Spotlight on Community Outreach

Since 2014, Assistance League of Santa Ana has reached out to hundreds of disadvantaged individuals in Santa Ana to  fill their most basic needs and to transform lives and strengthen our community.

On-going Community Programs

 

French Park

Nearly 200 senior residents of this care and rehabilitation center are gifted Christmas presents from their “wish lists” and a holiday event annually.  For many, these gifts are the only ones they’ll receive during the holidays, making the giving even more special.  ALSA spends $4,000 on gifts, but many members add to this amount when they purchase the gifts.

“Soc It to Hunger” Food Pantry and Distribution Events

This program assists Santa Ana Unified School District in the collection of canned goods, rice, beans, and other staples, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, for homeless and disadvantaged students and their families suffering from “food insecurity.” Open air food events are held at Santa Ana’s Madison Elementary during weeks when school is not in session.

Scholarships

For more than 20 years, Assistance League of Santa Ana has given scholarships totaling $20,000  to Santa Ana high school seniors seeking educational opportunities beyond high school.  A grant of $30,000 in 2020 will provide additional scholarships to more SAUSD scholars.

Care Packages for College Scholars

Creating seasonal boxes full of healthy snacks, greeting cards, first-aid items, and other surprises for our Scholarship Program recipients who are now attending college both locally and nationally.  Letters of thanks and appreciation from the students – many who have never been away from home before –  give us the incentive to continue.

Letters of thanks and appreciation

From Joana: I just got my package today and I want to say thank you! I absolutely love it! College is going good so far! I do enjoy all my classes, but I’m still adjusting with the new environment and still modifying my study methods. I really do like college so far especially since I joined a professional sorority that only admits nursing students. It made me have a sense of community and develop close relationships with the other nursing students from my year and also the upperclassmen!

From Veronica: I just wanted to thank you really quick for the care package you sent. It will really come in handy. Also I am doing really good right now, although there are some days that are really stressful. The biggest challenge right now for myself is balancing school work and work. My favorite part of it all so far is meeting new people.

From Dylan: Thanks for the box of goodies. I’m currently doing well in school and a challenge for me is general ed but I’m keeping up 🙂

From Romelyn: I am currently at Stanislaus State pursuing my interest in nursing. Last time, we talked through phone regarding a package you’ll be sending. I got it already and I am so overwhelmed how you look out for me. I am so happy to have you and the rest of Santa Ana Assistance League supporting me throughout my career.

 

Gift of Giving

Annually, during the Christmas season, Assistance League of Santa Ana serves up a holiday party for Santa Ana families of migrant workers.  Members, friends and outside organizations “adopt” a family and provide gifts from a “wish list”  for all family members. Over 200 family members receive gifts while eating lunch, enjoying face painting and cookie decorating, visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and meeting Mrs. Tooth Fairy in ALSA’s Chapter House decorated for the season.  They leave with bags and bags of Christmas gifts – even bicycles and skate boards.

Literacy

In keeping with National Assistance League efforts, Assistance League of Santa Ana has ongoing literacy projects – providing books to children and students and offering other initiatives to encourage Santa Ana’s young people to enjoy reading.

Community Collaborations

 

Serve-the-People

Over 200 blankets, sleeping bags, suitcases, jackets, etc. were given to the organization’s  “missionaries” for distribution to Santa Ana’s homeless population.  In addition, a collection of nearly 1,500 pairs of old and damaged eyeglasses and over 600 eyeglass cases from local optometrists, ophthalmologists, and Assistance League chapters were recycled or distributed to the homeless and disadvantaged. Nearly 300 children’s beach pails were stuffed with sand toys for outings to the playground and park and distributed to disadvantaged and needy families.

Mercy House

Over 100 pairs of sweatpants for homeless were purchased.

Orange County Harvest Club

Fruit harvested from backyards is donated to the disadvantaged.  In addition, harvesting equipment and other items were purchased for this on-going endeavor.

MOMS Baby Supply Drive

To support expectant mothers  who need community services, over 70 Baby Care Kits, 5,000 diapers, and formula, and donations of baby clothing, bottles, and toys were purchased, collected and distributed.

Women Helping Women/Men2Work Drive

Donated  handbags, briefcases, business attire, shoes, and accessories were collected and given to disadvantaged women and men who seek employment support services. These items give them a “leg up” for job interviews and continued employment success.

Operation Clean

One hundred boxes of laundry pods, dryer sheets, and trash bags were purchased to help  homeless college students with their laundry.  One hundred reusable laundry bags were also filled with supplies for homeless families in need within the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Laurel House

Hygiene items, paper products, food, cleaning products, linens, and entertainment/restaurant gift cards were given to teen girls going through life-changing crises and residing at Laurel House.

Hands Together Donation

In support of school readiness programs and a family literacy center, arts and crafts supplies, 13 Nabi Jr. tablets, and a projector for the children’s exercise program were donated to this award-winning organization whose founder was ALSA member Janet Elerding.

Waymakers

To assist survivors of human trafficking and to help with their recovery, small bags filled with female essentials and gift cards were distributed to these women.  Packs of quarters were also collected for the women.  ALSA Assisteens were the largest contributors to this effort.