Celebrating our service in Carlsbad, Vista and Oceanside

Assistance League of North Coast is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is transforming lives and strengthening our community through philanthropic programs. Member volunteers are dedicated to ongoing support and a long-term presence in the community through direct involvement and innovative philanthropic programs.

The History of Assistance League of North Coast

Assistance League is part of the first wave of nonprofit organizations in the United Sates that empowers ordinary citizens to improve communities and transform lives through long-term volunteerism. Organized as a national nonprofit in 1935, Assistance League’s roots date back to the turn of the twentieth century America when founder, Anne Banning, pioneered a tradition of compassion and benevolence carried on by her modern-day counterparts in Assistance League chapters around the country.

A social activist at heart, Anne and a small group of prominent ladies began doing local charitable work in the mid-1890 under the name of Assistance League. Their humanitarian efforts extended beyond local boundaries to the victims of the San Francisco earthquake. To raise money for those people underserved by conventional charities, Anne used her social connections to establish the “pay to attend” fundraising model that has proven successful for nonprofit organizations.

During World War I, Anne organized The Los Angeles Red Cross Chapter and served as its Director. In 1919 Anne, Ada Edwards Laughlin and their charity-minded friends formalized Assistance League of Southern California, as a precursor to the national organization. They began by providing food and clothing for local families severely impacted by the war. A few years later, they expanded their efforts with a neighborhood Community House whose programs and services were emulated by public and private agencies.

Anne and Ada created a legacy of giving back that endures today. We currently have 120 nationwide chapters with more than 22,000 members today. Assistance League philanthropic programs continue to grow and thrive because chapters identify local problems and deliver the right solutions.

Assistance League of North Coast started recruiting members in 1992 and formed a Guild in 1996 until the year 2000 when we became an “Official Chapter” of National Assistance League which required a group have 60 members before being recognized as a chapter. We joined with sixty-six members!

The small group that started that process from 1992 through 1999 were Jane Feezel, Nalda Staff, Ruth Schneider, Mary Hanna, Lillian Polzin, Barbara Dunn and Nancy Nelson. Our first philanthropic program was Footsteps started in 1998 and our first big fundraiser was a luncheon at the Four Seasons, now Aviara today. This was a huge leap from holding garage sales and selling poinsettias at local farmers markets. Our Thrift Shop opened in 2003 with one tiny suite in the Frasier Farms center and has grown to five suites to include Sparkle House. Our members work tirelessly to process donations, price items and stock an inviting shop filled with bargains from attractive clothing to household items and furnishings.

After two years of planning, in September 16, 2016, our Endowment Program was established built upon ALNC’s three legs of financial success: First, continued growth year after year in our Thrift Shop; Second, continued growth of fundraisers; and, Third, a successful Grant and Planned Giving Committee. To date the Endowment has exceeded $200,000 and is continuing to grow.

Today, our Thrift Shop is thriving. Starting from our signature Program, Footsteps, we now offer sixteen programs under Operation School Bell, plus Community Assistance, Teacher Grants and High School Scholarships. Assistance League of North Coast continues to grow and meet the needs of young people in the communities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista.

All of our founding members worked tirelessly to establish Assistance League North Coast. We offer our sincere appreciation for their leadership and determination. Our Anniversary in March and our Founding President Barbara Dunn and Nancy Nelson are continuing members. Our membership today stands at over 150.

We continue to work toward the realization of our mission and goal.

The Goal of Assistance League of North Coast if to become the premiere philanthropic organization of north San Diego County by connecting with deserving children whose needs are unmet.

Our Mission is to serve the needs of children, in the communities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista with the goal of providing a positive starting point for academic success.

National Strength – Local Focus

Assistance League chapters have more than 22,000 member volunteers in 120 chapters across the United States. The innovative programs of Assistance League have touched the lives of more than 1.5 million children, seniors, families and others in need.  In 2018-19, Assistance League chapters served 1.5 million people, returned $43.7 million to local communities and invested 3 million service hours.

Assistance League of North Coast was organized in 2000 and boasts more than 175 member volunteers and Assisteens®, (teens grades 7 through 12). Annually, our volunteers contributed over 25,511 hours of service valued at $764,054 to our philanthropic programs. By working together, our members and supporters help others in our local community, making our community a better place.