In 1940, a group of Long Beach women received the fifth charter membership to National Assistance League, thus beginning Assistance League of Long Beach with Winifred Campbell as President.  Even with their grand vision of the future, I doubt that our founding members could imagine that eighty years later Assistance League of Long Beach would be the largest of 120 chapters across the nation with over 810 member volunteers, four auxiliaries, eleven successful philanthropic programs and a beautiful new campus.

Earlier this year, we completed a highly successful Creating Smiles Capital Campaign with tremendous support from local foundations, corporate friends and generous private donors.  A virtual Grand Opening and tour of the Miller Children’s Center and Cherese Mari Laulhere Philanthropic Center will be held on August 29th.

With so many milestones to commemorate, I chose as my theme for the year “It All Adds Up!” My intent was a year in which to celebrate our 80th Anniversary, dedicated member volunteers, community partnerships, outstanding philanthropic programs and excellent staff.

There has been unprecedented disruption around the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In spite of that, Assistance League of Long Beach remains positive, flexible and creative.  Our members have great ideas to deliver our services in new ways. Fortunately, our Orthodontic Program has remained open, first to serve emergency patient needs and now serving all returning and new patients.  The Thrift & Vintage Shop is operating successfully on reduced hours to provide funding for our organization.  Operation School Bell® member volunteers are in regular contact with Long Beach Unified School District, ready to provide uniforms and supplies to children in need.

I remain confident that we will continue our mission “Assistance League volunteers transforming the lives of children and adults through community programs” and will continue the vision that “Essential needs are met in our community and families flourish.”

It will be an exciting year!

Valerie Hayward