Summerlin resident Joanie McCarty didn’t plan to volunteer with the Assistance League of Las Vegas when she moved from Chicago, but her mother-in-law, a member, convinced her to take a tour because the organization focused on helping children.
“When I took the tour and saw the children, I almost fainted,” McCarty said. “I knew I had to be a part of this.”
The Assistance League of Las Vegas, 6446 W. Charleston Blvd., has been serving children through its community programs since 1976.
“We donated 44,000 hours last year in volunteer work,” said president Carroll Mueller. “We service about 50,000 children through our programs each year.”
According to Mueller, the organization’s Operation School Bell program provides children from kindergarten through eighth grade with clothing, school supplies, hygiene kits and books.
The children are selected by the Clark County School District and paired with a member from the organization to select the items they want.
“The shopping experience is as valuable as the items because a lot of times these children have never been able to select something to buy,” Mueller said. “The encouragement from the member helping them is also really valuable because these kids usually don’t have much one-on-one time with an adult.”
The Assistance League’s Closet program provides 44 schools with clothing for students in need.
“The schools determine what they need and can order a certain dollar amount from us,” Mueller said. “Once that allotment is reached, we have another program that provides gently-used gently used uniforms and like-new clothing.”
The Kids on the Block program teaches third-graders about bullying and disabilities using puppets.
“The skits are addressed through a child’s perspective so they can understand the information and see the importance,” Mueller said.
The organization recently implemented A Place Called Hope in five high schools throughout the valley. The program supports homeless teens attending Clark County schools.
“The program supports them academically and with any necessities they may need,” Mueller said. “We will be providing the things that Title I does not.”
The Assistance League also provides stuffed bears to first responders who encounter children experiencing trauma and layettes to expectant moms at University Medical Center.
“We want what we’re providing to be effective and to have an impact on the recipients,” Mueller said.
The organization works entirely through volunteerism and is funded by donors, grants and the organization’s thrift shop. The organization has about 400 members and many more community volunteers.
“Every person gives 200 percent of themselves here without getting a dime,” McCarty said. “Our satisfaction comes from the smiles on the kids we help.”
For more information or to volunteer or donate, visit allv.org or call 702-870-2002.
Contact Southwest/Spring Valley View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at email@example.com or 702-383-0403.