My name is Joan Spector and I’ve been a volunteer at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired for more than 5 years. It never ceases to amaze me. I originally volunteered to write a monthly blog for the Miami-based non-profit. More than 60 months later, I am still doing so. In truth, I am the one who has truly benefited from the opportunity to meet, interview, and write about the many incredibly dedicated members of the Miami Lighthouse staff, starting with its most amazing member, President and CEO Virginia Jacko.
Lately, I have been fascinated by the Lighthouse’s new and very innovative Pre-K program for 4 and 5 year olds. To my knowledge, what makes it so remarkable is the fact that for the very first time in the nation, this is a program designed for both sighted and vision-impaired children. The children play and learn together, and I can tell you from my own experience, it is very hard to tell the difference between them. It is such an innovative program that the Children’s Trust is funding a study to see how it effects the children as they mature.
I’ve interviewed several of the mothers of the children in the program. One of my favorites was Anisia LaRosa, mother of Julian Rooks. What she had to say pretty much says it all.
“My son Julian is one of the sighted children in the Miami Lighthouse’s Pre-K program. He is totally unaware that some of his classmates are visually impaired and some are sighted like him. He’s friends with them all. That says a good deal about this remarkable school program. In my mind it is beautiful. Thank you for letting Julien have this wonderful experience.”
# # #
The majority of my volunteer hours as a member of Assistance League of Charlotte are spent with the Mecklenburg County Teen Court program. This program not only holds local teens accountable for their actions by their admission of guilt, but it also gives them the opportunity to maintain a clean criminal record. Once they have completed the sentence given to them by a jury of their peers, the charge is expunged. This is a very important opportunity for the youth of our community to learn that their actions have consequences beyond what they may be thinking of at the moment. It allows them to look ahead to college applications and/or job possibilities without the fear of a criminal charge on their record.
This is a wonderful organization that contributes so much to the Charlotte area. We donate new school clothes (uniforms, coats, accessories, shoes and books) to hundreds of children each year. We provide food to 15,000+ students each year through a backpack program and school food pantries. We work with Mecklenburg County to provide the Teen Court Services to hundreds of youth, and we have scholarships available to those in need.
How is this possible? We have a great staff of volunteers to prepare and sell donated goods to customers at our store. We work very hard and to provide a wonderful, friendly, clean and organized shopping experience for our customers. Selections include clothes, furniture, toys, books, household furnishings, linen, artwork, electronics, jewelry, handbags, and so much more.
Please stop by--check us out! Sign up for our mailing list! Support our children! Volunteer! You'll be glad you did!
I am a regular weekly volunteer in the Thrift Store - Amazing customers who I have gotten to know on a personal basis. Their joy in finding a "treasure" or a great outfit at a great price is so rewarding.
I also work with underprivileged children providing them with a complete set of clothes ,, shoes and winter coat through our Operation School Bell. The joy in their faces when they see the clothes and actually have them in their bags tears at my heart.
We do so much more for underprivileged children and their families. The thanks we get is worth every bit of our energy. This is what I love about volunteering for Assistance League of Charlotte and of course all the wonderful women who give us their time volunteering.
Assistance League of Charlotte has been my primary volunteer outlet for over a dozen years. There is no better feeling than seeing a student beam over their shopping bag filled with new clothes, or knowing a family leaving one of our mobile pantries loaded down with food will now have full bellies. Too many in our city live pay check to pay check or work multiple jobs hoping to keep their head above water. One small disruption can be catastrophic. So many of our thrift shop customers use our shop as a social outlet as well as a place to get a bargain. We are the "Cheers" of Charlotte thrift shops. Knowing Assistance League of Charlotte can make everyday life easier for many in my community motivates all the volunteer hours.
Assistance League of Charlotte is a chapter of National Assistance League, headquartered in California, and the Charlotte chapter is well-regarded among those involved in chapters nationwide as an outstanding example of what can be done by an organization powered by volunteers. There is a vitality and a sense of can-do among its members that has generated growth in its funding and the programs it supports. As a 4-year member volunteer I continue to be impressed with how much thought goes into developing, running and growing the programs to support children in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area. The genuine compassion for helping kids and the enthusiasm of my fellow members has begun to attract more and more volunteers looking to contribute significant time and talent to making life better for children in need.
Because Assistance League Charlotte is a member/volunteer run organization, the funds we raise go to our philanthropic programs, not to administration costs. I encourage everyone to learn about this non-profit and to contribute to its mission to feed, clothe, mentor and educate children. You can help Assistance League Charlotte by shopping at our fabulous thrift shop and by donating gently used items to help stock the store. Our volunteers there will be happy to tell you about our philanthropic programs supported by the shop's proceeds. If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer and make a real impact in the community you can do no better than to join this group of enthusiastic, talented - and optimistic! - volunteers.
Assistance League of Charlotte Thrift Shop is not only a fabulous place to volunteer, but it is also a great place to shop. There are all kinds of treasures to be found at the Thrift Shop and proceeds support children in Mecklenburg County through five philanthropic programs. It's a five star organization!
I have been a member of many organizations before I moved to Charlotte. I joined ALC 15 years ago and have enjoyed every minute. We take pride in the fact that we are all volunteers and run a very complex business. Our thrift shop keeps growing because of our dedicated customers and volunteers. Our sales topped the $520,000 mark 3 years ago and we expect it to go well over that again this year. The revenue from the thrift shop funds our 4 programs. All of the money raised through grants and the thrift shop stays in the Charlotte area. Our programs benefit at risk children in the Charlotte area. We have provided food, uniforms, scholarships to thousands of children in the area. We also mentor teens that are first time offenders in our teen court program. Come shop and volunteer with us, you will love it.
Assistance League of Charlotte is an all-volunteer organization working hard to help every child succeed by providing thousands of meals and new school uniforms to disadvantaged children, mentoring hundreds of youthful volunteers and first time offenders, and granting more than $30,000 in scholarships each year. A majority of the funds used for the programs are raised through a Thrift Shop which provides high quality items at very reasonable prices.
I am a realitivly new member to AL, I started out as a visitor to the thrift store and absolutely fell in love with the place. The volunteers were so welcoming and were very passionate about sharing what AL is all about. Their enthusiasm was so contagious. I wanted to be a part of it. In my short stint there, I find that weekly I'm blown away by what this orginatization accomplishes for high risk children in our city! The men and women here are focused, organized , fun, and committed to the tasks at hand, ( which are many). This is truly a first class non-profit and I'm very proud to be a part of it.
It is truly an honor to volunteer with Assistance League of Charlotte. Since becoming a member volunteer four years ago, I've been overwhelmed by the ingenuity of our volunteers putting action into play and integrating our five core values - commitment, leadership, ethics, accountability and respect - when responding to individual and community needs. Looking forward to this upcoming year and being a part of this enterprising organization.
Since becoming a member volunteer of Assistance League of Charlotte two years ago I have witnessed the amount of love and dedication this organization has for our community. Our philanthropic programs enable us to make a difference in children's lives and for this we are all rewarded.
As chairman of Operation Check Hunger, one of our main programs, I'm helping children and families in our community who need food assistance. We provide pantries, mobile pantries, send home weekly backpacks and help a special needs school. It is a tremendous organization that can aid so many people each year. Each volunteer member is committed to our various programs.
The Assistance League of Charlotte is the local chapter of the non-profit National Assistance League. Similar to the 120 chapters across the country, ALC is operated by dedicated volunteers and sustained by community donations in order to provide philanthropic programs for local children and their families. It is well organized, well run and full of creative, caring and friendly volunteers. It is an honor to be part of their team and to see first hand the wonderful work they do for our local children. Kudos!
Assistance League of Charlotte is a dynamic organization of men and women joined together to help disadvantaged children. Their slogan “ we feed, we clothe, we mentor, we educate” reflects the realization that children need help in many ways and at each stage of their lives. The Thrift Shop at 3405 South Tryon, the main source of income, is a true treasure chest where people shop for bargains because they enjoy the “hunt for the unusual” or a place to fill the needs of those with limited funds. A friendly place where shoppers and workers a like know they are doing good for their community. I am proud to be a member and urge you to check our our store, our causes, our people and join us there is a lot of work that still needs to be done.
The Assistance League of Charlotte is an incredible volunteer organization helping children at risk in Mecklenburg County. ALC members clothe, feed, mentor and educate through their various philanthropies including Operation School Bell, Operation Check Hunger, Mecklenburg Teen Court and a generous Scholarship Program for example. Funds to underwrite all of these superb efforts come from sales profits at the Assistance League Thrift Shop located at 3405 S. Tryon in Charlotte, NC. This Thrift Store is heads and shoulders beyond any shop of its kind throughout the southeast! The shop is large, well-organized, extremely neat and clean and offers gently used items of all kinds: housewares, clothing for men, women and children, fantastic furniture, books, collectibles, jewelry, linens and bedding, toys.....you name it, they have it! Special sales throughout the year feature reduced items at incredible prices; especially notable is the Bauble and Bags Sale in August that offers hundreds of quality handbags, beautiful jewelry and accessory items that customers wait in line to be the first to enter the store and acquire these once-a-year bargains! Volunteers work tirelessly year around to sort, price and display the donated items and then work hours in the store to assist customers with their shopping.
This non-profit is, without a doubt, one of the finest efforts locally in Charlotte and is one chapter out of many all over the United States that help our children enjoy a happier, healthier, productive future. Membership is rewarding and is open to any caring person who simply wants to make a difference in a needy child's life! Kudos to the Assistance League of Charlotte.
How refreshing to find an organization that does an amazing service to the children of Charlotte! The programs supported by their fabulous thrift shop help to clothe, feed, and educate needy and deserving youth in the Charlotte area. Kudos to this wonderful group of women!
Every ALC member I have met has been delightful and extremely helpful. I am in awe of all of the programs they organize and execute to the benefit of the children in our area. What a wonderful organization, consistently doing good in the community.
we feed, we clothe, we mentor, we educate
As a former seventh grade teacher, I was looking for a place to fit in when we moved to Charlotte four years ago. I was introduced to Assistance League of Charlotte by a friend and I found a perfect fit! I love thrifting and the volunteer run thrift store is more like a consignment store with bargains displayed beautifully. I loved my former students and working with children and seeing their eyes light up when they receive their brand new clothes warms my heart. Knowing we further education with our scholarship program helps me know I am spending my time where I belong. Come join us, shop us, and you'll find a perfect fit too!
Great organization helping the community by giving priority to children. I just love volunteering there.
Changing Lives - Child by Child This remarkable organization reaches out into their area;s backyards to help children in need in the Charlotte Mecklenburg, NC community. Staffed and ran by volunteers, last year ALC clothed children in new school uniforms, distributed hygiene kits and school supplies, fed through backpacks, in school food pantries and mobile food pantries; awarded scholarships so deserving children could achieve a higher education and helped teens to help teens negotiate their way out of trouble and get back on the right path.
Funding for these programs comes from a unique business model because the volunteers run a thrift shop selling upscale donations they have been given to underwrite program costs. Assistance League of Charlotte is an extraordinary organization doing extraordinary good for the Charlotte Mecklenburg community and it's high poverty children.
I am one of 30+ retired men who volunteer at the Assistance League. It is a pleasure to be able to share a role in helping children in need in Mecklenburg County through the Assistance League. We deliver snacks to schools, work at Teen Court, deliver shoes for Operation School Bell, and help out with the backroom duties at the terrific Thrift Shop at 3405 S. Tryon. I am proud to be associated with this great organization.