Transforming Lives • Strengthening Community

MISSION

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

VISION

Essential needs are met in our community, and families flourish.

$378K

Returned

to Our Community

21K

People Impacted

in Our Community

44K

 Hours Volunteered

 

LATEST NEWS

BOOK DRIVE: Chapter accepting 'gift of reading' donations through May 22

ROCHESTER, Michigan (05/03/21) – If you’re looking for a great way to help make a difference for children in the community, look no further than downtown Rochester and consider donating new age-appropriate books – for infants to high school students – to Assistance League® of Southeastern Michigan’s Book Drive.

Assistance League volunteers will collect new children’s books only in a drop box at their ReSale Connection store (204 S. Main St.) in downtown Rochester from now through May 22.

Over the past several years, the chapter has collected more than 35,000 new books.

The books are distributed to children through the chapter’s philanthropic programs, including: Operation School Bell®, Wee Help, One-2-One Tutoring, Neighborhood House, Children’s Center of Detroit and Alternatives for Girls, as well as local school libraries.

“No matter what age, each child receives a new book to keep, whether it’s through OSB, our tutoring program or the Back to School Blast in August. After all of those books are distributed, the remaining ones go to schools and other agencies that service families,” said Ann Drake, the chapter’s president. “The gift of reading lasts a lifetime and is priceless.”

Here are detailed suggestions on what kinds of books are needed:

  • Books showing cultural diversity and ethnicity.
  • Board books suitable for infants, 6”x7” in size, which will be added to layette packages sent home with new mothers.
  • Easy readers, especially Levels 1 and 2 for the organization’s tutoring program at Whitman Elementary in Pontiac.
  • Picture and chapter books for first- through third-graders by authors such as Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Eric Carle, Mo Willems, Don Freeman, Dr. Seuss, Kevin Henkes and Dan Gutman.
  • Chapter books through grade 12, including biographies, autobiographies, National Geographic Kids Amazing Animals, sports, poetry books, mysteries, teen science fiction and historical fiction.

For more information, please contact Barb Roller, Book Drive chair, at ReSale Connection store (248-656-0414).

ACTION WEEK: Chapter joins Reach Out program to show area kids ‘someone cares’

ROCHESTER, Michigan (02/08/21) – Action Week’s Reach Out donation program begins today for Assistance League® of Southeastern Michigan and other Assistance League chapters nationwide and runs through February 26.

Reach Out week highlights an aspect of Assistance League’s Operation School Bell® program to help raise awareness of how children blossom and grow when they are given the tools to succeed and the knowledge that “someone cares.”

Donated items will be given to children serviced by Cass Community Social Services in Detroit.

“We know that there are children lacking basic school and art supplies needed to fully participate and flourish in school. We would like to take this opportunity to show these children that we care by providing them with these supplies,” said Ann Drake, president of the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan chapter.

Here’s how the community can help with donations of these suggested items:

  • Crayons, markers and pencils.
  • Wide-ruled notebooks, paper and folders.
  • Construction paper.
  • Safety scissors.
  • Glue sticks, rulers, hand-held pencil sharpeners.
  • Coloring and activity books.
  • Flash cards for math and reading.
  • Art supplies and stickers.

Donated items will be collected at the Assistance League’s ReSale Connection store beginning today through Saturday, February 27.

ReSale Connection is located at 204 South Main St. in downtown Rochester. Store hours are Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additionally, donated items may also be dropped off at the Assistance League Warehouse on Thursday, February 25, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Warehouse is located at 228 South St. in Rochester.

‘Virtual Mistletoe Marketplace’ Livestream Event raises over $80,000!

ROCHESTER, Michigan (11/19/20) – The 17th annual signature fundraising event for Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan® known as Mistletoe Marketplace was literally a virtual success, held online for the first time ever raising more than $80,000.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a year unlike any other in recent history. Like many other nonprofit organizations, Assistance League adjusted plans for their previous annual indoor event, which draws nearly 800 people each year.

Held Thursday, Nov. 19, the online event also featured a half-hour, live-streamed program highlighting Assistance League’s established philanthropic programs, such as Operation School Bell for schoolchildren, Wee Help for infants, Assault Survivor Kits for victims of abuse, Nourishing Neighbors for people with food insecurity and how their efforts benefit the metro-Detroit community.

A video of the program is available on Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms.

“Our dedicated and creative members worked very hard to turn our traditional Mistletoe into a different, fun, successful online auction with a streamed event highlighting our programs,” said Ann Drake, president of Assistance League.

“It was wonderfully successful – raising over $80,000 to support our programs serving people in Michigan,” Drake added.

As with previous in-person Mistletoe Marketplace events, all the familiar fun of bidding and prizes awaited those who had registered on the Silent Auction website.

Event registration began Nov. 1, along with a sneak preview of 200 auction items. Online bidding began Nov. 14 and continued for five days through the closing of the event at 8:30 p.m.

QUICK CONNECT: We couldn't do it without YOU!

(12/2020) – Thanks to you, we are able to weather the COVID-19 storm and provide for those in need. You have made all of this possible with your generosity. This is our story and yours of responding to the current acute needs in our community.

What we did with your donations

Our Operation School Bell (OSB) program this fall was a whole new program as we pivoted in response to the schools being closed.  Duffle bags were filled with warm winter coats, hats, gloves, hygiene kits, underwear, socks, tops and books.  It was then time to deliver the duffle bags to various schools in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Under OSB another 650 children’s coats were given to Cass Community Social Services in Detroit.  One hundred winter coats and hygiene kits went to Lighthouse in Pontiac.  Additional clothing items were delivered to Children’s Center in Detroit and Neighborhood House Clothes Closet in Rochester.

Our Assault Survivor Kits are sent out to trauma centers so that children and adult survivors of abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence would have clean clothes and toiletries.  The kits are a necessity in the event that their clothes are destroyed by the perpetrator or retained as evidence.

Our Nourishing Neighbors program continues to respond to the tremendous increase in food insufficiency in our community.  We collaborate with Neighborhood House Food Pantry, which serves a 100-mile radius, thus providing families with nutritious food.  Food is required  to stave off the harmful affects of not having enough to eat.  In addition, we donate, on a weekly basis,  meal kits that  help to brighten up a mealtime.  The kits are prepared and assembled by our volunteers.

Our Wee Help program delivers layette kits and a portable crib/bassinet sleep package to centers who in turn pass these items on to less fortunate new mothers and their infants.  Our volunteers knit baby hats, order  and assemble the kits and packages to be given to the people who distribute them.  Our aim is happy moms make for happy and safer babies.

These are but a few of our programs that are made possible through your donations.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the need expands exponentially.  Please, we ask for your continuing help so that we can address these profoundly urgent and desperate needs in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

A great big THANK YOU to all of our sponsors, donors and volunteers.  It takes a village.

Rochester's 100 Women Who Care gives chapter quarterly award for Assault Survivor program

ROCHESTER, Michigan (08/2020) – At the August 2020 Rochester 100 Women Who Care meeting, longtime member Judy McWhirter was selected to make a presentation for Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan.
She decided to present on behalf of our Assault Survivor Kits® program. We were chosen from the three presentations given that day to receive the quarterly award. The amount should be about $22,000.
Thank you, Judy! And congratulations to our chapter Assault Survivor Kits program.

August Blast Off 2 School event a huge success

ROCHESTER, Michigan (08/15/20) – The Blast Off 2 School event held August 15 brought more than some much-needed smiles to 360 local K-12 students.  Each child received a red bag with their own personal choice of clothing by size and color, along with school supplies and other items.
Held at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Rochester Hills, the event was the result of a collaboration of Assistance League® of Southeastern Michigan, the Rochester Area Neighborhood House and Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital.
Parishioners from St. Paul Methodist Church made 715 face masks for the event.  The Rochester High School boys tennis team assisted with stocking and loading of inventory for the event.
Assistance League provided a bag containing a new hoodie, socks, underwear, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a grade-appropriate book, a mask and a hygiene kit. Ascension Providence Rochester did school physicals.  Neighborhood House provided a wide array of school supplies.
“It was such a well-organized event,” Assistance League President Ann Drake said in a statement.  “As each car pulled into the lot, the parent and student stayed in their vehicle, and our volunteers handed out the red bags.  What a wonderful day.”
The event was free for Neighborhood House clients and low-income families who live in Auburn Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Leonard and Lakeville.

Yes, you can ... AND WE DID!

ROCHESTER, Michigan (05/26/20) – Creativity abounds within Assistance League® and a group of hard-working women developed a totally new fundraiser for our organization.
Under the leadership of Tiffani Wolf, Pat Quitter and Judy McWhirter, a Can/Bottle Drive was initiated May 26-27. People drove to our warehouse to drop off their returnables. The line of cars was constant from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The following day, members went to neighbors and picked up returnables to bring to the collection point. Thousands of cans and bottles were collected.
The challenge then became where to store them until they could be turned in for cash. Two large storage units were rented, and totally filled. With the help of members and husbands, the returnables were transferred to the storage units.
Later, they had to be sorted into large plastic bags and boxes.
Powers Distributing came to the rescue when they said the returnables could later be brought to their facility in Lake Orion. A final count had to be made before everything went to Powers. Each glass bottle was counted and put into some type of box. The cans had to be separated and put into huge plastic bags. The plastic bottles had to be separated by size and put into the plastic bags.
The group of women and several husbands worked in the heat to count, load and transport the bottles to Powers. Once we arrived, the trucks had to be unloaded. After three truckloads were delivered, we made just over $7,000. It turned out to be more work than anticipated, but our dedicated members and their husbands made sure that everything was completed, and now that money can be used to support our programs.
Thanks goes out to all of the members and spouses who did such a great job during this creative yet difficult fundraiser.

'ONWARD': A very successful chapter event!

ROCHESTER, Michigan (03/01/20) – Our Disney-Pixar pre-released screening of “ONWARD” on Sunday, March 1, was a big success.

This heartwarming, animated film was directed and co-written by Betty Zych’s son, Dan Scanlon.  We are so grateful for Dan and his team at Pixar and Disney for helping us host this fabulous movie screening event. It was a very special day celebrating Betty and Dan’s love of family.

Our event was a complete success selling out both Emagine Rochester theaters with 310 guests.  Our Silent Auction netted over $3,100 with the generous donations of movie memorabilia from PIXAR.

To top the day off, Dan presented us with an amazing gift from PIXAR of $10,000! The co-founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, Paul Glantz, presented us with his donation of $1,000 for our organization.

Finally, our talented chapter member, Tiffani Wolf, created a fabulous array of delicious desserts incorporating the characters of the movie into her food presentation.  We want to thank our committee who helped organize this wonderful event and our membership for supporting this celebration of Betty and her two sons, Dan and Bill.

“ONWARD” opened to the public on March 6 and topped the box office sales earning $40 million! It currently remains in first place for moviegoers.

Sani Dwyer and Rosemary Dirksen