small group of prominent Los Angeles ladies who did local charitable work beginning in the mid 1890’s calling it Assistance League. In April 1906, the women of Assistance League responded to the San Francisco earthquake and fire by collecting money and sewing clothes that were sent to San Francisco to aid the members of the Bohemian Club, Hancock Banning’s club. Hancock was the husband of Anne Banning. The next year, the newspaper reported the ladies “wished to be a permanent organization and be of assistance to everyone who needs it”. As America entered the war in Europe, Anne Banning in 1917 organized the Los Angeles Red Cross unit and served as its Director. Its fundraising unit was the Red Cross Shop which became the model for Red Cross shops across the country using Anne Bannning’s printed guidelines.
In 1919 Anne Banning and a group of 12 friends including Ada Edwards Laughlin formed Assistance League of Southern California also known as Founder Chapter to provide food and clothing for local families severely impacted by WW 1.
As needs in adjoining communities were recognized, other organizations wished to follow this philanthropic philosophy. Anne Banning and Ada Laughlin organized National Assistance League® in 1935 to promote the growth of effective volunteerism through leadership training and education. Nine organizations including Junior Charity League of San Pedro and the Glendale and Pasadena auxiliaries of Founder Chapter petitioned to be chartered as chapters of National Assistance League. Mrs. Banning continued as President of Founder Chapter and National Assistance League through 1948.
In 1985 the first 50 years of service were celebrated. The golden chain of chapter links which then encompassed 72 chapters in 17 states represented 16,155 dedicated volunteer members.
The first issue of the National Assistance League Newsletter was published in 1957 and continues as eNewsLink. The names National Assistance League and Assistance League were registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in 1962. In 1967 Operation School Bell was adopted as the national philanthropic program. The next year a website, www.nat.org was launched and later became www.AssistanceLeague.org.
Today Assistance League has more than 26,000 members and 120 chapters that have returned more than $38 million to local communities. Through the gift of service to their communities, Assistance League chapters continue to fulfill Anne Banning’s philosophy of volunteer service: “To act as a friend at any and all times to men, women and children in need of care, guidance and assistance, spiritually, materially and physically”.