News from Assistance League of Indianapolis
Smiling faces and happy laughter were seen and heard as Assistance League® of Indianapolis philanthropic program, Shoes: A Division of Operation School Bell, provided 1,568 new pairs of athletic shoes to qualifying students from Indianapolis Public Schools and Wayne Township during its second semester sessions.
During designated days in the last week of January and first week of February, children screened and identified by social workers from the participating schools traveled by bus to be measured and outfitted with new shoes and two pairs of athletic socks. Chairman Tish McFarren and Vice Chairman Cathy Weimer directed the well-organized operation with skill and a sense of humor.
Assistance League of Indianapolis purchases new athletic shoes at a discounted price from local store retailer Shoe Carnival. When students arrive, Shoe Carnival personnel measure their feet, and then make sure they choose a shoe style that fits correctly. The process is facilitated by Assistance League member volunteers who guide the children to each “station” and keep the process moving along smoothly.
Social workers attending with the children were also given a bag of warm and cozy caps to be distributed upon returning to their schools. The hats were donated by Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Blake Bolden; Executive Director, Casey Collins; Community Outreach Manager, and Camille Estes; Participant Relations Manager paid a visit and saw firsthand the appreciation the students and school personnel had for their gift of caps.
Another welcome visitor was Rhoderick Wheeler from the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Community partnerships forged with organizations such as this lead to increased ideas and resources that help Assistance League continue its mission commitment of caring to underserved adults and children in the Indianapolis community.
When the students were boarding their buses with their new shoes and socks, large smiles were everywhere. Surveys from parents and social workers have conveyed that the gift of a new pair of shoes is a help to struggling families. One social worker shared that a mother had called her to let her know that her children were so excited to get their new shoes, they slept in them all night.
The number of students served by this program over both semesters totaled 2,742, and the need continues to grow. For a gift of just $25 dollars, you can provide a child with a new pair of athletic shoes, two pairs of socks, and a grin of happiness.
To Donate to Shoes: A Division of Operation School Bell, Click HERE
ALI Friends, a philanthropic program of Assistance League of Indianapolis, responded to a need voiced by the caregivers at the facilities they serve: Joy’s House, a not-for-profit adult day care center and North Capitol Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The individuals who work daily with the guests were in need of bags that could be filled with necessary supplies but were also portable and could be taken along in a car. Chairman Annette Donegan and other committee workers stepped up to provide “Hang Around Bags” as the annual holiday gift from ALI Friends. They can be snapped onto chairs, wheelchairs, walkers, bed rails and on the back of a car head rest. At the Joy’s House location, the canvas bags with Assistance League logos were filled with Kleenex, granola bars, hand sanitizer, bottled water, and a flashlight.
ALI Friends organize activities for guests at Joy’s House and residents at North Capitol Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Playing bingo, seasonal parties, and healthy snacks are enjoyed by the participants at both facilities. At Joy’s House, birthdays are celebrated and care is given to provide personalized gifts to the guests to commemorate their special day. Along with providing opportunities for socialization and companionship, ALI Friends strive to supply special things that provide comfort and enhance the environment at each facility.
Funding for ALI Friends is provided by foundations, corporations, and individuals. A gift of just $25 can brighten an entire year for a senior or disabled adult who attends the ALI Friends activities.
Click HERE to donate to ALI Friends