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…for the full story, click here.

  • 1977 – Assistance League of Reno-Sparks began as a guild with 71 members.
  • 1978 – The Senior Sampler, which sells handcrafted items on consignment for area seniors, began in its location at the Washoe County Senior Services Center.
  • 1980 – Food Pantry, which supplies food bags to qualified seniors each month, began.
  • 1981 – The guild became the 68th chapter of National Assistance League.
  • 1984 – Operation School Bell®, which dresses school children, began.
  • 1989 – The Charmanta Auxiliary was formed with 21 members. Grooming Kits (renamed Essentials), which provides personal supplies to children served by Operation School Bell and to seniors in the Food Pantry, began.
  • 1995 –  The Thrift Shop opened on Wells Avenue. Assault Survivor Kits®,  which provides comfort items to victims of assault, began.
  • 1996 – We Care, which provides services to children at Kids Kottage, a transitional home in the community, began. This program was merged with Essentials in 2021.
  • 1998 – The Thrift Shop  moved to the chapter building at 1701 Vassar Street.
  • 2002 – Links to Learning program established.
  • 2008 – The Kids on the Block™, which performs puppet programs on social issues for elementary students, began (terminated in 2017).  Re-Share, which donates excess Thrift Shop goods to area nonprofits, began.
  • 2009 – Veterans Outreach, which provides veterans with needed supplies, began. Students in Transition, which provides supplies and fees for high school students, began.
  • 2010 – The Senior Sampler relocated to the chapter building.
  • 2013 – Read to ME , which provides one-on-one reading to preschool children, began.
  • 2019 – Mortgage on 1701 Vassar Street paid in full.

Assistance League of Reno-Sparks first home on Burns Street in Reno.

Ada Edwards Laughlin as the coach with the first women’s basketball team at University of Nevada, Reno.