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.
In 1919, Anne Smith Banning and a group of twelve friends, including Ada Edwards Laughlin, formed Assistance League of Southern California to provide food and clothing for local families severely impacted by World War I. 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. 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.” Today, Assistance League fosters community philanthropy through its 23,000 members, 120 chapters, in 26 states.
Assistance League Rancho San Dieguito started as a Guild of Assistance League in 1993 with 15 members. In 1997, Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito became the 100th chapter to be chartered by Assistance League. Currently, we have 144 members who serve the Coastal North County Communities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Del Mar, Carmel Valley and South Carlsbad. Every year our dedicated members volunteer over 22,000 hours and return over $100,000 to our communities through our philanthropic programs.
In 2016, a group of North County San Diego young people formed a group called Assisteens®. The group is an auxiliary of Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito.
Mission Statement: Assistance League volunteers transforming the lives of children and adults through community programs
Vision Statement: Essential needs are met in our community and families flourish.
Purpose: The purpose of this organization is that of Assistance League as set forth in its Articles of Incorporation: 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.
Funding: Support is through direct donations, grants, membership dues, an annual fundraiser and our thrift shop. All funds raised by Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito stay in our local communities to support our philanthropic programs.
Nonprofit organizations like Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito are essential to our quality of life not only because of the valuable programs they provide local citizens, but also because of the positive economic impact within local communities. Nonprofits play a vital role in society by focusing resources and providing service to community needs without regard to profit.
Our short-term goals include growing our membership. We currently have 143 members. The planning, management, fundraising and implementation of all of our programs is done 100% by volunteers. We always strive to encourage and create opportunities for leadership. We actively promote an informed membership through regular communication with members and by sponsoring members to attend relevant workshops to develop the skills to advance our effectiveness in the communities we serve.
We annually review community needs to determine whether or not to retain or revise our current programs. We also assess the needs of the communities we serve in order to identify unmet needs that could be met by our implementing new programs.
Through our established programs, we continue to clothe children from local families, tutor children in English literacy and math skills, meet the needs of abused women in our community through cooperation with established agencies and support programs that work with at-risk teens, military families and trauma victims.
As a nonprofit organization, we are constantly investigating ways to increase our financial stability through fundraising and grant writing. We manage our finances prudently and with accountability to meet all federal, state and local requirements as well as the requirements of our national organization, Assistance League.
Another short-term goal centers on promoting our presence to the people throughout our communities by increasing participation in community events.
Our current Strategic Plan, 2020 – 2023, has six main goals:
- Increase the voting membership by 5% each year
- Increase funding by 10% yearly
- Continue to evaluate current philanthropic programs to ensure community needs are met
- Increase awareness of our goals and strategies
- Provide more Board training and improve ways to better manage workload
- Improve communication between Thrift Shop Management and member volunteers