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Assistance League volunteers transforming the lives of children and adults through community programs.


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The Oakland Press

January 21,2020

Assistance League raises $110K to help local residents in need

Nearly $110,000 was raised at Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan’s 16th Annual Mistletoe Marketplace Fundraiser.

These donations will cover more than one-fourth of the organization’s annual funds needed to support programs that clothe, feed, educate and comfort Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County residents in need.

More than 730 guests attended the luncheon and strolling fashion show. Honorary Chairperson Monica Gayle of FOX 2 shared her personal experience of helping students choose clothing at Operation School Bell, one of Assistance League’s signature programs.

Rosa Glover-Adams, principal of Barton Elementary School in Detroit, was the keynote speaker at the event. She talked about how the Operation School Bell program brought growth in her students’ self-confidence as they selected their own new school clothing.

Assistance League President Cindy Guerrieri said that volunteers help make dreams come true while “transforming the lives of children and adults and strengthening communities.”

For more information, visit Assistance League ReSale Connection at 204 S. Main St., Rochester, call 248-656-0414 or visit

– Submitted by Joanne Brown

 Assistance League® of Southeastern Michigan, founded in 1993, is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), hands-on, all-volunteer organization whose purpose is to clothe, feed, educate, and comfort children and adults through community-based programs.

Einstein Elementary students benefit from Assistance League

OAK PARK, Michigan – Just in time before the cold weather arrives, students at Albert Einstein Elementary School of Oak Park received some very special gifts Assistance League® of Southeastern Michigan.

One of the largest community programs sponsored by our organization is called Operation School Bell®, providing students in need of school clothing and necessities. Each year individual schools are chosen in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to receive a large distribution of items for their students which are delivered and displayed at the schools by Assistance League volunteers.

The Einstein students had a chance to “shop” in their own school gym for all-new basic essentials that are needed for a successful school year: a warm coat, pants, shirts, underwear, socks, gloves, hat, toiletries, a book and a duffle bag to hold their gifts.

The teachers brought their students to the gym on a class-by-class basis. Then, Assistance League members, aided by community volunteers including Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan, GM Accounting, GM Tank Command, Miller Vein and FOX 2 Meteorologist Lori Pinson, escorted the children to each “station” to assist in the selection of sizes and colors of their new clothes.

Assistance League’s Operation School Bell has been the sponsor of this program for 25 years.  This fall, more than 4,000 students will be provided clothing and necessities in 13 metro-Detroit-area schools.

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation gives grant to Assistance League

PONTIAC, Michigan (10/29/19) – Thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan outfitted all 316 students from Will Roger’s Elementary School.

The program, known as Operation School Bell, sets up a makeshift store in the school gymnasium, where students can “shop” for new winter coats, hats, gloves, underwear, socks, pants, shirts, hygiene kits and a book with their name in it.

Each child received a large duffle bag to hold their new items and were escorted around the store by adult volunteers, who helped them make selections.

Operation School Bell distributions occur each fall at metro-Detroit-area schools in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

“We thank the IICF for their generosity, which will help more children at risk in southeastern Michigan’s tri-counties stay warm this winter,” said President Cindy Guerrieri, who heads the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan.

The IICF is a nonprofit group that helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strengths of the insurance industry in providing grants, volunteer service and leadership. Established in 1994, the IICF has served as the philanthropic foundation of the insurance industry for more than 25 years.

The IICF is composed of five divisions: Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, West and the United Kingdom. With nine chapters, they award grants to nonprofits and charities in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Children at risk.
  • Health and human services.
  • Military veterans.
  • Social mobility.
  • The environment.
  • Disaster preparedness and relief.

Through the 20-plus leadership boards in the United States and United Kingdom, the IICF has awarded $31 million in community grants and contributed 300,000 hours of volunteer service. More than 110,000 industry volunteers have given back to those in need.

Bordine’s of Rochester hosted Nov. 6 Holiday Extravaganza to benefit Assistance League

ROCHESTER, Michigan (11/06/19) – Bordine’s of Rochester hosted their Holiday Extravaganza on Nov. 6.

About 500 happy shoppers attended the event with great opportunities to sample food and drinks from local restaurants and to see the latest in Christmas season decorations. Great prices, great friends, and even a surprise visit by Elvis! A great time was had by all.

Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan benefited from a fabulous donation from Bordine’s of $5,000 — and more than $1,300 from a 50/50 raffle at the event to help fund our Philanthropic Programs.


Assistance League awarded grant from Young Woman’s Home Association

The Young Woman’s Home Association (YWHA), again this year, has awarded grant funds to Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan. The $8,000 grant will help support their signature program, Operation School Bell®, providing new school clothing and basic necessities for students.

“We are so grateful to YWHA for their generous support of our program. Most recently, these funds enabled us to help 82 middle school students in Wayne County shop for new school clothes at a local store,” said Assistance League President Nancy Troyer.

The grant will also help support Operation School Bell at elementary schools where students select their own new winter coat, hat, gloves, pants, tops, underwear, socks, hygiene kit, book and duffle bag.  One of the fourth graders, who lived in a shelter, was determined and successful in finding a book called JUNIE B. JONES because, “It makes you laugh before you go to sleep.”  This is what hope looks like for many children.

In the 2018-19 fiscal year, more than 6,000 students benefited from Assistance League’s Operation School Bell program, helping to increase self-esteem and improve school attendance.

For more than 140 years, the YWHA has contributed to the successful development and enrichment of the lives of women and children. YWHA provides grants to nonprofit agencies serving women and children primarily in Wayne County, Michigan, through education, provision of basic needs and cultural enrichment programs.


Assistance League helping Alternative for Girls transform community

DETROIT, Michigan – Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan members recently made a visit to Alternatives for Girls center in Detroit. Once again, Assistance League’s Operation School Bell program has supported AFG’s shelter and outreach centers by providing bedding, towels, clothing, cookware and books from Assistance League’s Book Drive.

The Southeastern Michigan chapter donations help to reinforce AFG’s goals of helping homeless and high-risk girls and young women make positive life choices.

Throughout the past year, Assistance League members have purchased and delivered these much-needed necessities to AFG, hoping to help the young women realize their potential and assuring them that someone cares.

During the 2018-19 school year, Operation School Bell serviced over 6,100 students and young adults with clothing and/or necessities.

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Assistance League brings Operation School Bell to Parker School

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Michigan – Recently on a very special day, if you walked into Robbie Hall Parker School in Clinton Township, you could hear a lot of excitement in their gymnasium.

Nearly 600 students from Parker and McGlinnen Elementary schools were selecting their own new warm coat, hat, gloves, tops, underwear, socks, hygiene kit, book and duffle bag to carry it all.

All of these basic necessities were provided to the students at no cost by Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan.

Girl with Book from OSB

Joy of reading: Legacy of Literacy book drive a success

Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan’s Legacy of Literacy book drive was extremely successful.

An initiative of National Assistance League, the Michigan chapter collected 2,648 books, benefitting our Philanthropic Programs such as Operation School Bell, Wee Help Kits, and One-2-One Tutoring.

Our book drive also serviced community programs such as Neighborhood House Blast Off 2 School, Children’s Center of Detroit, several Michigan tri-county schools and the Rochester Hills Public Library.

The book drive committee, under the chairmanship of Barb Roller, had the unique experience of accepting a donation of books from Bob Lytle, local Rochester, Michigan, pharmacist and children’s author. We aided in distributing class sets of his various book titles to schools whose students were recipients of the Operation School Bell program.

To date, Bob has donated 685 books to our programs. The gift of books continues to bring joy for reading to many students.

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Assistance League receives donations from Holy Family Regional School

ROCHESTER HILLS, Michigan – Students, teachers, and families at Holy Family Regional School in Rochester Hills demonstrated love and compassion for students in the Pontiac School District when they collected coins for an Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan fundraiser, “Coins for Kids … Coins for Clothes.”

Assistance League VP Resource Development Lorraine Taliercio approached the administration asking for student participation in this community outreach of helping those in need.

Nearly $3,000 was raised to help provide uniforms for the students in the Pontiac Schools.

“With school-appropriate clothing and adequate supplies, students are better equipped to improve self-esteem and school attendance,” said Assistance League President Rosemary Dirksen. “We appreciate Holy Family Regional School students, staff and families for their generosity.”

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Assistance League co-hosts Operation School Bell Blast Off 2 School

ROCHESTER HILLS, Michigan (8/18/18) –More than 400 children from Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Auburn Hills and Addison Township received new hoodies, underwear, socks, hygiene kits and books from Assistance League® of Southeastern Michigan volunteers at Neighborhood House in Rochester Hills.

This Blast Off 2 School event was co-hosted by Assistance League, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, and Rochester Area Neighborhood House, a nonprofit human service organization.

Continue reading HERE.


Assistance League receives $30,000 grant to benefit Pontiac students

Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan received a most generous grant of $30,000 from the David W. Elliott Memorial Foundation.

The funds will support the Operation School Bell Philanthropic Program and provide new clothing and/or necessities for an entire school in the Pontiac School District.

Since 1995, over 40,000 local students have benefitted from clothing distributions with the aim of improving self-esteem and school attendance.

Assistance League President Rosemary Dirksen and Grant Committee member Barb Bakker received the check from David W. Elliott Foundation Board President Henry Woloson and Board Director Cheryl Gambaro. When the check was presented at a Regular Membership Meeting, members stood in appreciation of this generous donation, which will impact the lives of so many students.

David W. Elliott was a longtime resident of Rochester, Michigan, until his death in 2011. As part of the estate plan, a foundation was established in 2015 to support charitable projects.