The goal of Assistance League is to assist the children and families of Hawaii to meet their needs through five philanthropic programs that produce measurable results.
1. What is Assistance League aiming to accomplish?
Assistance League of Hawaii believes that the standard and primary measure of this organization is to provide compassionate and caring services to individuals in the communities on these islands. Assistance League exists for the sole purpose of providing services to meet the compelling individual and community needs in Hawaii.
Supplying appropriate new school clothing to students, has impacted the lives of more than 18,000 school children in the 42 years of this chapter working in Hawaii.
Assistance League serves many other unmet needs in our community through our five philanthropic programs. It is projected that this outreach will continue to grow in the years ahead.
2. What are the strategies for making this happen?
Assistance League of Hawaii provides new school clothing to economically disadvantaged children. The goal of the program is to help raise the student's self-esteem and confidence to better focus on their purpose in the classroom. Studies show that appropriate school clothing can improve school attendance and increase classroom performance.
This is the only nonprofit clothing program to work directly with the schools to help meet the needs of students. Assistance League collaborates with local school personnel who determine which children in their school are most in need of our support, and we act upon their recommendations. We believe that success in education is vital to each child and to the future of Hawaii. More than three thousand children received new school clothing in Hawaii last term alone through this program.
Assistance League of Hawaii also provides tutors for children in our schools who need help with learning to read. Age-appropriate books are donated to our schools and to homeless shelters for families to encourage literacy. Our members are helping build a library within the Next Step homeless shelter for women and children.
Assistance League volunteers present a wildlife program to Grade 4 students in our schools to raise awareness that "extinction is forever". Over 4 thousand children and adults saw this program in the past year.
Assistance League also operates a flexible program that identifies children at risk or in trauma, women in distress, and new mothers in need. Each year the lives of nearly three thousand recipients in Hawaii are touched by this humanitarian outreach program.
3. What are our organization's capabilities for doing this?
Assistance League's diverse team is composed of retired school principals, business women, accounting professionals, classroom teachers, retail businesses owners, local service providers, police and fire departments, hospital emergency and maternity ward staff, elementary school counselors, healthcare professionals, investment bankers, and a wide range of professionals who bring many years of experience from a wide variety of roles to this organization.
A common vision is shared; to assist children and families with unmet needs in Hawaii.
The most pressing challenge is acquiring adequate funds to meet the demand. By raising awareness of the pressing needs, and of our volunteers willingness to work towards meeting them, we are striving for increasing financial support from the community.
4. How will we know if we're making progress?
Each year Assistance League is able to reach more children in our communities as our ability to raise funds improves. 82% of our funding is raised by our volunteer members operating a Thrift Shop on Young Street in Honolulu.
Last year we initiated a less labor-intensive way to deliver school clothing to many students, by bringing them to a retail store with a family member. Many more children can be served with this delivery system. In this setting, with the co-operation of the retailer, and the guidance of an Assistance League volunteer, the children are very excited to select their own shoes and clothing for school.For distant schools, our volunteer Assistance League members continue to shop, pack and deliver boxes of clothing to each school to be distributed to children in the Title I free and reduced price meal program.
5. What have and haven't we accomplished so far?
Assistance League has been able to service 5 or 6 thousand of the many more thousands of children who live below the poverty level and whose schooling is negatively affected by their family being unable to buy books for them, or clothe them appropriately for school.
Assistance League is excited about the increasing support from the community, through donations and grants. Members continue to work hard in our little Thrift Shop to raise as much money as possible to support our programs.
Assistance League has not been able to help many of the children and families in need, so we are searching for more grants and donors to help reach more of the impoverished on our islands.
Here are the words of one school councelor after the children in her care were provided with new shoes and clothing for school:
"When children don't have to worry about the clothes they are wearing, or what their peers are thinking about them, they can focus on the main reason why they are in school.
These students have beautiful hearts and they have a desire to do well.
You have truly blessed them all with this fantastic opportunity.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!"