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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Assistance League of Wichita, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Service Clubs, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Thrift Shops

Mission: Assistance League of Wichita is a volunteer nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to transform the lives of children and adults through philanthropic services.

Target demographics: our volunteers to strengthen lives and buiild community

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,500 students through Operation School Bell; we gave scholarships of $10,000 to area seniors and mentored their first year in Post-Secondary training; and we provided support to two hospitals who examine and treat Sexual Assault victims.

Geographic areas served: Wichita, KS

Programs: Bear Hugs (for children that are victims of abuse or violence); Sexual Assault Victim Support (for adults and children); Post-Secondary Scholarships for graduating area high school students; Operation School Bell (to provide clothing and shoes for school-age children).

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is one of the most hard working groups with which I have ever been a part. Their programs and willingness to fulfill their obligations to the Wichita community is exceptional. It is a total volunteer organization, with no paid positions. Dedicated members run a successful Thrift Shop,which help to support the programs. The organization gives students scholarships to a community college and a technical School. They support needy children through the Operation School Bell program, having clothed 2714 this year and 78,000 since 1985. They support a program that helps give comfort to abused children. I am proud to be a member of this organization. Prue Schmidt

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is great!! I checked out their website and was impressed with the marketing and professionalism. I was looking to donate my stuff to someone I thought would treat it with the respect I thought it deserved. When I got to the store, I was even more impressed. The volunteers were great, the place was packed with shoppers and the layout of the goods was like a well run, boutique retail store. I was amazed by how reasonably priced everything was. I left there feeling appreciated for my donations and grateful that my donations would be treated with care while waiting for their new, appreciative and deserving home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of the Assistance League of Wichita, I have witnessed first hand the impact from dedication and hard work of the volunteers of this organization. The Assistance League of Wichita is committed to helping those in need by providing new clothing to over 2300 school children through Operation School Bell, providing clothing and comfort to people and children who may be victims of abuse and providing scholarships to high school seniors who aspire to succeed in college technical programs.
The members of this all volunteer organization work tirelessly to have a positive impact on the Wichita community. Many volunteer hours are given to helping run a successful thrift shop to financially support the above programs. Many volunteer hours are also given to implementing the programs and to creating service to the Wichita community.
The Assistance League of Wichita is truly one of the Best “Great NonProfits”.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Assistance League Wichita (ALW) organization is a hard-working group of individuals who are continually making a lasting difference: teaming with JC Penny's to provide underprivileged children new clothing for school through the Operation School Bell program, providing clothing and toiletries for sexual assault victims to leave hospitals with dignity, and helping child victims of violence providing items of comfort and aid. ALW also offers hope to deserving area high school seniors through two-year scholarships to local vocational and junior colleges.

Upon joining ALW it was made clear to me that they are not a social organization. Not to say there isn’t heart filling fun and laughter in working together throughout the years on various fundraisers and running one of the city’s most successful Thrift Shops. Known more as a boutique than a thrift store. The amazing women who receive daily donations, check and prepare them for use, and show up every Monday to clean and redecorate the entire shop keeping up with supply and seasonal changes. Also, kudos to the cheerful and caring individuals who are the face of ALW in the front of the shop as they greet and help our customers every day in the store and check-out. These individuals keep a pulse on the needs of many of our customers as they create relationships, friendships, and an occasional new member volunteer.

The resourceful ladies of ALW really make the most of donations to the thrift shop and it shows in our happy customers and people in need who shop in our store. Yesterday after a severe drop in temperatures outside, many coats were already stocked and sold as chilly people came in our doors in search of a warmth.

Also impressive is the way the thrift shop ladies help others in the community, repurposing donations that can’t be used by the store, items are sent to other charities. One example I recently heard of is sending torn/worn blankets to the local zoo for the Orangutans, who wrap their babies and themselves in them and have even made hammocks with them. That really made me smile. I’m so proud to be part of this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the ALW Day of Author's Event the past two years. It was an amazing day. I would strongly encourage everyone to attend!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nicest thrift store in Wichita. Clean, well-displayed, and high quality items. This is an all-volunteer organization and the proceeds support local causes.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALW is an incredible organization. The most impressive part is that it has no paid staff! The women of ALW give back to the community in so many ways. Each time I volunteer is a delight! ALW continually strives to make each event and volunteer experience even better!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Assistance League of Wichita does amazing work in our community. As a teacher, I have first hand knowledge of how their work allows our Social Workers to help students obtain the proper clothing needed to attend school with a positive attitude about how they look. This service is invaluable to our at risk students who are waging the basic battles of survival at every turn. Knowing that ALW provides this service also encourages me to donate to their Thrift Shop, supporting that mission. I know that my donations are not only treated well and displayed with care, but the profits gained help the clothing mission continue. Additionally ALW's Gingerbread Village addresses another "need" of some students. Those who are recognized by National Honor Society and other honor organizations are encouraged to volunteer at this event. They are helping ALW, serving their community, and positively engaging with others as they assist the members in this endeavor. This type of interaction, all too often overlooked as young people grow and develop, provides them the opportunity to see the benefits of service to others and encourages them to have a giving heart. Assistance League of Wichita is a wonderful organization for our city, serving with compassion and care.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since 1987 the Assistance League of Wichita has been consistently and quietly supporting children and families in Wichita. This all volunteer organization provides free new clothing to children in need by working closely with school counselors. They provide support to families and children who are victims of abuse by working with area hospitals. They provide financial support to area high school graduates who are pursuing vocational certification and degrees.
The majority of the Assistance League of Wichita funding comes from sales at their local Thrift Shop, again run by Assistance League volunteers.
As a member of the Assistance League of Wichita, I am very honored and humbled by the accomplishments of this organization and the children and families they are able to serve.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I retired, one of my goals was to join a non-profit organization. During my search for an organization that I wanted to be involved in, I tried several. None felt right until I joined the Assistance League of Wichita. The most impressive aspect of ALW is that it is an all volunteer organization. Our members do everything from ordering supplies for the Thrift Store, to creating and maintaining our website, to cleaning our Thrift Store and Chapter House weekly. And, of course, the many members take on a variety of responsibilities to meet our fiscal goals each year. All of the money we raise from our Thrift Store and from different community projects goes to supporting kids and families.

One of our major projects is Operation School Bell. We clothe over 2,000 school aged children with new clothing that they choose from JC Penney’s each year. We also provide scholarships to 18 - 20 students each year. These students attend either a local community college or a technical college here in Wichta. Our members mentor these students as they enter college and stay in touch with them during the year, We provide clothing for sexual assault victims and also teddy bears to children of abuse.

I am so proud to be a part of this organization where volunteers are committed to strengthening families and bringing joy to children who don’t always have a lot to celebrate in their lives.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We are grateful for the Assistance League of Wichita. This group of amazing women work tirelessly to make sure survivors of sexual assault seen at the hospital emergency department leave in new clothing. This is critical because survivor's clothing is usually taken as evidence. In the past, survivors had to leave in gowns. The Assistance League has changed that! They shop, purchase, and package clothing, underwear, socks, shoes, and hygiene products for the 400+ people we see at the hospital each year. Thank you!
Kathy Williams, Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are no words to express the satisfaction that comes in interviewing students who so desperately need scholarships to attend Wichita Technical Institute or Butler Community College to continue to better themselves and their families and then being able to grant those scholarships because of the funds raised by Assistance league of Wichita. Without ALW scholarships those students would not be able to continue their education past high school. With the scholarship one of my mentees is becoming a vet tech and another an automotive mechanic. Impressive, hard working young people whose lives are changed because of the opportunity the scholarship gives them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about the ALW when I served on the Wichita School Board of Education. Since joining and volunteering I have found the members to be truly dedicated to the work of the ALW. Their focus on children inspires me to volunteer my time. THrough my volunteering at the Thrift Shop, I have come to realize that this too is a mission to serve people living on the edge and struggling to meet their daily needs. Operation School Bell is ALW’s signature mission. Listening to the stories of thee families and children as they select their school clothes can make you laugh and cry. THrough bears for traumatized children, scholarships, clothes for victims of sexual assault, ALW gives much back to the community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a faithful customer. I love going in this little store where the merchandise is in excellent condition. The store looks like interior decorators come in and set tone for us shoppers. All the ladies that work there are as sweet as can be and are always willing to help in any way. I would say that these women are like family. It is not convenient for me to come to the store, but I always find the time to go in and say Hi and see what new goodies they have.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hearing about the great works done by this group, I became a volunteer. Helping assault survivors, scholarships, or new clothes for children in need you won’t find a better organization to support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent years volunteering in my community and have never worked harder than as a member of the Assistance League of Wichita. From spending hours on the phone seeking checkout personnel at the thrift shop to lugging bears to hospitals for abused/abandoned children to lifting heavy totes full of new clothing for school kids through Operation School Bell we work tirelessly to make our community a better place for all. Pictured are members working at our annual fundraiser, Gingerbread Village.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this amazing organization for 2 years now, which pales in comparison to the dedication of those who have served for much more and as many as 31 years. The Assistance League of Wichita is a wonderful example of what people who are willing to give of their time and talents can accomplish. Approximately 3,500 individuals (most of whom are children) are supported annually by ALW volunteers. Thousands of volunteer hours are logged as ALW members work to raise funds to support USD 259 school children in need and individuals within the Wichita community who are survivors of violence. It is an organization of volunteers that I am proud to be a part of.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined ALW after I retired. Been a member for 10 years and have been so proud to be a member. I've watched this organization grow, even more, into a more advanced caring and supportive organization supporting the youth in Wichita. We support children with providing clothing and hygiene needs, with scholarships for high school students, and with providing needs for those who have been abused. We continue to excel in our quest to help our children to be caring and productive citizens of society by taking care of their needs as they mature. I can't say enough good things about the Assistance League of Wichita! This video shows the old Operation School Bell model. We have partnered with JC Penney to provide clothing and hygiene needs to identified students now. This video does show our programs. Watch our Assistance League website, in a couple of months, for the revised video showing our wonderful new liaison with JC Penney!

Carol243

Client Served

Rating: 5

Assistane League of Wichita is a caring and committed group of volunteers who truly give back to the Wichita community through their four philanthropic programs. Their main focus is on children and education. ALW's funding comes mostly from their Thrift Shop which I like to say is the best Thrift Shop, "this side of the Mississippi." Donations are tax deductible. I like to shop and donate!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Assistance League of Wichita's membership is dedicated to the community and schools. Their philanthropic programs are dedicated to students in Wichita Public Schools with Operation School Bell and vocational scholarships. Another program is Sexual Assault Victim Support and bear hugs for abused children. The members are all volunteers providing support. One more thing, there is a "top-notch" shopping experience at the Thrift Shop @ Douglas and Grove on the south side of the street.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Like many of our volunteers, I joined the Assistance League of Wichita after I retired. As a former School Counselor I had the great joy of taking bus loads of children to Operation School Bell in Idaho. Without this great program, many of these students would not have had school clothing and winter coats. This is only one of the great philanthropic programs offered by the Wichita Assistance League. We also provide vocational scholarships for graduating seniors from local high schools. In addition we provide sexual assault survivor kits to the local hospitals, serving over 300 individuals annually. Our Bear Hugs program provides teddy bears to comfort sexually abused children while they are being cared for at local hospitals. These four programs are funded entirely by the profits from our fabulous Thrift Shop, generous donations from the community, and our annual Gingerbread Gala and Gingerbread Village fund raisers. The Assistance League of Wichita operates entirely with volunteer staff. Having no paid staff, we are able to use all of our resources to help those in our community. The Assistance League of Wichita is 160 members strong with a vision to empower volunteers to make lasting change through community-based philanthropic programs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Thrift Shop is the Neiman Marcus of Wichita, but at bargain prices. It is clean, well organized and filled with many treasures. All volunteers are friendly and helpful. The philanthropic programs support children throughout the community by providing clothing and scholarships. Victims of sexual assault are helped by ALW through the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center and local hospitals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend introduced me to Assistance League of Wichita (AL) just prior to my retirement in 2002. I was amazed at the number of volunteers and their excitement and energy in volunteering for this nonprofit. This organization is 100% volunteer! Amazing

Their philantropies are so helpful and needed in the community, and their Thrift Shop is a wonderful place to shop. They have great items that are donated to them and you can get really good bargain prices for quality merchandise.

I enjoy volunteering and knowing that I am giving back to my community at the same time.

Kyra H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I love this place. Very clean and organized. Great customer service and good prices. Thanks!

1 Barb34

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After I retired I reviewed local non-profit organizations to find one to support. I was amazed at the Wichita Assistance League because it is run entirely by dedicated volunteers and provides support for local causes. Not many non-profits can claim this. It is a great organization! Check it out further at http://alwichita.org/.

Comments ( 1 )

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Judy98 10/06/2014

Thanks so much for promoting our wonderful Caring and Committed organization. Assistance League of Wichita

Pat_51

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have the best selection of clothes of any Thrift Store I've been in. Every piece of clothing is checked for rips, stains, and missing buttons. Then they are all washed and ironed. Many of our clothes are new and have never been worn. We also have a great selection of men's clothing, including really nice suites.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great place the selection is always changing. No junk only the best. You never know what you will find. $900.00 blouses for $50.00. $100.00 perfume foe $20. O0. Where else would you find that?? No smell always clean. Friendly people, plenty of parking.
All funds go back to the community, no paid staff. Help support Operation School Bell, Abused Women and Children. Help others learn a trade through. Schooling .
Come join us!

1 Cheryl83

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member for more than 13 years. Becoming a member is a wonderful way to make new friends while serving the children of Wichita USD259.

Comments ( 1 )

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Judy98 02/26/2014

thanks for sharing your experience as a member.

1 Judy98

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member for a little over a year in this all volunteer philanthropic organization. The success of these like-minded, committed and caring members is phenomenal. In 2013, we clothed over 3,500 students in USD 259, supported 355 victims of rape or domestic violence and granted over $8,000 to post secondary students to complete a job skill or certificate program. It is amazing the difference a small group of dedicated women can do for a community. Our Thrift Shop at 2431 E Douglas is a major part of the reason that we can continue to provide these services. Please drop by and shop or consider becoming a member to connect and care with a wonderful community.