Assistance League of Long Beach: 70 Years of Local Service

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Started in 1940, the Long Beach chapter is now the largest in the National Assistance League. recently spoke with Linda Drummond, Press & PR Chairman of Assistance League of Long Beach, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has the Assistance League been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

Assistance League of Long Beach is the largest chapter of National Assistance League.  The Long Beach chapter began in 1940 and we are currently celebrating our 70th anniversary.

Tell us about the Assistance League, your mission, the people you serve and your goals.

Assistance League of Long Beach is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to create a community of volunteers to identify and deliver philanthropic services. We have nine philanthropic programs. Our largest programs are Operation School Bell which provides free school uniforms to children in need, and our Orthodontic Center which provides low-cost orthodontic care to children in Long Beach.

How is the Assistance League of Long Beach different from similar nonprofits?

We provide unique services that are not duplicated by any other nonprofit in Long Beach.

How is Assistance League of Long Beach involved with the community?

Assistance League has 848 members who represent a cross-section of the Long Beach community. Our philanthropic programs are based on community needs.  We have close ties to LBUSD and many local businesses who are our corporate partners and provide financial assistance for our programs.

What are some of the biggest successes Assistance League of Long Beach has had?

In 2009-2010 we clothed 5,650 students in LBUSD.  We had 860 children in our orthodontic program.  The Kids on the Block puppet programs were seen by 5,900 people.  Five hundred children at Miller Children’s Hospital were recipents of our ALa Carte bedside craft program.  1700 middle school students had docent tours of the Howard Collection of Asian arts.  We provided 60 scholarships to LBCC and CSULB students.

What is the most rewarding part of running Assistance League of Long Beach?

We know that we have touched the lives of many children.

As a nonprofit organization, what challenges does the Assistance League face?

Our challenge is always to find ways to expand our services.

Does the Assistance League of Long Beach have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

  • Our Assisteen Auxiliary is having a fashion show on January 9 at the Art Theatre.
  • CAMEO Professional Auxiliary’s fashion show, Espiritu Espana, is February 26 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
  • We are having an open house on April 3, 2011, to celebrate our 70th anniversary, and the community is welcome to attend.
  • Our major fundraiser of the year is in November.

Visit our website for information about these events.

How can people get involved with Assistance League of Long Beach? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

We welcome new members.  We always appreciate donations of gently used clothing and household goods to our Thrift & Vintage Shop on 4th Street.

Assistance League of Long Beach Contact Information:

  • Address:  6220 E. Spring St
  • Phone Number:  562-627-5650

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