Assistance League, founded in California, is the first nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization to recognize the potential of volunteers helping those less fortunate to a better, more meaningful life. The first chapter began in Los Angeles in 1919.  As the area grew, more chapters were formed. To support the growing number of chapters, National Assistance League was organized in 1936 and incorporated in 1949. From this modest beginning, Assistance League has grown to 120 chapters with over 26,000 members throughout the United States.


Assistance League of Stockton began as a guild in 1968 with a small group of dedicated women. In November of 1973, we were chartered as Assistance League of Stockton, California becoming the fifty-fifth chapter of National Assistance League.  For four years, the ladies ran the thrift shop out of a rented building, and enthusiasm for the retail business grew.



In 1992 they took a leap of faith and purchased the Harding Way property.  It was a dingy, dirty place, but it was theirs!  With hard work and muscle, the ladies and their menfolk turned it into the Assistance League Thrift Shop. We rented half of the 8,000 square foot building to a neighborhood grocery store.  Painted a bright sunshine yellow, our shop became a twenty-year icon: the “Yellow Shop” and we were easy to find on busy Harding Way.




Our dream came true! Finally, in 2012,  the twenty year dream of occupying the entire building began to come true: the membership voted to take over the whole building, and thus began a four year saga of challenges and changes.



A “Facade Improvement Grant” from the City of Stockton/Federal Government was awarded to us in 2014, and the building has taken on a new, rather classy look of slate gray and indigo blue with brand new windows and doors. Our thrift shop moved into the previously rented grocery area, which doubled our retail space. Work and storage space also doubled, and we were able to establish a chapter house with offices and a conference room.  The four year saga finally came to an end when we held our Grand Opening in September 2016!


Thrift Shop’s Pictorial History 
From 1989 to early 1992, we rented space on shady West Fremont St


In 1992, our ladies purchased the property on East Harding Way.  Harding Way, color, crop adj.

Our members self-financed the cost and transformed the building into the bright yellow thrift shop seen below.09-'13 T.Shop Yellowpng

At last, in 2016, the twenty-year dream came true! Our chapter occupied the whole property. The beautiful facade improvement is shown below.