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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Assistance League Greater Wilmington

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Community Service Clubs, Human Services, Thrift Shops, Youth Development

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

Target demographics: to provide essential needs in our community and to help families flourish. Transforming Lives • Strengthening Community

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 16,000 children, seniors and families with over 28,000 volunteer hours.

Geographic areas served: New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties of North Carolina

Programs: Operation School Bell®(OSB) provided 2 school outfits, hygiene kits, socks, underwear, a book, book bags, and school supplies to over 5,500 children in different schools.

Links to Learning awarded 63 educators for 59 projects in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties, totaling more than $41,000 for the school year.

Operation Seniors offers social activities to local seniors.

Operation Scholar Support offers scholarships to local students.

The Kids on the Block are educational puppets that dress and act like real children. Each nearly life-sized puppet character has a distinct personality and life story. Our puppets perform at many of the local schools with programs on disabilities, hygiene and bullying.

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am one of the original members of this organization and have been amazed at how it has grown and at the programs we have been able to implement. Our thrift shop is more than I would ever imagined it could be. I often hear that it doesn't look like a thrift. Though the pandemic has restricted us, ALGW has continued to support our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Assistance League of Greater Wilmington since early 2014. It is the organization that offers me the best opportunities for what I sought as a volunteer in retirement. The thrift shop is the best in the area and has offered us opportunities to give back to the community at a level I don't think was ever envisioned when a group of members started exploring the possibility of opening a thrift shop.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this organization since 2018. I love the outreach to my community and the flexibility of our members to continue to serve community needs even in the midst of a pandemic. A truly caring organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Greater Wilmington has many philanthropic programs. I am involved with Operation Seniors, but this year we had to change how we interacted with our seniors because of Covid-19. Since we couldn't be on site, we delivered homemade baked goods, homemade holiday cards and gift certificates for a local store to 50 seniors living in low income housing for the holidays. One woman responded by saying, "I've lived in my apartment for a little over a year so I was fortunate to be here last Christmas. It was my first time experiencing so much kindness and generosity."

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The majority of my volunteer work with this charity is working the thrift shop. The shop is our primary way of raising funds and when we explain to our customers that their purchases go to a variety of charities, they are happy that they too were able to contribute to help people in need!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love shopping at Assistance League in Wilmington, NC! They always have such great stuff, and each time I go in there I always find something new!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the nicest, cleanest, well-kept thrift stores in the area! The volunteers are wonderful and it is always fun to stop by and see what’s new! I never hesitate to buy anything, especially knowing the money will stay in our local community and help fund all the great things they do in the community.

1 Betseann

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They have the best thrift shop in the area and all money raised stays in the local communities

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Board Member

Rating: 5

The Thrift Shop is the greatest. The organization is run by all volunteers and everything at the Thrift Shop is donated. The money raised stays in the local counties to support their programs.The programs help students with new clothing, supplies and puppet shows. Teachers can apply for awards for classroom projects. Many senior programs in nursing homes, assisted living, low income apartments and grandparents raising grandchildren. Scholarships for the local community colleges. Too many programs to mention everything. A great organization.

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1 Leslie L.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization! They have the best thrift store in town and do amazing things with the profits in our community.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization raises money to fund projects for children, seniors, and non-traditional college students. Funding is raised through their fabulous high-end Thrift Store where treasures abound!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member for over 10 years and am so proud of all the help we have given. We choose our community specific programs to benefit those most in need.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this great organization since 2010 and have served as membership chair and president. I loved working with two fabulous board of directors and, of course, the wonderful members. I love all of the Philanthropic programs and see the joy we bring to our service recipients. And, there is even more joy in our priding these community specific programs. We work hard fulfilling our mission, but we have a joyous time while doing it. I am especially proud of the high ethical standard to which we adhere.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a member since shortly after Assistance League of Greater Wilmington was established in 2008, I couldn’t be prouder of the caring and commitment of our membership during this pandemic year. With the Thrift Shop, our primary funding source, closed for four months in mid-2020, the all-volunteer management team used the time to renovate and to research the best ways to reopen safely. After reopening in July, the response of our loyal customers has been heartwarming, with one saying “… It’s the only place I feel ‘safe’ to go into because of the extra effort you have gone through for your shoppers.”
The pandemic affected our philanthropic programs also, but our members looked for new and different ways to serve our community. We donated $40,000 to help with COVID-related needs ($10,000 each to two local food organizations and to two community colleges). Our signature Operation School Bell program remains strong, supporting the needs of children in 22 elementary schools. Operation Seniors and the Slightly Off-Key Stringalongs normally serve seniors in residential facilities but are unable to enter now, so both programs made creative transitions to provide smiles through cards, treats and gifts until they can visit again. It is a pleasure and an honor to serve with this special group of 140+ women to help meet the needs of our tri-county community.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Assistance League of Greater Wilmington since 2008. It has been amazing to share the growth of this organization's service to the children, students, educators, seniors and families of Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. In 2019 we reached the $1,000,000 level of giving through our philanthropic programs serving thousands of local people each year. Our programs are supported by our successful Thrift Shop at 420 Eastwood Road. With 100% donated merchandise and 100% volunteer staff and management, we can put everything back into our community. It is an honor to work with the amazing, talented and committed members of ALGW and a pleasure to meet our many generous donors and shoppers. Many thanks and a Happy 2020 to all! JulieB

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is wonderful to be part of such a caring organization. Even through the pandemic we managed to help so many of those who are in need. We are grateful for the continued support that we receive.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

It is truly an honor to be a volunteer with Assistance League Greater Wilmington. Since becoming a member volunteer 8 years ago, I've been overwhelmed by the ingenuity of our volunteers when responding to our community needs. Having served on the board for three years and a number of committees, I have experienced the joys and tears of those we help in the tri-county area.

After the distribution of Operation School Bell backpacks to one of the schools,
A little boy told one of our members,
“I’ll never forget this day for the rest of my life”

and another one said,
“this is not my day to wear underwear and now I have my very own.”

Their smiles warm our hearts!
Please donate so we can get more smiles.

Sue Jessee A.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In less than a decade, Assistance League of Greater Wilmington has contributed over $1.2 million dollars in our tri-county area to elementary school students, teachers, community college students, seniors in local facilities and many other areas throughout our community. Most of our members are from other states across the US and have found new friends and a common cause in helping our newly-adopted area. In 2021, Assistance League of Greater Wilmington celebrates its ninth year as a chapter of National Assistance League - as a member, I'm especially proud that we keep growing in membership, programs, donations and commitment for our Wilmington NC community.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best all-volunteer nonprofit in Coastal Carolina, working endlessly to improve the lives of children, families and seniors in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties, growing each year in ways to help our community. I have been a part of this vibrant, boundless energy group since its inception in the Wilmington Community almost 10 years ago and have been inspired how quickly we have grown, from providing for a handful of grandchildren and their school needs in the first year to hundreds in each school year in three counties. The needs grow, but so do we!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for the Assistance League for over three years. It is so rewarding to me to know that I am making a difference in my community. I have worked with children and senior citizens and I have volunteered at the store doing a variety of jobs. Our store is absolutely gorgeous and new items are added daily. Everyone I have worked with has been willing to give their all to an organization that literally changes peoples lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I moved to the Wilmington area. I was looking for a volunteer organization that would match up with my passions and gifting. Very quickly through the media and new friends in my community I was introduced to the ALGW. I was thrilled to become and member and be welcomed into this new community of passionate volunteers. I would encourage anyone who is looking to be involved in our community to seek out this group and JOIN!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visited their Thrift Shop which is like shopping at a boutique! All the volunteers were so friendly and helpful. One encouraged me to visit their website which I did and I recently attended new member orientation. The training was well done and the group was welcoming! I look forward to starting my service!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I could not be happier to have found this organization. The funds raised at the beautiful, boutique-like Thrift Shop and during the entertaining afternoon at “Play at the Beach” are distributed to children, teachers, schools, seniors and those less fortunate throughout New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I moved to Wilmington a few years ago, a neighbor told me I should check into the Assistance League and I am so glad I did. I so enjoy working with the Thrift Shop's Display team. We strive to make your visit to the Thrift Shop a real pleasure. I frequently have customers share their admiration for the shop and how lovely everything is displayed. The shop layout changes often so it's always a new experience for our customers. The best thing is all the wonderful things we can do for our community as a result of the shop's success!! It's a fantastic group of women!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This wonderful group has led me to a whole new comfort zone. Working the Thrift Shop, attending meetings and accomplishing worthwhile projects has been a game changer for me. All the volunteers are hard working and eager to be helpful.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

It took me six yeas, but I finally had enough people tell me that the Assistance League is where I needed to be. . . . . . and they were right. Everything we do is fun and so worthwhile.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of this organization since it’s very beginning over 10 years ago, it has been amazing to me to see our growth in membership as well as contributions to the community (over one million dollars!!). I enjoy working at our beautiful thrift shop and watching our customers find some fantastic bargains. Being a member of the ukulele group brings joy to both us and our audiences in assisted living and nursing homes. And delivering g teddy bears for children that have been in crisis situations is also very satisfying. There are so many other worthwhile projects to become involved with....this organization is a true gem!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Scholarships, clothes, books, teacher awards, senior bingo, educational puppet shows and smiles to all...these are just some of the reasons to support this all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Our 120 chapters nationwide have given over $43.7 million to those in need in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Greater Wilmington volunteers work hard to help those in need in Brunswick, Pender and New Hanover Counties. Their efforts have impacted the lives of so many. They manage all their programs and run a beautiful thrift shop completely without any paid staff just with the energy of 150+ volunteers.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of various Assistance League chapters for many years. Greater Wilmington is such a strong chapter and I am proud to serve on the board once again. The membership works very hard to meet the needs of those less fortunate in our community in a fiscally responsible way and with smiling faces. It is heartwarming to witness the appreciation of those we serve.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love to stop by the assistance league thrift shop. The store is always neat, wonderfully displayed, and always a treasure of finds.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Assistance League thrift shop donates 100% of its profits back to the community. I am impressed that they serve school children in 3 counties, senior citizens, grandparents raising grandchildren, teachers and college students in the greater Wilmington area. They are truly a community oriented organization.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work that Assistance League of Greater Wilmington does is truly outstanding! The volunteers tirelessly work endless hours in order to provide necessities and resources to children, teachers, and seniors in need, as well as hospitalized children facing critical and traumatic care. Items such as: clothing, books, scholarships, hygiene kits, food, educational supplies, comfort teddy bears, and more, are provided. They have one of the most impressive means of raising funds - rather than hosting multiple, potentially costly, fundraisers, they decided to open a Thrift Store which has generated enough profit to fund their philanthropic efforts. This is an incredible association with such dedicated volunteers that really helps so many in the community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife is a member of this nonprofit and I see first hand how amazing this group is! They help so many different people in 3 counties of the Wilmington area. Children, seniors, adult students, hospital patients' families and more! The quotes that I have heard from the recipients of their generosity brings tears to my eyes! I attended a musical performance at an assisted living facility where I saw the music played bring enthusiasm into the lives of these residents.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are many volunteer opportunities to serve children and the elderly.
Our members make serving fun.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I moved to Wilmington in 2015 and joined ALGW in 2017. I soon was looking to be involved in the community and make friends. A neighbor invited told me about ALGW and invited me to join. I have been extremely happy as a volunteer of this organization. The people involved are hard working and dedicated to meeting the needs of the community. Our thrift shop along with other fundraising events enable us to support our philanthropic programs serving children, seniors and families in our community. I am proud to work side by side with the many passionate volunteers of this wonderful organization.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only been a member since November 2017. I am so impressed with the organization, especially the members. Our main fundraiser is our thrift store and I volunteer my time there as often as possible. It amazes me how the store,is run efficiently with only volunteers. The money raised supports our programs for children"s literacy, senior center programs, educational grants, etc. I am proud to be a part of ALGW!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is devoted to providing children and seniors in need of help, education and welfare. Their various projects include providing clothes, backpacks, hygiene kits, books, school needs and food to children in Title 1 schools. They also provide grants to students, give assistance to needy seniors in the greater Wilmington area; meals and a place to stay in a residence house (similar to Ronald McDonald House) for families with a child in the hospital to make their load less stressful. Their Thrift Shop on Eastwood Rd. Is staffed entirely by members and has proven to be invaluable to the public it serves as proceeds go back 100% to the community. This group of committed women truly know the meaning of giving back!

Sharon S.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Turning donors' discards into community treasures though volunteers! What could be better?

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our Kids on the Block puppet programs are educational and FUN for elementary school students in our tri-county service area, and we enjoy showing them off in the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival parade!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great location, friendly volunteer staff, nice, usually high-end, merchandise. But what really knocks me out is its layout - you would think upon entering that you were in a classy retail shop. AL is first-rate all the way!

2 Lorraine C.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

What a wonderful group to serve our community with! Assistance League of Greater Wilmington has something for everyone wanting to serve the young and elderly of our community,

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Assistance League of Greater Wilmington when I retired and moved to North Carolina; I have been fortunate in life and wanted to do something meaningful that would help those in need. Assistance League has many worthwhile programs serving school children, seniors and others in New Hanover/Brunswick/Pender Counties and you do feel as if you are making a difference in people's lives. Additionally, they are a great group of women to work and be friends with.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non-profit serves a very diverse community. From children to the senior population. The members care greatly about being of service.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was drawn to this organization because of the populations served within Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties. I was especially drawn to the Operations School Bell program. Because of the good that our thrift store revenue allows us to do, I feel good about the time spend volunteering there with other women dedicated to giving back to the great communities where were are able to live.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this Assistance League chapter since the beginning. What I like most about this organization is that the money we raise stays in our community. It has been rewarding to see our chapter grow, raise more money and be able to contribute more to our community.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great store, and what a great cause. You can always find "treasures" at this store, and can help the ALGW by shopping here, but also by donating your old stuff here!

The workers are helpful, knowledgeable and pleasant -- fun to stop by and see what's new!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former volunteer, I had one young man say, as he was given five pairs of pants, "I'm so happy to have these! "These (pointing at the pants he was wearing) are yucky!" Another young man, given five sets of under ware, remarked that he was so happy since it wasn't his turn to wear underpants that day! Yes, Assistance League of Wilmington is making a huge difference in our community!

2 Mike-Sharon D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Greater Wilmington supports the Snipes Academy Children's Theatre each year. The children get to wear costumes and face paint and be a part of live theatrical performances. It is truly an experience they will never forget. Thank you! You are the BEST!

4 Cathy Campbell H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this store, it is always so clean and orderly, and everyone is so nice. We come here at least once a week.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Assistance League for more than twenty years in two different chapters. I was one of the original members in Wilmington, and we have grown from an original 27 members to a group of more than 150 women. We are all dedicated to improving the lives of those in need in our community.

Our Slightly off Key Stringalongs entertains residents in nursing and assisted living facilities with a ukulele program. We have experienced great joy when residents who haven't spoken in months, sing with us. Our many other philanthropic programs touch the lives of children, families and seniors.

I have served on the board and chairman of a number of committees. This is a wonderful group of women who care about others, have high ethical standards and give willingly of their time, talents and resources to make our community a better place to live.

We fund our philanthropic programs with our Assistance League Thrift Shop on Eastwood Road. If you haven't been there, give us a look. You will find wonderful bargains and be helping others with your shopping. You won't be sorry you took the time to see our store.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League is an organization that few people know about, but it does great work throughout many states. Being part of helping a underserved students get new school clothing has been extremely rewarding and enlightening to me. Growing up I never had to worry about clothes, shoes, hygiene products...I was lucky they were there when I needed them or a simple trip to the Mall to get what I needed. Assistance League supplies the much needed items to kids living in poverty which helps to increase self-esteem and making a difference in a life of a student so they may achieve success not only academically, but also in their lifetime.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

The best all volunteer non profit organization. The Thrift Shop was called the “Tiffany of Thrift Shops” by a customer. The Kids on the Block puppet program is a favorite by the school children

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of the ukulele group that plays singalongs at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, it is always amazing to watch reactions of certain members in the audience. One resident who we were told hadn't spoken in a number of months actually started singing when she heard a familiar song! Others who at first seem to be sleeping in their wheelchairs will perk up and start tapping a foot or clapping their hands. It is such fun to see what joy these old songs can bring to the residents....and many know all the words!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

What a wonderful group of volunteers! They are hard working woman who do much to make the community better. I serve as a board member and couldn't be prouder of our volunteers!
Thank you!!