By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Other | Issue: April 2009
Support the Assistance League of Tulsa and find some great deals at Bargains Resale Shop. Pictured: (L to R) Karen Potts, Shirley Schelper, Dorey Effron, Marty Robertson, Carole Hale, Nan Clark, Nancy Kirby, Jeanne Parnell, Mary Dotson, Jan Fox, Jean Hunter, Martha Nichols and Janet Main.
The Assistance League of Tulsa is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that works to help the community through philanthropic programs. Their mission is to “improve the quality of life for Tulsans in greatest need.” Through its programs, the Assistance League of Tulsa helps to clothe schoolchildren, support children waiting for foster care, care for the community’s infants, and provide support to the elderly.
The first chapter of the Assistance League was founded in southern California in 1919 by Anne Hancock Banning – it grew out of the Red Cross shops that operated during World War I. The Assistance League was officially organized in 1935, and today, there are over 115 chapters with 24,000 members throughout the United States. The Assistance League of Tulsa began in 1967.
One of the Assistance League of Tulsa’s biggest programs is Operation School Bell, which they’ve been doing for 30 years. With this program, needy schoolchildren are given new clothes and other essentials. Last year through Operation School Bell, the Assistance League of Tulsa provided new clothes, coats, shoes, books, and hygiene kits to over 1,700 children and new uniform shirts to more than 7,000 students in Tulsa Public Schools. “All the clothes are new. We buy them in lots,” says Janet Main, vice president of publicity for the Assistance League of Tulsa. “The students are selected by the school counselors based on need, and we distribute the clothing from August through December.”
The Assistance League of Tulsa also operates Bargains Resale Shop, where you can find great deals on good-quality used merchandise. “We have men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, purses, boutique items, electronics, books, and decorative items. We have a lot of name brands. We even have wedding dresses,” says Main. “It’s just a great place to stretch your dollar and add value to your life, all for a good cause. And we put the size of the garment and the price on the tag – not every store does that.”
Janet Main, vice president of publicity for the Assistance League of Tulsa, says that Operation School Bell provides new clothes, coats, shoes, books and hygiene kits to thousands of needy students in the area.
Nothing donated to Bargains is wasted – unsalable items are passed along to the John 3:16 Mission. Bargains Resale Shop accepts Visa, MasterCard, checks and cash. Donations are tax deductible and can be made at the west side door Monday through Saturday.
The Assistance League of Tulsa offers public speakers to any organization, business or church interested in more information on the League and how people can get involved and make a positive difference in people’s lives. “We have six ladies trained as public speakers, and we have a video narrated by Carole Lambert,” says Main. “It’s all very well done.”
Additionally, the Assistance League of Tulsa supports many other programs and organizations, including Lakeside Residential Center, the Laura Dester Shelter, Emergency Infant Services, the Betty Bradstreet Endowment Fund, and ongoing programs for the elderly.
The Assistance League of Tulsa is actively looking for new members who will donate their time in various areas. The League currently has over 200 members in all categories.
Contact the Assistance League of Tulsa for more information on scheduling a public speaker, volunteering, becoming a member, or donating. Bargains Resale Shop, located at 3408 E. 11th St., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can visit the Assistance League on the web at www.assistanceleague.org.