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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Assistance League of the Bay Area

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Human Services, Thrift Shops, Victims Services

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

Results: This year we have clothed over 2000 area students; provided prom attire for 125 high school seniors; provided tuition assistance for summer enrichment classes at University of Houston-Clear Lake; reached several students at risk for dropping out of school; provided over 250 manicures at Baywind Nursing Home; distributed 41 kits for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse; assisted 18 referred clients with selecting job and interview-appropriate clothing from our award-winning Resale Shop; and donated over 3,600 books to Title I campuses valued at over $40,000.

Target demographics: We work with school age children in the Clear Creek, Dickinson, Friendswood, and La Porte Independent School Districts as well as the Mosbacher Odyssey Academy charter system with locations in Galveston, League City, and Seabrook, Texas. We serve adults by providing interview or job-appropriate clothing from our award-winning Resale Shop.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We serve over 3500 people in the Bay Area each year.

Programs: Operation School Bell, Assistance League Operation Cinderella, Operation Support Our Schools, Assault Survivor Kits, Ready for Work, and Community Outreach.

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this organization since 2004. I desired to join because of its mission of serving at-risk populations at the child, teen, and adult ages. It is been truly remarkable to see the smiles and tears of happiness when we were able to provide them an opportunity they might otherwise not have. Whether it's receiving school-appropriate clothing that is also stylish and similar to their peers, experiencing prom ensconced in beautiful clothing and accessories, or selecting fashionable interview clothing for that all-important job, Assistance League of the Bay Area is providing a hand up to someone who needs it. #wechangelives

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of the Bay Area is an organization who provides support to children, adults, and the elderly. Ranging from distributing a week's worth of clothes, prom attire, interview-appropriate wear, to assisting students who have been identified as at-risk for dropping out of school, to volunteering in the classrooms at a summer enrichment program at a local university, to spending quality time with senior citizens at a nursing home, or simply answering a one-time need of a family or individual due to a catastrophic situation, this group of dedicated women put caring and commitment into action in the communities we serve.

Our largest philanthropy, Operation School Bell, is the program that enables students who have been identified by their school district as economically disadvantaged, to receive a week's worth of clothing, appropriate undergarments, a personal hygiene kit, socks, and a $15 Payless shoe voucher. It is so heart-warming to participate in this each year. Parents and students are thrilled with the clothes and express themselves with hugs, tears, and smiles on their faces.

We can't meet all the students' needs who qualify as economically disadvantaged due to the limitations of our budget. We have fabulous funding initiatives - an annual event and a beautiful Resale Shop. However, in order to grow this outreach, we are dependent on grants from foundations and community-minded companies and individuals who desire to help us expand our reach.

We hope that will happen as we seek to inform others of the wonderful things we do!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a part of Assistance League of the Bay Area. We change lives in our community with our six philanthropic programs. Our 180-member volunteers work magic from La Porte to Galveston Island. Our focus is helping children and in turn their families succeed in school and life. From clothing children for school to providing nutritional support to the students during the school year to donating books to classrooms and school libraries, Assistance League of the Bay Area is improving lives in our area.

I like that all the money we raise in our area on an annual basis stays in the community we serve. If you combine our annual fundraising with the value of our volunteer service hours, each year we are investing over one million dollars into our local community. And this is done by an organization that is 100% volunteer! Join us. Support our programs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member and volunteer with the Assistance League of the Bay Area for over 6 years and have found the experience to be beneficial for both the volunteer and the recipient of our services. Whether wanting to be in a leadership role or a simple "indian" and many members like to refer to themselves as, there are opportunities for everyone. You may choose to volunteer in the resale shop to help raise funds for the organization or be hands on help with the philanthropies of Operation School Bell (clothing children in need in the four surrounding school districts with new, school appropriate clothing), Operation Cinderella (dressing young ladies and men with prom attire for their senior proms), or Hands from the Heart (giving manicures and fellowship to our senior residents at Baywind Nursing home) as well as others. There is something for everyone! All you have to do is dive in.

Barbara279

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Assistance League of the Bay Area for 8 years and during that time I have held numerous positions within the organization. I am so impressed with the spirit of the women who belong to this organization! Their can-do attitude makes it possible to accomplish the near impossible when it comes to dressing children for Operation School Bell or Operation Cinderella, helping the schools within our service area, and aiding the families of these children. As Treasurer, I have seen how they utilize their funds wisely for the good of the community. This all-volunteer organization works hard to fundraise through an award-winning Resale Shop, an annual Gala, selling cookbooks, and searching for additional assistance through grants and foundations. All money raised by this organization is returned to the community through their philanthropies. Truly a wonderful organization to support through my time and your gifts!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a volunteer organization in my area and found the Assistance League! Never have I witnessed an all volunteer group give so much to the community - clothing, food, dental and vision care, scholarships, prom attire for high school seniors, job interview appropriate clothing and companionship to seniors citizens in an area nursing home! This is probably the best kept secret in the Bay Area. These volunteers are ready to help when called upon and work tirelessly to secure ways of helping those in need.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for the Assistance League of the Bay Area in 2014 after retiring in 2013. I had always wanted to serve my community in a capacity that allowed me to give back to CCISD. My parents were teachers in the district and I was a student in the district from Kindergarten through 12th grade (go Wildcats!). A dear friend invited me to attend a social at her home and I met several current members who shared with me their stories of volunteering with the Assistance League. Their passion was infectious and so I signed up. I love to work at the Resale Shop! The shop is beautiful and every day is a surprise. Our members work very hard to create a lovely shopping experience. Everything I do for Assistance League, every day I serve, every person I meet just reminds me more and more why I give back what was so freely given to me. The Assistance League of the Bay Area is my heart.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We change lives! I'm proud to have served this organization for 2 years. A mighty group of women who work tirelessly to support children of all school ages so each child can have a successful school experience.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was recently in the United Way Bay Area building for a meeting and noticed the Assistance League's Operation School Bell was in full force on the first floor! I stepped in (I am a school district administrator) and observed the number of volunteers outfitting little ones for the school year. But what truly moved me was not the number of workers, but the tender care and attention each was giving to their student through the fitting process. I left feeling so blessed for this organization and its heart - and how they ensure each child has what they need to 'blend in' with their classmates and, ultimately, a better chance at being successful in school.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The lovely ladies of the Assistance League of Bay Area go above and beyond to help me meet my students needs. Their tireless efforts make huge differences in all families they help.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

My friend, Susan just got back from New Mexico, where she goes to volunteer as a

doctor on an Indian reservation. She was telling me that, although she is not a

religious person, she saw an awe-inspiring scene while driving. A thunderstorm had

just passed, leaving clouds of all shades of red, pink and purple. As she was coming dangerously close to driving off the road, because of looking at the incredible sky,

she rounded a curve and came upon an even more beautiful sight. A cliff just ahead

was striped in the same colors as the sky! She had tears in her eyes telling me about

it. So, I told her of having a similar feeling last Friday, while working for Operation

School Bell at one of the Dickinson dressing days. I was working at the check-out

desk, so had a ring-side seat to watch all the kids trying on clothes, while our Assistance

League helpers were knocking themselves out for these kids. They were literally

running, back and forth, exchanging sizes and colors, handing out praise and positive

comments for all our little "customers." They were behaving as if they were getting

paid millions! They were working as if they were trying for a promotion! I heard so

many phrases like "way to go" and "I could never do this without this great support

system". I admit to my own tears, while thinking "these women don't have to work

like this". They don't have to give up their time. They don't have to lift heavy boxes

or mop floors the size of football fields, or deal with problems for six straight

hours. Yet, they keep showing up for this really difficult task, of clothing over 3,000 at-

risk children, never letting their co-workers or the kids down, and never asking for

anything but the chance to help the less fortunate in our world. I'm not religious

either, but watching all that lifted my heart that day!


Ellen Lancaster


2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member and volunteer for the Assistance League of the Bay Area for 14 years and each year my heart is filled with joy as we together with our community partners continue to "Make a Difference" and change lives today and forever. I have had the honor of serving in many areas of our organization but last year was the beginning of a new and exciting experience. I participated in the growth and promotion of our organization and witnessed the birth of a new partnership with (H-E-B) and how friendships can be dynamic. I look forward to continuing my service as a proud member in our organization. YPerrin

2 Madeline N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of ALBA for ten years. The Assistance League has several philanthropic programs, but my two favorite are Operation School Bell, and Operation Cinderella. Last week, I worked as a volunteer for Operation School Bell and watched the young children come in to receive their school clothing. They were precious...and so proud when they received their clothing. The other program, Operation Cinderella, helps Junior and Senior girls and boys with Prom Expenses. The boys receive a Tux and ticket...and the girls receive a Prom dress, jewelry, purse, shoes, and a Prom ticket. Watching the girls come in and shop for a dress is so much fun. And when they find "the one", they are indeed Cinderella!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Assistance League of the Bay Area is a fantastic organization! They are a group of some of the finest women that I have ever met and every program they do with complete excellence. I have been blessed to see firsthand how they put smiles on thousands of kids every year as they clothe them with brand new school clothes. It touched me also to hear them talk about how important it is to find clothes that are stylish and don't make the kids stand out.

1 Kathleen90

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Assistance League of the Bay Area for 3 years. I was searching for an organization that helped children and others in my local community. What a surprise to find that over 3,000
kids are helped each year by caring and giving women. I am proud to be a part of this national organization!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Assistance League of the Bay Area for several years and continue to be amazed by the number of lives we touch. We have NO paid management or administrative staff and all of our philanthropic programs are carried out by our very dedicated volunteer members.

Operation School Bell is our largest and perhaps the most well-known of our philanthropic programs. Last year we provided a week’s worth of school clothing, a gift card for shoes, and hygiene kit to over 2,000 students and we are well on our way to “dress” even more students during this school year. Each of our programs strives to improve the lives of those we serve in our community.

As a member of Assistance League of the Bay Area, I’m continuously reminded that when you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible. I joined as a way to give back to the community but, in so many ways, feel I have received far more than I could ever give.

1 Brunella A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of the Bay Area works diligently to provide new school clothes for over 2000 children each year. These students can then attend school with pride in the way they look and can focus on learning. I am proud to work with this remarkable group of dedicated women who are making a difference in their community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended Operation School Bell in LaPorte on Saturday, August 23rd. The entire school cafeteria was full of children and their families, who each got to leave with several sets of clothes and other items to prepare the children for school. The children get to actually try on the clothes to make sure they fit properly, or to see if a different style would be better for them, so they leave feeling more prepared and confident to begin the school year. The event is so well run that even with trying on the clothes it goes smoothly for all involved. Thank you Assistance League of the Bay Area!!!!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation School Bell on Saturday, August 23, 2014 was a great event. Hundreds of kids were able to get much needed clothing for school. The school cafeteria was filled with families in need. The event was well organized and the kids were able to get clothing that fit and they liked. Volunteers worked hard to help get everyone what they needed. They really put their heart into it. The families were so appreciative too. This event helps people in need. Thanks to the Bay Area Assistance League and all the volunteers for making this possible.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended Project School Bell on Sat, Aug 23rd. I was very impressed in the set up and how well organized this event was. They were able to cloth numerous children at no cost their families. The children's glowing & grateful faces was so heart warming. I was glad to be apart of it. As we were waiting to cloth another family, I spoke with one of the members on other events they sponsor. Not only do they cloth children for school but they also provide prom dresses & tuxes for teenagers to go to prom that would otherwise not have the opportunity. The list goes on and on. The ladies that organize and participate in Project School Bell spend numerous hours in making sure that this event, as I'm sure all of their events, are successful. Thank you ladies for making a difference in our community and making my experience so rewarding.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am extremely proud to be a member of Assistance League of the Bay Area. We are Making a Difference in Our Community by contributing over 27,800 volunteer hours to our philanthropies and fund-raising efforts in our chapter year 2013-2014. The value of our contribution is estimated at over $656,798 to our community using the value of a volunteer hour set by the US government. The dedication and hard work of our members is truly amazing to see!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past year the Bay Area Assistance League was voted the best non-profit in the area by The Citizen. I am proud to be a member of such a dedicated group. Last year our members donated over 25,000 hours to our various philanthropies. Since 2004 our largest program, Operation School Bell, has nearly tripled the number of school aged children clothed, growing from over 700 to over 2000 annually. This clothing helps students fit in with other students and, through increased self esteem, makes them more eager to learn. These efforts are funded by an annual gala and an award -winning resale shop as well as corporate grants and private donations. Our 200 volunteers are eager to continue and expand this outreach to other school districts but lack the funding. We welcome additional donations to help us achieve our vision of "Self-worth and possibility for all."