Assistance League, Riverside is an organization made up of volunteers working to meet the needs of children in our community. Ever since the economic decline, we have seen an upward movement toward more and more families needing assistance. Snack Attack began with about 100 families (roughly) whose children were on meal programs during the week at school, but were lacking in food for the week end. Since its inception we are now over 700+ children served weekly. RUSD advises how many per school need serving. Don't be confused by the name "Snack Attack". These are healthy, nourishing food bags packed and distributed. Schools report children are less likely to be absent on Fridays now because they want to make sure they receive their bag. Operation School Bell is another program designed to clothe children. Children are dressed in brand new clothes, jackets, and receive shoe vouchers for new shoes. They receive hygiene kits, books geared to their educational level and some school supplies. There seems to be a direct correlation between a child having new clothes and their self esteem among their peers. Again, these children are referred by their respective schools. I could go on about the many other programs we have that are specifically geared to meet these children's need. As the needs continue to grow, so does our need for more and more funds and volunteers. We welcome people in the community to contact us to learn about how they might become and integral part of Assistance League, Riverside, and be able to give back to the community.
The Assistance League of Riverside is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping the children of our community. I became a member just a couple of years ago when I was looking to do a little volunteer work now that I am retired. During my career, I served on professional and community nonprofit boards. I was committed to those groups, but now I was looking for something different. I was blown away by the dedication of the Assistance League members that I met. Our members spend many hours on our programs for children and working in our thrift shop or soliciting donations to support those programs. A few examples of the results of their efforts: over 1,900 children received new school clothes during the 2015-16 school year; 950 snack bags were distributed every Friday during the school year to children who might have little else to eat over the weekend; and 152 students were given $100 each to help defray the cost of college campus visits.
My experiences with Assistance League Riverside have been very rewarding as a volunteer and Board member. We engage with the community through our Thrift Store, working with the school districts to aid children of low income families by providing school clothes and weekend snacks. We provide SAT study guides to area high schools for students to use to prepare for their testing and scholarships to area seniors for their college funding. We deliver cuddly bears to area hospitals for their use in the urgent care areas to calm distressed children. We work with other non-profits to provide helpful items for foster children aging out of the system. As a volunteer we reap the benefit of sharing our background knowledge and skills to an organization dedicated to clothing, comforting and educating the children of our community. "Hearts that Care - Hands that Share"
Volunteering with the Assistance League of Riverside filled a spot in my days that became vacant when I retired from working for Riverside County Department of Social Services two years ago. This organizations has a wonderful group of women to work with. The Thrift Store we run provides funds to dress needy children with school clothes and supplies, provide healthy weekend snacks for needy children, awarding scholarships, and provide reasonably priced clothing for those that shop at our store.
Assistance League volunteers are the most caring and giving volunteers with whom I have ever worked. They give countless hours of their time, cheerfully and selflessly. And they do it because of moments like the child who thanked his Operation School Bell dresser for giving him his own toothbrush because he had been sharing one brush with his entire family. Or for the little boy who was most interested in the underwear he received and was so proud of the book he was given that he couldn't tear himself away from the mirror, posing with book under arm. Or for the Homeless children who can't wait for Fridays when they receive their weekend snack bag through Operation Snack Attack.