Assistance League originated as an extension of the Red Cross Shops established during World War I. The Founder, Mrs. Hancock Banning, said she felt a duty “to act as a friend at any and all times to men, women and children in need of care, guidance and assistance.”
Since 1919, National Assistance League® has grown to more than 129 chapters across the country.
Assistance League Antelope Valley was chartered as the 25th chapter on January 29, 1959. The charter members, led by Mrs. Florence Aven as president, identified a need for childcare in this growing valley. The new chapter established a Day Nursery, which eventually grew to a Preschool Day Care Center that served as many as 72 children and their working or student parents.
In the 1960s, the local chapter began establishing events to raise funds for the organization’s community service programs and projects. Those events and their “descendants” carry on today, in the form of the annual Assistance League Antelope Valley golf tournament fundraiser, “Tee Off Fore Kids,” as well as the Designer Showcase Fashion Show and the Aven’s Fashion Show.
As the community’s needs have evolved and changed, so have the priorities of Assistance League Antelope Valley. The organization’s emphasis has shifted from providing day care to other programs that help local children and adults in need. Ongoing programs include: Operation School Bell, which works with local school districts to provide school supplies and clothing to children in need; the Assault Survivor Kit program, which helps the Antelope Valley Hospital Forensics Services Unit to meet the needs of assault victims and provide community awareness training; the Gift Giving Program, in which Assistance League Antelope Valley purchases gifts for children in foster care during the holidays; the Winter Coat Program, in which Assistance League Antelope Valley collects winter coats throughout the year and distributes them where they are most needed, whether it’s to a homeless shelter, the Forensics Services Unit or any other community group that would benefit from the program; the musical instruments and music book program for local schools; the infants to preschool-age children’s product program; and, a pilot scholarship program for junior high school students to go to summer camp.
Assistance League Antelope Valley also engages in one-time projects on an as-needed basis. When a community need arises unexpectedly, Assistance League Antelope Valley and its members mobilize to help those in need.
Assistance League Antelope Valley is proud of its members and their dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of Antelope Valley Families. If you would like to join us in these efforts, please contact us today for information on how to become a member.