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.
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.
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!
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.
Assistance League of the Bay Area is a wonderful organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and the elderly in the bay area. We are member driven, as our members both raise the funds for and deliver the services of our philanthropic programs. Our programs include: a partnership with Communities in Schools Bay Area (one of the things we do through this partnership is help pay for vision exams/glasses for students); scholarships to economically challenged students in local school districts to attend summer enrichment programs at the University of Houston - Clear Lake (we also provide volunteer assistance in the classroom for this program); manicures and compainionship for elderly residents at a local nursing home; prom attire for seniors identified by their schools as needing assistance to be able to attend their prom (for the girls - gowns, jewelry, purses and shoes and for the boys - tuxedo rentals) through our Operation Cinderella program; interview outfits to individuals reentering the workforce through referrals from the United Way; and last but by no means least we have Operation School Bell where we chothe children identified by their schools has having a need - each elementary student receives pants, tops, underware, a hygeine kit, and a voucher for shoes & each secondary student receives a hygeine kit, shoe voucher, and clothing based upon the individual needs for school appropriate attire. It is an organization for which I am proud to be affiliated.
Assistance League of the Bay Area is a vital organization in our community. We are honored to be able to provide services to the at-risk populations in our area. We are so pleased to be named Clear Creek Independent School District's Community Partner of the Year. When you see the face of a child receiving his own toothbrush for the first time, you can't help but be moved. We witness mothers and their and high school senior girls embracing and crying tears of joy after receiving a prom dress, shoes, jewelry and all of the other accoutremets that enable the daughter to experience prom.