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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Assistance League of Northern Virginia

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Food, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Literacy, Nutrition, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: To transform the lives of children through community programs that feed, clothe and educate students.

Results: Since our founding in 1999 we have contributed more than 224,024 service hours and returned $1,048,310 worth of donations to our community through our programs. Pandemic adjustments: Despite school closures and other challenges posed by the pandemic, our chapter continued to provide needed support to the many struggling families in our community. In many ways, the fiscal year ending May 31, 2021, was a banner year, and we touched the lives of more than 10,000 children and their families. When schools closed, we suspended the Weekend Food for Kids program, and instead provided $20 grocery gift cards every month to the families at the 6 schools and also expanded the program to include distribution of cards during the summer months. For our New Clothing for Kids efforts this year, we provided children with 1095 new clothing items and shoes, delivered 690 toiletry kits (containing shampoo, deodorant, body wash, tooth brush and toothpaste) and numerous other needed items, such as face masks and essential paper products. In addition, we distributed 86 child-sized handmade quilts and blankets, most of which were packaged with a new book. Because we could not provide our usual tutoring services that are part of our Literacy for Kids program, we focused instead on providing new books. We distributed more than 2900 books to all 11 of our partner schools in the 2020-21 school year. Two schools received a new book for every student, 6 received books for their summer reading programs, and the 3 other schools received books at various points during the school year. Through our Operation Hugs program, Assistance League of Northern Virginia typically reached out to help comfort children at a local clinic for children in Falls Church, Virginia, that serves low-income families. Because of the pandemic, however, we were unable to deliver this service. Instead, we packed 914 heart-shaped pillows, made in vibrant colors, filled the pockets with such items as stuffed animals, toys, crayons, and activity books and delivered them to several community agencies and many of our partner schools. We added books to the pillows given to students in Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade to help them cope constructively with stress. Since 1999, we have distributed nearly 12,000 of these Hugs pillows.

Target demographics: elementary school students in the areas of food, clothing and literacy. We have partnerships with 11 Title 1 schools in Fairfax and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria

Direct beneficiaries per year: Helped more than 7,600 students by providing 11,300 food bags from September thru February, when schools closed, and 2200 grocery store gift cards ($20 each) since March;772 new clothing items & 350 pairs of shoes; tutored 110 students and donated 2,410 new books; and delivered 800 Hugs pillows.

Geographic areas served: 11 Title 1 schools in Fairfax and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria.

Programs: Weekend Food for Kids, by which we deliver 1,800 bags of food to students every month in the school year; New Clothing for Kids, by which we provide clothing, shoes, and toiletries; Literacy for Kids, by which we tutor first graders one-on-one and donate new books to students to take home, and Operation Hugs, by which we provide heart-shaped pillows to children undergoing medical treatment at inova cares clinic and to other schools and organizations.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so proud to work with this small but mighty organization! Even as the pandemic made it more difficult to provide our traditional services and to raise the funds that are needed to support those services, members did everything they could to keep assistance flowing to the children and schools that we support. The knowledge that the pandemic only made these needs more acute kept everyone committed as we continued to provide books, clothing, grocery store gift cards, and other items even as the means of distribution became more constrained. This is a wonderful group that does a lot of good work in the community and I am happy to be part of their efforts.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I began volunteering with Assistance League of Northern Virginia six years ago, I’ve been impressed with how much this relatively small group of volunteers is able to accomplish to help children in our area. In addition to making sure that schoolchildren have food on weekends, ALNV provides them with clothing, shoes and toiletries, and also provides tutors to help the children learn to read, among other programs. Donations to ALNV are used to fund its programs; ALNV is an all-volunteer organization and very little money is spent on fundraising or expenses. Moreover, ALNV volunteers are very dedicated, as evidenced by the way they quickly figured out a way to continue helping children when schools shut down due to the pandemic. They also are a nice group of people to work with; I would not hesitate to recommend joining!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Plain and simple the ALNV is a fantastic non profit, providing vital services in the local community of Northern VA. I've had the pleasure of working along side this group of dedicated volunteers making a difference in children's lives. My Rotary Club - Dunn Loring Merrifield Rotary has supported ALNV equally with donations and volunteer support. There are many quality non profits in the DC Metro area, but ALNV is at the top of my list. They continue to need the support of individuals and businesses. Make a difference by volunteering, donating or joining ALNV. Great work to all involved!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Assistance League for over 15 years, and have seen their influence on the lives of children in our area grow exponentially. Even in the face of a pandemic , assistance for those needing food, clothing and assistance with literacy never wavered. As the amount of help has grown, so has the generosity of members of our community, who donate in order to make our programs sustainable. There is always more to do, and volunteers make all the difference, and theAssistance League volunteers are up to meeting the challenge.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The members of Assistance League of Northern Virginia are dedicated to our children in need. Not only do they provide food assistance, but emotional assistance as well with hug pillows and new blankets and clothes for newborns. New clothes are provided, books and tutoring. It is an honor to work with these members!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The commitment from our members is impressive. Even during the pandemic they are always looking for ways to help our children in low income schools.
They offer assistance with food, literacy and clothing. The Weekend Food For Kids program to ensure the children have food on the weekend. The children and families love the Build a Child’s Library program and book fair of donated books. I extremely enjoy tutoring first graders. Members are amazing, creative and dedicated.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern Virginia helps provide at risk children in Northern Virginia with food, clothing and literacy. The volunteers work with the counselors at 11 area schools to determine the needs of the students.

Through Weekend Food for Kids (WFFK), bags of non-perishable food items are packaged and delivered to targeted children to take home from school on weekends, when having enough to eat might be a concern. During the covid pandemic, when schools were providing remote learning, the Assistance League was unable to pack WFFK but began providing Giant Food gift cards instead, thus helping to meet the needs of hungry children.
Through their literacy program, ALNV provides reading tutoring to first grade students at two schools. They have also held book fairs, where all students In the school are able to come and choose a book to keep. Sometimes ALNV donated books have been distributed by the teachers to each student.

In addition, ALNV volunteers make Hugs pillows, which are heart-shaped pillows with a pocket, and then add a book, stickers and a beanie baby, before delivering them to children going through trying times.

Assistance League of Northern Virginia volunteers continue to work hard to try to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable children in our area. I’m happy to be a part of such a caring organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a relatively new member and in my short time with ALNV I have had a wonderful experience working alongside folks who have great passion and energy for feeding, clothing and educating the children in our community who need our support! The chapter is very well run and organized therefore our missions are able to be tackled by cooperative and supportive members. There is something for everyone, regardless of how much time one has to dedicate. I am looking forward to more great work together over the years!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member and volunteer of ALNV since 2017. ALNV offers outstanding programs that give back directly to the children in our local community. They provide weekend food for kids at 6 elementary schools. New books for kids, clothing, shoes and toiletries for all 11 of our elementary schools. ALNV has a program called Operation Hugs Pillows, beautiful handmade heart shaped pillows with a pocket in which a beanie baby, activity books, crayons etc. are placed and given to small children. Handmade baby blankets/hat sets are also donated for new born babies at a local clinic. Please consider donating and/or volunteering to this very worthful non-profit organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern VA is an all volunteer charitable organization that supports many children and their families in our community. Last year during the pandemic, they did an amazing job adjusting their programs to meet the needs of many children and families. During the pandemic when it was not possible to supply food bags to children who would otherwise go hungry on the weekends because schools were closed, they supplied much-needed gift cards to school counselors for handing out to the neediest families.

In the 2021-22 school year, their programs will continue to be adjusted to provide food, clothing, shoes, new books, toiletries and tutoring to schools in a way that meets children's needs in accordance with pandemic requirements.

Please consider donating to this very worthy nonprofit in support of the children and families who are in great need in our community. Also, consider joining this chapter of Assistance League by becoming a member of a very friendly and dedicated group of volunteers. Visit their website at alnv.org or Facebook page at facebook.com/AssistanceLeagueNorthernVA to find out more about what they do.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern VA is a wonderful, 100% all-volunteer organization that supports elementary school children who are in dire need in our community with food, new clothing and books. It's amazing to learn just how many families are suffering in our area from basic needs which impacts their learning and attendance at school! I have been a volunteer with this charitable organization for several years and know how dedicated the members are in serving so many children and making a huge impact on their lives. You should see the smiles on the faces of these children when they receive their very own, first new book or article of new clothing. We hear time and time again from school counselors and principals how very grateful these families are for the services provided. It's a pleasure to serve with these enthusiastic and committed members!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern Virginia partners with several Title 1 elementary schools in Northern Virginia to provide programs supporting students at those schools. The non-profit's programs include Weekend Food for Kids, New Clothing for Kids, Literacy for Kids, and HUGS Pillows. Like many organizations, Assistance League has had to revise its program services due to the pandemic, but the organization has been successful in making modifications to continue to meet needs while schools were closed. Modifications included providing grocery gift cards rather than Weekend Food bags, and expanding book distributions when reading programs had to be discontinued. The organization also purchased new clothing during the past year to meet needs identified by school personnel.

Assistance League's all volunteer members are dedicated to meeting the needs of children. The members are always enthusiastic and creative in finding ways to meet those needs, and work together collaboratively. Assistance League is an inclusive organization with many opportunities for volunteers to give back to the community. The organization is always interested in having additional members who share the commitment to helping children in local communities.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern Virginia has been active for many years in working to meet the needs of local children through relationships with multiple elementary schools. Currently Assistance League works with schools in Fairfax and Prince William Counties as well as Manassas.

The organization's key Weekend Food For Kids program has provided supplemental food for children in food insecure families, providing important nutrition when schools are not open. In the last school year, the organization was able to expand this program with key support from community volunteers and local businesses. Multiple businesses provide volunteers that have participated in the food packing events. Assistance League of Northern Virginia has not been able to continue the typical distribution of Weekend Food for Kids due to Covid-19, but has been able to continue to help families with food assistance through the distribution of grocery gift cards.

Assistance League members have also provided individual assistance to develop reading skills for first grade students at two local elementary schools. The children participating in these programs have looked forward to the opportunity to meet with the volunteers for help and encouragement, and the experience is rewarding for volunteers as well.

Assistance League members are always ready to work together to support and expand our programs. The membership is collaborative and engaged, and there are many additional opportunities for community members to join us in improving the lives of local children.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League is a National and local non-profit organization made up of volunteers committed to improving local communities through hands on improvements and innovative philanthropic programs.
As stated, in the overview, we have diverse opportunities to serve our community of children in need. Assistance League of Northern Virginia members are a heart warming group of dedicated women who are unceasingly working to raise funds to support the Weekend Food for Kids, donate books to children programs (many their first books of their own), news clothes & shoes programs, and much more. One of my favorite programs is the one on one tutoring to first graders who need extra help in reading, at two of our schools. In this time of Covid, we were working overtime to make plans to continue our mission and make them work with all of the restrictions we faced.
If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, take a look at ALNV. We have a great group of women with big hearts who care for their communities.

Previous Stories
3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Assistance League is a National and local non-profit organization made up of volunteers committed to improving local communities through hands on improvements and innovative philanthropic programs.
As stated, in the overview, we have diverse opportunities to serve our community of children in need. Assistance League of Northern Virginia members are a heart warming group of dedicated women who are unceasingly working to raise funds to support the Weekend Food for Kids, donate books to children programs (many their first books of their own), news clothes & shoes programs, and much more. One of my favorite programs is the one on one tutoring to first graders who need extra help in reading, at two of our schools. In this time of Covid, we are working overtime to make plans to continue our mission and make them work with all of the restrictions we face.
If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, take a look at ALNV. We have a great group of women with bigs hearts who care for their communities.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern Virginia is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to feed, clothe and educate elementary age students in the Northern Virginia area. ALNV has partnered with Title 1/low income schools.

Operation School Bell has three categories: Weekend Food For Kids; New Clothing For Kids & Literacy For Kids.

Weekend Food For Kids provides 1,810 bags of food a month to children. Children at 6 local elementary schools receive bags that are assembled by ALNV members and community volunteers. ALNV is fortunate to have partnered with Dominion Energy for this program.

New Clothing For kids provides clothing, shoes and basic toiletry products to children. Socks and underwear are always requested from the elementary schools.

Literacy For Kids provides tutoring and new books. ALNV members work one-on-one with 1st grade students helping them to improve their reading skills. New books are provided to children via Little Libraries, Summer Reading program and Build a Child’s Library. Build a Child’s Library is similar to a Scholastic Book Fair. Students are able to select a new book for free. For some students, this is the first book in their home. ALNV has partnered with Scholastic Literacy Partnership for purchasing new books.

As you can see, Assistance League of Northern Virginia’s programs are “For Kids”.

If you are looking for a way to give back to our community, please join us. The website for ALNV is www.ALNV.org.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern Virginia has been making a difference in your community for the last twenty years transforming the lives of children through our community based programs. Our philanthropic programs provide food, clothing and tutoring to children in Title I elementary schools in Fairfax and Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. Our biggest program is in partnership with Dominion Energy to provide around 1800 food bags to children on the weekends. With the closing of the schools due to the pandemic, we now purchase grocery gift cards and collaborate with the school counselors in their distribution.
My desire to find a tutoring opportunity brought me to Assistance League of Northern Virginia. I have tutored, one-on-one, first graders to improve their reading comprehension and language development. Book fairs held at several schools have been most successful. Watching the smiles of the children select and share their books with each other has been most gratifying. And then, they get to take them home.
I am continually impressed with the enthusiasm, competence and dedication of the people of this organization who have chosen to give of their time to give back to the community.

2 Linda Canan S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Assistance League of Northern VA for almost 5 years and have been so impressed by the dedication, caring and generosity of our members. The ALNV has touched and bettered so many lives of elementary students by providing food, clothing, shoes, books, tutoring but also compassion and love. The looks on the children’s faces is priceless.
I am also happy to be associated with an organization that has been able to continue impacting our schools by thinking outside the box during the Covid pandemic. We have adjusted our WFFK (weekend food for kids) program by providing GIANT gift cards in lieu of the weekend food packages that we are unable to provide while the schools are closed. We are also providing books and toiletries to families. We are anxious to provide much needed clothing and shoes as soon as the schools allow us.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Northern Virginia is a small but highly effective organization that has been doing amazing work in this area for more than 15 years. In normal times, it provided needed food to students on weekends and provided new clothes and shoes, grooming aids, and one--on-one reading help to students at 11 schools in Northern Virginia. It also provides hand-made baby blankets and hats to new mothers, and pillows stuffed with a small stuffed animal and activity books to comfort pediatric patients at a clinic. ALNV members have been laudably creative in finding new ways to help those most in need during the pandemic. Assistance League, a national organization, is one of the best philanthropic organizations you’ve never heard of.
Marilyn

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Assistance League is a wonderful way to give back to our community. I have especially enjoyed the opportunity to help children enhance their reading and language arts skills through our tutoring program. Spending time with a child one on one and watching that child gain confidence in their abilities is so gratifying. It is also so fun to watch children picking out their very own book during our book distribution fairs. They are thrilled when we tell them they can put their name in the book since so many of these children have no books of their own. I also really enjoy the camaraderie of this group and look forward to our meetings and social events.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the greatest rewards of volunteering has been with the ALNV. Even though I have only been a member since 2018, I am always amazed at the dedication, work ethic, and support this chapter in Northern Virginia has given to children in over 11 schools. If you visit our website, you will see the various programs that have been given to Title I students. Even with the current pandemic, our members are still finding alternative ways to reach these children.
It is my pleasure and honor to be a small part of this organization.
Nancy T.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found the Northern Virginia Assistance League to be rewarding, satisfying and fun while benefitting those we serve. The original Founder Ann Banning's philosophy "To act as a friend at any and all times to men, and women and children in need of care, guidance and assistance, spiritually, materially and physically." Today Assistance League is a National Nonprofit organization that puts caring and commitment into action through community-based philanthropic programs. In 2011 the Assistance League of Northern Virginia touched the lives of 9,750 individuals; elementary school children,newborn infants, and victims of sexual and physical abuse. Philanthropic Programs include: Operation School Bell- Weekend Food For Kids-New Clothing for Kids-Literacy-Pillows Program- Assault Survivor Kits-and our Lullaby Program. www.northernvirginia.assistanceleague.org