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Assistance League of Kansas City

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Assistance League of Kansas City (ALKC), a chapter of National Assistance League, fulfills specific unmet needs of children and adults in the Kansas City area through philanthropic programs developed, funded and operated by dedicated volunteers and community partners. ALKC has served those in need since 1982. ALKC's programs provide school clothing, backpacks, school supplies and other necessitites for children in need, teach safety skills to elementary age students, supply teddy bears to comfort children in crisis, provide clothing to women and men who are victims of sexual assault, support seniors in area nursing homes and provide clothing for individuals who are entering or re-entering the job market.

Results: Assistance League of Kansas City has 350 members who contributed over 54,600 volunteer hours to serve 15,500 children, adults and seniors in 2013-2014. There are no paid employees.

Target demographics: fulfill specific unmet needs of children and adults

Direct beneficiaries per year: During 2013-2014, over 15,500 children and adults were served by our diverse community-based philanthropic programs.

Geographic areas served: the Kansas City area

Programs: Operation School Bell, Operation Child In Need, Assault Survivor Kits, Birthday/Celebration Bags, I'm In Charge, Operation Hug, Senior Outreach Service and Best Foot Forward.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization provides an invaluable service to our students. When they "go shopping," our students are treated with dignity and respect. I appreciate everything that the Assistance League does for our children. Thank you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love taking my students to Operation ScHool Bell every year!
They love the experience and the clothes! The staff is always so helpful and kind!
The students are so excited when they come back, this truly helps their
self esteem and self confidence!
I also love that it helps provide eye glasses for students in need.
It helps their academic success!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a social worker for the Park Hill School District. I recently took two big groups of students to the Assistance League of Kansas City's clothing center. The experience was so amazing for the kids. It was such a blessing and empowering experience for these kids who attended. Days following the visit, many of those who attended were so excited to show off their brand new clothing and shoes. Our school district is so thankful to receive such an amazing, loving experience for our students. Thank you!!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for the North Kansas City School District and have taken elementary students to Operation School Bell for a number of years. This program is so well organized and the volunteers that help the students are friendly and nurturing. The kids love getting the new clothes and the interactions they have with the volunteers. We so appreciate how this program helps our kids get off on the right foot for the new school year!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a school social worker a Kansas City metro area High School.

You just can't possibly imagine how much we appreciate all the joy and hope that a clothing voucher for prom shoes and new clothing that ALKC provides bring to families and students!

ALKC was working with the social worker at the middle school with a family of 4. The high school student, who I work with, is 20 years old and in special services. He is graduating this year!!! I know he was not going to qualify for the clothing voucher.

I had already talked to him about that. and was trying to find graduation clothing in the clothes he already owned. Earlier he had told me that Grandma was going to buy him a graduation outfit when she got back in town. She is an over the road truck driver. Well, then later, I asked again, and he said that her trip was extended and she wouldn't be back until the day before graduation. Broken promises and disappointments are commonplace with some families.

So, my next plan was trying to find graduation clothing in the clothes he already owned. He said he had a pair of dress pants, but he needed to sew the button back on. He just asked for black thread. I was thinking that I would wash and iron his shirt and pants.

Then the other social worker gave me the incredible news that ALKC staff made the decision to provide a voucher for him as well! WOW!

I just want everyone to know how much basic needs and other things that the ALKC provides touches the lives of children. These kind of things make a difference and give them hope for the future! Thank you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about this agency. They have come through for families time and time again. Assistance League of Kansas City provided 9 families that I am working with school supplies for the upcoming school year, without this support those children would have started school without the supplies that they need. This service allows the children to go to school with the same supplies as the other children and feel like part of the group. They also provided two sets of grandparents clothes for their grandchildren who they took in on an emergency basis with nothing other than what the children had on. In times of crisis when families do not know who to turn to they are there and they respond quickly so the family knows that they are not just another number. The Assistance League of Kansas City provided a family that was evicted from their home with little notice clothing vouchers so the children would have clothes for the upcoming school year, the children were so very excited to get to pick out clothes and it was an absolute blessing how quickly they received the vouchers. The agency went above and beyond with another family to provide a bed for a special needs youth. The community is definitely benefited by the work of this agency.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This dynamic organization fills unmet local needs efficiently and with impressive kindness. Over my 20 years as an elementary school counselor I've watched The Assistance League of Kansas City expand and improve their school clothing program (Operation School Bell) both in quality of clothing and in number of children served. A quick scan of their website will tell you that OSB is one of their many valuable services. What the site may not communicate is the impact their work has on vulnerable individuals. Imagine a kindergarten child who rarely speaks coming to school the morning after a trip to OSB sporting new clothes and stopping along the way to his classroom to poise and say, "Ta-dah!" Picture precious children dressing up in their best clothes for a much-awaited trip to select the only new clothes they will get. Along with the tangible gifts the students enjoy the excitement of "shopping" in what looks like a real store, not a thrift shop. Perhaps most impressive is the kindness and dignity the volunteers offer the students. For many of us who regularly shop in retail stores it is difficult to understand the impact OSB has on students. But it is not difficult to help make the experience happen.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for the Clay County Children's Division and I have had to contact the Assistance League for multiple reasons and I have always been helped 100% of the time. No matter what I have asked from them to help my families I have never been turned down. It is so nice when the families are so grateful for everything we do for them and I can only tell them that it was with the help from the Assistance League that made it all possible. Thank you so much for helping out when we need it. Its a tough job but a resource like this makes it all worth it!!! Thank you for everything you do!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm an elementary school counselor and have had the opportunity to take many of "my kids" shopping with the wonderful ladies that run our Assistance League or Operation School Bell as we call it. Today one of my older student reminded me why what they do is so powerful and has such deep meaning. My "little guy" came out of the shopping area, and stopped in the doorway and said "That was the best experience I've ever had!" This very private, proud "little" boy of 10 said this so honestly and with complete awe on his face, his eyes were shining with (I am pretty sure he had tears in his eyes) joy.

Another thing many of the children mentioned was that this was the first time most of them had ever had the opportunity to pick out their own clothes.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for the Children's Division in Clay County. Recently, Assistance League has really gone above and beyong to help the families I serve. This week, they provided a pack in play for a child that has medical diagnosis and did not have a bed to sleep in. This child will greatly benefit as she will have her own bed and place to sleep as oppose to sleeping with others.

AL was also able to provide glasses for a child that had broken his and the family could not afford new ones. This child is legal blind in one eye so this child will benefit academically as he can now read the board at school and better participate.

AL provided bedding and clothing for 3 children of a family I recently worked with that was previously homeless and had lost all their belongings. The children were over joyed that they were able to get new coats and clothes and it was heartwarming to watch. They mentioned it being "like Christmas."

AL will always find a way to reach out to a child in need. AL also makes special trips to community agencies to make them aware of their program and share the love they have in helping children. I feel honored and lucky to have such a great organization to work with.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work with teens and young adults in the Northland. The Assistance League has been a crucial resource for our youth over the years--the missing link that helps them with basics like clothing and birth certificates/IDs. The birth certificates & IDs have helped many youth in our programs get accepted into housing programs, get jobs, and get enrolled in school. The Assistance League has helped our youth obtain job interview clothes. Their flexibility has helped us meet unique needs that come up as well.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a case manager in a domestic violence shelter, I am able to request Assistance League vouchers to local clothing stores. This is a huge help to moms fleeing abuse who typically come to shelter with close to nothing but what they are wearing. School time clothes shopping is not an option for most moms in shelter. Being able to use Assistance League vouchers to take kids shopping for school clothes and shoes is a huge help to moms and puts smiles on kids faces.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Assistance League of KC provides our shelter with Celebration Bags- which are used for birthday celebrations, good bye gifts, and achievement parties. The toys and party supplies in these bags truly make a difference in the lives of the children we serve every day. These celebration bag donations assure that every child served by our shelter has a homemade cake, age appropriate gift, and fun decorations for their party. We are so thankful for the ongoing support of the Assistance League of KC!!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work for a shelter in the KC Northland and we recently partnered with the Assistance League Kansas City to provide teddy bears to the children we serve. Our shelter provides a safe place for children to go when they are in crisis. The children are often scared and have recently experience a traumatic event. We try to make the children feel more comfortable by having friendly bedrooms for them to stay in, with an Assistance League teddy bear placed next to their pillow. This may be the first object a child reaches for when they enter their new bedroom. We often see children holding their bears tightly, thankful to have something soft and comfortable to call their own.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Barry School participated in Operation School Bell yesterday and had a fabulous experience- you all have really gotten good at getting us in and out of there! I love the 2:1 ratio, this seems to really facilitate the process. And the volunteers were so good yesterday! We brought an autistic student and one of your volunteers was just wonderful with him. ALL of our students talked about how much fun they had and how they so love their new clothes!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so pleased with the assistance and generosity that the Child In Need program (a part of the Assistance League of Kansas City) provided to a nonverbal elementary student of mine. We had been researching how to fund the purchase of an iPad, case, and computer program that would assist this student who is unable to communicate verbally. What a blessing it was when we applied for and received all of these essential tools for this student. Hearing him speak through his iPad and be able to communicate his wants and needs is one of the greatest joys I've had in my professional career! Thank you for your quick response and your willingness to help others!!!!!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure and honor of working with the Assistance League of Kansas City for almost two years as a community partner. I am employed at Metropolitan Community College - Maple Woods as the Student Employment Coordinator. I was approached two years ago to participate in a pilot program to assist college students in need of a professional wardrobe, which is now named "The Best Foot Forward Program". The goal for the pilot was to serve up to 10 students the first year. After weeks of planning and training, we were able to serve six students in the first three months that the program started! The students served are now able present themselves in a professional manner. However, it is not just the clothing, but the advice, support and kindness that the students have received by the Personal Shoppers that makes this program so exceptional. I am so impressed with the women of the Assistance League of Kansas City! Their dedication and commitment to not only MCC-Maple Woods students, but to the entire Kansas City community is to be commended! They are an outstanding organization! Mary Lynn Munger, M.S. - MCC-Maple Woods

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at Metropolitan Organization To Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), the rape crisis center for the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. MOCSA staff we were talking about hospital advocacy with victims of sexual assault and the Assault Survivor Kits provided by the Assistance League of Kansas City came up in the conversation. It’s really difficult to convey to the Assistance League just how much those kits means to the victims we see at the hospital. Many times the victim comes in with nothing but the clothes on their back. And then even that is taken from them for evidence leaving them wondering what in the world they will wear when leaving the hospital. Sometimes it’s the first set of fresh clothes the victim has had in days. Some don’t own a toothbrush and they are so happy to brush their teeth. The Kits are really a tangible piece of evidence that someone cares about them. Thank you, Assistance League of Kansas City!

Tammy20

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dear Friends, I am a school social worker and I have had the privilege of working with the Assistance League for almost 10 years. They have truly gone above and beyond to help the economically disadvantaged children and families in the Kansas City area. They provide clothing (2-3 full outfits, socks & underwear, toiletries, coats, hats & gloves and shoe vouchers and free books. Not only have they helped elementary students, but based on our requests, they have started offering assistance to middle school students and also pre-K students. This has been extremely helpful as it seems needs increase even more as the students go onto to middle school. They have always been accommodating. We had several disabled children who needed assistance and we were not able to transport them to the AL, so AL brought the clothes to the students. It was awesome! Anytime I call them and ask for another spot or ask them to help another family, they are there for us! I have never been turned down when asking for assistance. In addition to clothing assistance, they provided a much needed fund to help pay for a variety of things including; prescription glasses, prescription medication, instrument rentals and/or other school fees that are often hard to fund for students. With several of our homeless students who don't have any money or support, the AL has been there to provide support and to also encourage positive things with the students and families. In one instance, we had a single mom who had lost her insurance. Her son required $500 in asthma medicine. The AL said to have the mom meet them at the pharmacy and they paid the entire cost. It was amazing and the mom and student were extremely grateful. In another situation, I had a graduating senior who could not afford her cap and gown, I asked and they paid for all it! An incoming kindergartner needed an epi pen at school and insurance would only pay for one, so I asked the AL if they could help and they said "Yes" with no hesitation. They do things like this everyday!! They see a need and they do everything they can to fill it and more. We are truly grateful for their wonderful and caring staff and for all of the outstanding volunteer work they do for our community! I hope that your agency will strongly consider awarding them a grant this year! They are truly "one of a kind"!! Sincerely, Tammy Slauson, LMSW, NKC Schools.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Assistance League of Kansas City has been very helpful in providing families with what they need. Working for the Children's Division I often see families that are in need of beds for the children, diapers, clothing, etc. The Assistance League has helped many families I have had on my case load. I had a family that the Assistance League helped get clothing vouchers for. The children stated that they had never owned new clothing. The clothing that they wore was either too big, too small or ripped. When this family was given the clothing vouchers they were extremely grateful and excited. I have had families where the children have never had a bed. The Assistance League has helped with this many times. The Assistance League has helped me, help people who truly need it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am employed with the Missouri Children's Division and have accessed resources through the Assistance League of Kansas City to assist local families in need. The Assistance League has assisted many at risk children and families in the area by providing resources such as clothing, diapers, and household supplies for children for those in need. One family that I referred to the Assistance League was a single mother who had left a very abusive relationship. Her paramour had not allowed her to take any clothes or personal items. She and her two small children left with the clothes on their backs. The Assistance League helped this family with clothing and even delivered a bed for the family so that they would not have to sleep on the floor. Our agency has utilized the services of the Assistance League on numerous occasions and they often "fill the gap" in areas where no other service has been able to assist. We are blessed to have this agency to help our local families.