Historical Overview

In 1984 a group of committed women formed the Assistance Guild of Wichita. Two years later in 1987, Assistance League of Wichita became the 75th chapter of National Assistance League. In the years since, Assistance League of Wichita has followed the vision of the founding members and grown into a well-recognized organization that supports four philanthropic programs in Wichita.

In 1984 and 1985, planning the fundraising meetings were held. The goals were to establish a building fund, a recurring fundraiser, and identify community needs for philanthropic programs. The first fundraiser for members was a “Taste A Round” featuring members special dishes and a recipe exchange. The identified on-going fundraiser was the “Wichita Coloring Book”. Our first community support activity was “First Step” by providing clothing to the Crisis Center.

In 1987, the Assistance Guild of Wichita was charted by the National Assistance League as the Assistance League of Wichita. In 2017, we celebrated our 30 years of supporting the needs of families and children in our community.

These programs are supported by our Thrift Shop sales, grants and generous donations. Our Thrift Shop located at 2431 E. Douglas in Wichita provides over half of our budget and continues to grow in sales each month.

Philanthropic Programs

First Step was the Assistance Guild of Wichita’s first philanthropic project and was implemented in 1984. This program provided clothing for women of the Crisis Center.  Today the Assistance League of Wichita partners with the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center to support the Assault Survivor Kits. We play a critical role in supporting victims of sexual assault in our community. In 2018-2019 we provided 490 survivors with new clothing and personal toiletry.

Operation School Bell was originally a project of the Needlework Guild prior to their retirement. It was adopted by the Assistance Guild of Wichita in 1985 and represented our second philanthropic project. Since 1985, Operation School Bell has helped over 85,000 students with clothing, shoes and personal hygiene kits to prepare for school success.

In 1988, the Assistance League of Wichita awarded their first four scholarships to graduating seniors to finance studies at the Wichita Area Vocational-Technical Schools. The Scholarship Program has since provided over 270 scholarships for vocational programs.

Our Bear Hugs program was initiated in 1997. We provide teddy bears, a journal or sketchbook and a tote bag to children who need to be examined at local hospitals due to sexual assault, physical abuse or neglect. We have since provided teddy bears to over 4,000 children.