News from Assistance League of Indianapolis
Assistance League of Indianapolis has been selected as an Indiana Philanthropy Awards winner of the 2016 Outstanding Civic Organization. The Indiana Philanthropy Awards are presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter and recognize outstanding philanthropic efforts from around the state by selected individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations. To learn more about this award program please visit www.afpindiana.afpnet.org
“This is a wonderful honor for Assistance League of Indianapolis and highlights the dedication of our volunteers to making a difference in our community. Our hope is that this recognition will raise the awareness of the public toward our philanthropic programs and fundraising events to help bring about an even greater impact.”
The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter will host a dinner and awards presentation on November 17, 2016 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The event is sponsored by Blackbaud. For additional information please contact Sara Nash at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Indiana Chapter.
Assistance League of Indianapolis is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization committed to serving the needs of children and adults through ongoing philanthropic programs developed and managed by its members. Their successful philanthropic programs include Operation School Bell®, ALI Bears, ALI Friends and Assault Survivor Kits®. To learn more about Assistance League of Indianapolis or to become involved with this organization please visit www.ALindy.org
The Association of Fundraising Professionals, which started in 1960, has been working to advance ethical and effective fundraising and support charities around the world that provide critical services to their communities. The Indiana Chapter started in 1978 and serves as a guide for best practices, mentorships and professional development.
For additional information please contact Assistance League of Indianapolis, at 317.872.1010 or at www.ALindy.org or Sara Nash, Chapter Administrator for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter at 317-824-0940 or email@example.com
.Assistance League of Indianapolis was honored to accept a grant award in the amount of $10,000 from The Indianapolis Rotary Foundation to help support Operation School Bell.
Rotary of Indianapolis has been a longtime supporter of Assistance League and we look forward to continuing our community relationship.
Lena Kolesnikova and Nate Wooten of Hunt Construction Group An AECOM
Company (Hunt) presented a $9,884 check from the Brees Dream Foundation to Kathy Kerr Wylam and Cindee Potterack, Assistance League® of Indianapolis members. The contribution was made through the participation of Hunt in the Corporate Partner Program and the Super Service Challenge.
The Corporate Partner Program is an extension of the Super Service Challenge
(SSC) that is solely focused on seeing business transformed through service.
Through the program, companies engage with the SSC in a unique way to more
fully impact their employees and community, while receiving a matching
donation for the nonprofits they serve.
Every participant is provided, free of charge, the resources to run and
promote the SSC within their company, including marketing materials, and a
dedicated resource for the planning, execution, and reporting of the
Challenge. Companies are encouraged to allocate funding for causes their
employees care about and to empower employees to come together as a team and
serve the nonprofits that are important to them. The Super Service
Challenge, founded in 2011, is a nationwide movement to transform business
through service. Driven by the idea that a company grows stronger when
employees join together to serve causes they care about, the Challenge
promotes service in the workplace by encouraging companies to donate their
time, share stories of service, and win funding for nonprofits in their
We at Assistance League of Indianapolis, greatly appreciate the
support of Hunt. Hunt has contributed nearly $150,000 to support our
philanthropic programs. The partnership between Hunt and Assistance League
is a relationship of mutual respect with shared goals. It is wonderful
example of how a large a company and a nonprofit organization can partner in
their efforts to help economically and socially disadvantaged of our community.
The yearly Hunt Construction Group, Inc. 7th Annual Charity Golf Outing to
benefit Assistance League, will take place on Thursday, September 8, 2016.
Please click here for an event brochure.
Attendees took a whimsical journey without leaving town during Assistance League® of Indianapolis’ 2016 Star Gala, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Held April 16th, at the beautiful JW Marriott in Indianapolis, the evening was packed with fun for all participants. Besides being the organization’s largest fundraiser, this yearly event is also an occasion to honor and celebrate the school systems, businesses, foundations and trusts that support Assistance League.
This year, One America Financial Partners, Inc. was the recipient of the Star Gala Award. When presenting the honor, Grant Chairman Carol Valentine voiced the organization’s appreciation of the financial support the company has given Assistance League since 2005.The honor was accepted by Scott Davison, CEO.
Other notables at the event were: Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and his wife Dr. Edye Ferebee; Ramona Adams, Rotary Foundation Indianapolis; Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Assistant to the Superintendent, Warren Township; David Hillman, Program Director, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; and Dorothea Genetos, Director, Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation, Inc. Advisory Council member Kathleen Hart, an Indianapolis attorney, was also present as were several representatives from Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company.
Guests began to enjoy the party as soon as they entered the Grand Ballroom. After picking up nametags at the registration table, guests began bidding on the varied silent auction items such as sports memorabilia, local attraction packages, and even super items such as use of a villa in Provence France. While they monitored the status of their bids, attendees enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, wine donated by Monarch Beverage Company, and the evening’s signature drink “Up, Up, and Away”. Available for purchase were 50/50 and Gift Card Tower raffle tickets. In addition, participants could try their luck at the wine pull and get a complimentary photo taken in the facade of a hot air balloon.
As guests sat down to dinner, they were charmed by the beautifully decorated room and the colorful images on two huge television screens. Assistance League President Patricia Johnson welcomed everyone by speaking about Assistance League’s mission and informing attendees that 90 cents of every dollar the organization spends is returned to the community through one of its four philanthropic programs. She specified, “Donations from the Star Gala make such an impact by providing children with clothes that they need to attend school, give a grieving or sick child or adult a teddy bear to hug, by letting assault victims know someone cares by providing for them new warm clothing and by offering friendship to a lonely adult. Attendees presence and participation in the evening’s various activities help to generate funds needed to continue our efforts to help those in need in our community.”
Next, event Co-Chairmen Sharon Gleason and Dorian Poole introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, local media personality Marianne Lyles from CBS affiliate Channel 4 morning news. Dr. Frank Beard, Senior Pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church, led the invocation. Following dinner, Jane Vawter presented the Fund-A-Cause video which explains the philanthropic programs of Assistance League and the positive impact they have on the community. A lively action followed as auctioneer Michael Mensendiek skillfully led the live bidding on items ranging from: vacation packages in Phoenix and Hilton Head; Dinner for eight made by Chef Tony Hanslits; to sports offerings such as a signed Andrew Luck Jersey and Lucas Oil Stadium suite tickets.
The evening concluded with music from violinist Colin Matthews. As guests left, they knew that besides attending a wonderful party, they also enabled Assistance League of Indianapolis to continue its mission of caring and commitment to the Indianapolis community through the organization’s philanthropic programs.
The wonderful event would not have been possible without the hard work of event Co-chairmen Sharon Gleason and Dorian Poole together with their sub-committee chairmen: Cashier/Check out, Mary Reid; Check-In, Leslie Pascoe; Decorations, Rose Conrad; Donor Acknowledgement, Nancy Bennett; Games, Karen Snider; Invitations/Program, Kathy Detzler; Live Auction, Barb Hammer; Photography, Annette Suggs; PR, Jane Edington, Jane Vawter, and Joanne Wallis; Qtego, Beth Lammers; Reservations, Andrea Arbore and Linda Buckner; Set-up / Tear Down, Rosy Crowley; Silent Auction, Laura Williams; Solicitations, Cindy Potterack and Kathy Wylam; and Treasurer, Ellen Bernstein.
Click HERE to view photos of the event.
Wishes really do come true! The money raised at the December 3, 2015 Holiday Luncheon & Style Show, “Wondrous Winter Wishes” will enable Assistance League® of Indianapolis to continue their mission of caring and commitment to Indianapolis area children and adults. The generosity of attendees at the event will have far reaching effects whether the funds go towards an ALI Bear given to a child suffering from trauma; a birthday present received by a senior citizen from ALI Friends; Assault Survivor Kit® clothing accepted by a crime victim; new school clothes selected from Operation School Bell® as well as handed out from Beyond the Bell; or athletic shoes placed on a student’s feet at Shoes: a Division of Operation School Bell®.
The event, held at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, was an occasion filled with fun and friendship as 530 members and guests enjoyed the beautifully decorated room while partaking in several fun activities. Participants placed bids on the silent auction’s offerings of festive gift baskets with contents ranging from children’s items to college logo objects, holiday baked goods, gift cards, and even premium bottles of wine in lovely seasonal bags. There was also a “Wine Pull” where a random cork purchased from a basket was matched up with a mystery wine to take home. Raffle tickets were available for a sparkling tree decorated with over $500 worth of local area business and restaurant gift cards which were donated by Service Plus Heating and Cooling in Carmel. The Secret Ingredient Boutique Indianapolis and Kits & Kaboodle Classic Toys Carmel set up mini stores which allowed for some merry holiday shopping for clothing, accessories, games, and toys. Both the Assistance League cookbook, Assistance in the Kitchen, and the gorgeous white poinsettia plants which decorated the room were for sale as well.
As the luncheon began, Holiday Luncheon Chairmen Jo Craig and Jane Williams extended a warm welcome to all. Representatives from businesses and charitable foundations that support Assistance League were recognized by Patty Johnson, President. In attendance were Danielle Biederman, Susan Bonner, Kendra Fauth-Edwards, Jill Hudson, and Kelly Jones from CarDon & Associates, the premier community sponsor of the event. Also on hand were Pam McNealy and Amber Pirtle from Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company as well as Jill Hall from Repro Graphix, Inc. who donated signage for the event. Other valuable community partners present were: Beth Casselman, Mary Ellen Moore, Erin Trisler, and Estherre Wohlenhaus from The Clowes Fund; Dorothea Genetos and Kathy Jenkins of the Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation; Pat Alvis and Marjorie Wilkerson from Margaret Cole Russell Foundation; and Jacquie Winters from Sertoma Club of Broad Ripple. Advisory Council members Billie Breaux, Kathleen Hart, and Kelly Young were also present.
Carol Valentine, Chairman of Grants, announced two recent grants awarded to Assistance League. Ramona Banks and Kelly Tingle from the Indianapolis Rotary Foundation announced that Assistance League has been awarded a $10,000 grant. David Hillman, Lee Ann Hoy, and Jeff Small from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust presented Assistance League with a $20,000 check.
During the Fund-a-Cause presentation, a recently updated video highlighting Assistance League’s outreach to the Indianapolis community was introduced by Patty McGoff, Vice President Philanthropic Programs. She explained how grateful the organization is for the many caring individuals who continue to support these needed programs. In addition, she described the gratitude expressed by the agencies Assistance League aids.
The Secret Ingredient fashion show delighted members and their guests as they viewed models from the agencies, senior facilities, and schools that Assistance League serves through its philanthropic programs. Representing ALI Bears was Jill Pierce, Volunteer Coordinator of Brooke’s Place. Marketing Manager Joanna Low and Caregiver Program Manager, Candace Preston, both of Joy’s House, modeled on behalf of ALI Friends. Involved with both Assault Survivor Kits and ALI Bears were Holly Renz, Program Director of Madison County Sexual Assault Treatment Center and Kelsie Scaringe from IU Health Methodist Hospital, Center of Hope. Models who are involved with Operation School Bell were: Abigail Borders, Parent Involvement Educator in IPS; Angela Johnson, Parent Involvement Educator in IPS; Tracy Pruitt, Coordinator of Support Services for IPS; and Janie Smith, Dean of Students for Lakeside Elementary in the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township.
The Holiday Luncheon Steering Committee built a joy filled bond of camaraderie while planning the event. The committee was comprised of: Jo Craig and Jane Williams, Chairmen; Jane Edington, Decorations; Nancy Bennett and Margie Graham, Silent Auction; Ellen Bernstein and Karen Marie Taylor, Auction Tally; Kathy Detzler, Invitations; Sandy Speer, Models; Julie Yates, Publicity; Judy Tomke, Reservations; Nancy Farris, Programs; Patty McGoff, Fund-a-Cause; Barb Zurek, Gift Card Raffle Tree; and Susan Kwiatkowski, Vice President Resource Development. Although this fundraiser is over for another year, all who attended can know that they have played a part in helping Assistance League continue their spirit of caring and commitment in the Indianapolis community.
Assistance League® of Indianapolis was honored to be the designated charity to receive the funds raised from the Annual Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company, Charity Golf Outing held on September 10, 2015 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Nearly 200 golfers enjoyed playing on the beautiful course under sunny skies, but golf was not the only opportunity for participants to have fun. The event committee made sure there were plenty of amusements and games to entertain everyone throughout the day. Pam McNealy, Amber Pritle, Paul Wojciechowski, Lena Kolesnikova, and Breta Koester of Hunt gave help and support throughout the many weeks of planning that made the event such a success.
Bill Morthland, Executive Vice President, Division Manager from Hunt, presented Assistance League with a check for $26,036. The total amount raised from the golf event was approximately, $29,000. Patty Johnson, President, accepted the check and thanked Hunt for their generous support and recognized all the golfers for coming out to participate.
Plenty of friendly competition contributed to the high spirits of the golfers as they took part in the varied activities throughout the day. The Marshmallow Mash tested swing skills as participants hit a jumbo marshmallow to see who could drive it the furthest. Drop in the Bucket required golfers to chip a golf ball into buckets that were eight, ten and twelve feet in distance. Golfers that managed to drop balls in buckets won raffle tickets. Shouts of glee were heard from Tipsy Toss contestants as they attempted to lob five rings over their favorite bottles of liquor.
Golfers started the day with bagels donated from College Park Einstein Bagels, muffins made by Assistance League members, and coffee donated from Hubbard and Cravens. Thanks to Granite City, who for the second year, offered golfers a refreshing libation on the Sycamore course. On the Pines course, Hoosier Momma continued their several year tradition of generously donating products so the golfers could partake in a Bloody Mary. Elliott Elger from Woodland Country Club and Scott Rockwell from Eagle Creek Golf Club, were available to hit drives for the golfing groups. The Blend Cigar van joined in the festivities with cigars for golfers. Earth & Turf LLC generously supplied a live five foot Prince Albert fir which was made into a gift card tree containing 18 local businesses’ gift cards with a combined value of $635. Raffle tickets for the gift card tree as well as the over 100 Birdie Raffle and five Eagle Raffle prizes were available from the start of the day.
Golfers who partook in the raffles were enticed by fabulous prizes. The total value of the Birdie Raffle prizes was more $13,000 and included: a “Chef’s Tasting for Two” at The Oceanaire Seafood Room valued at $250; a one night stay at the JW Marriott valued at $300; a foursome at Hillcrest Country Club valued at $400; two tickets to the Colts vs. Jaguars game valued at $560; and a variety of restaurant dining cards. The total value of the Eagle Raffle prizes was $3,310.00 and included: an Andrew Luck autographed football valued at $550.00; a one night stay, valet parking and breakfast for two gift card to Capital Grill valued at $694; a one night stay for two at French Lick Springs Hotel, one round of golf for two at Donald Ross Course, and breakfast for two at the Colonnade Restaurant, and a $50 Speedway Gas card valued at $600; two suite tickets to the Sunday, November 8th Indianapolis Colts game against Denver values at $750; and four tickets in the Penthouse Paddock for the 2016 Indianapolis 500 with a $100 Marsh gift card valued at $536.
At the awards ceremony and after party the fun continued. The Pacers Fan Van was present and golfers were able to play games to win fantastic Pacers prizes. Bill Mullen was recognized for sinking the first Hole-in-One since the event began. Golf team standings were announced. First place on the Sycamore Course were, with a score of 58, the Ermco Electrical Contractors team comprised of David Peterson, Bryan Moll, and Andrew Gerdom. The Patterson Dental team of Patrick Crowley, Jon Chapple, Rob Meeks, and Mike Kemper were the first place winners on the Pines Course. Second place winners with a score of 55 on the Sycamore Course was the Bright Sheet Metal team of Jim Meyers, Nathan Long, and Bob Heinzelman. On the Pines Course, the second place team earned a score of 60 and consisted of Gordon Diehl, Ed Pascoe, John Hodges, and Donn Detzler.
Assistance League was proud to have two teams participating this year, both teams coming home with the honor of last place on each course. The teams consisted of Rose Conrad, Laura Sanfrey, Marsha Orlando, Anne Burley, Linda Buckner, Norma Hodges, Nancy Bennett, and Sarah Copeland.
The funds raised from this wonderful event will benefit Assistance League’s largest program, Operation School Bell ®, .as well as its other philanthropic programs: ALI Bears, ALI Friends, and Assault Survivor Kits®. The day would not be possible without the support of Eagle Creek Golf Club General Manager Matt Parrott and his staff who worked diligently with the Assistance League’s committee of: Kathy Kerr Wylam, Chairman and Cindee Potterack, Assistant Chairman; Susan Kwiatkowski, Vice President Resource Development; Barbara Zurek and Sandy Speer, Breakfast Specialists; Judy Powell, Member Golf Team; Laura Ellis, Vicki Drake, and Susie Main, Golf Games; Jane Vawter and Lynne Hurlbut, Volunteers; Pat Deyhle, Special Tables; Carol Gambrel, Karen Snider, Lesley Pascoe, and Barb Diehl, Raffle Items; Jane Edington, Public Relations; and Andrea Arbore, PayPal.
Over fifty volunteers from Assistance League and Hunt Construction came out to work the entire day. Likewise, an event such as this would not be possible without all the sponsors and in-kind donors who generously contributed.
Assistance League of Indianapolis is extremely grateful for Hunt Construction Group’s generosity in designating the proceeds from this event to benefit the philanthropic programs of the organization..
Guests began to enjoy the party as soon as they entered the beautiful grounds. After picking up nametags at the registration table, which for ladies were on a string of faux pearls, they had the option of having their photo taken by Michael Camp Photography. Then, while bidding on the varied silent auction items, such as sports memorabilia and local attraction packages, and strolling the beautiful grounds of the estate, attendees enjoyed complimentary wine and beer along with passed hors d’oeuvres. As music by Cole Porter played, two signature cocktails were offered for sale as well: Side Car and Death in the Afternoon. In addition, participants could purchase tickets to try their luck at the 50/50 Raffle, Putt for a Prize, and the Wine Toss.
A fabulous venue and a wonderful theme, plus the dedication of five co-chairmen, all contributed to making Assistance League® of Indianapolis’ 2015 Star Gala, “Anything Goes,” the perfect party. Held at the lovely Lucas Estate in Carmel, the theme, “Anything Goes” celebrated the time and the music of Indiana’s own Cole Porter. During the 1920’s to the 40’s Porter wrote the music and lyrics for many popular songs. Many guests embraced this theme by enthusiastically dressing up in garb that reflected the era.
As guests sat down to dinner, they were welcomed by the Star Gala Co-Chairmen: Deb Myers, Connie Pollom, Debbie Yuska, Jane Vawter, and Barb Zurek. Kara Kenny, award winning investigative reporter for WRTV Channel Six, was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening. She introduced Gloria Slama, President of Assistance League of Indianapolis, who then invited the Mayor of Indianapolis, the Honorable Greg Ballard, to speak. As guests enjoyed dessert, Shannon Forsell, the Artistic Director and the CEO of The Cabaret at the Columbia Club sang a “teaser” song of her performance which came later in the evening.
In addition to Mayor Ballard and his wife, Winnie, several other special guests were at the Star Gala. Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and his wife Dr. Edye Ferebee also attended. Other notables at the event were: Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Assistant to the Superintendent, Warren Township; David Hillman, Program Director, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; Dorothea Genetos, Director, Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation, Inc.; and Elizabeth Casselman, Executive Director, The Clowes Fund. Two of Assistance League of Indianapolis Advisory Council members, Kathleen Hart and Billie Breaux were also in attendance
During the proceedings, Margaret Cole Russell and the MCR Charitable Foundation, Inc. was honored with The National Operation School Bell® Award. Margaret Cole Russell, President, accepted the award which was created by National Assistance League at the request of the Indianapolis Chapter to recognize individuals and organizations that have given above and beyond to support the Operation School Bell® Program. The MCR Foundation was celebrated for covering the cost of duffel bags for the last 12 years. The more than 34,000 children served by the program since then carry their new clothing and supplies home in these sturdy, colorful bags. This is only the second time the chapter has given this award; the first was in 2001 to honor the Indianapolis Public Schools.
As the evening progressed, guests had other opportunities to support Assistance League of Indianapolis while still having fun. President-Elect, Patricia Johnson, introduced a video which featured the four philanthropic programs of Assistance League of Indianapolis: Operation School Bell®, Assault Survivor Kits®, ALI Friends, and ALI Bears, and explained how guests could donate through Fund-a-Cause. Mike Mensendiek, energetically led the Live Auction and attendees bid on vacation and entertainment packages of: BMW Golf Championship, Demo & Dinner for Eight Prepared by Chef Tony Hanslits, Signed Andrew Luck Jersey, Wickwood Inn Bed and Breakfast in Saugatuck Michigan, Apartment for Two in Southern France, Colts Football in a Suite at Lucas Oil Stadium, Hilton Head South Carolina Vacation, and A Week in Sunny Mexico.
The five Co-Chairman led and directed several Star Gala Committee members in planning for the event which raises an average of $90,000 to $100,000 each year: Andrea Arbore & Judy Tomke, Reservations; Nancy Bennett, Tear Down; Karen Brantingham & Pam Smith; Transportation and Set-Up, Adele Carr, Qtego; Rosy Crowley, Silent Auction; Kathy Detzler, Invitations and Programs; Vicki Drake & Sharon Gleason, Data Entry; Jane Edington, Decorations; Carol Gambrel, Gala Treasurer ; Margie Graham & Lynne Hurlbut, Event Volunteers; Margaret Lawrence, Check-in; Cindee Potterack, Live Auction; Linda Ranger, Games; Mary Reid, Treasurer; Carol Valentine, Thank You Correspondence; Kathy Kerr Wylam, Silent Auction, Qtego and Sponsors; and Julie Yates, Public Relations.
The evening concluded with music from Shannon Forsell and pianist Ray Lahrman. As guests left, they knew that besides attending a wonderful party, they also enabled Assistance League of Indianapolis to continue its mission of caring and commitment to the Indianapolis community through the organization’s philanthropic programs.
To View Photos from the 2015 Star Gala, "Anything Goes" Click Here
Included are some photos from Michael Camp Photography, Seppala Photography, and shots from Assistance League.
On March 10, President-Elect Patricia Johnson and Grants Chairman Carol Valentine were honored to represent Assistance League® of Indianapolis at the third award reception for grant recipients of the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. The foundation was established by Indiana First Lady Karen Pence as a way to recognize organizations and charities across the state.
Held at the Governor’s residence, the reception was hosted by Mrs. Pence who said, ““When Mike was elected Governor, I was overwhelmed with requests from so many worthy organizations to get involved in their efforts. However, it quickly became clear that I couldn’t be at every event nor could I champion every cause. That is why I, along with a team of dedicated board members, started the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation as a way to shine a light on the organizations across Indiana who lift up our communities and make our state strong,”
During the ceremony, a total of $30,500 was awarded to 35 organizations and charities that serve Hoosier families and children across the state. Each recipient honored was presented with a check ranging from $500 to $1,000. The First Lady said this about Assistance League, “The Assistance League of Indianapolis is one of those organizations that is doing great work for our Hoosier children and families, and it is an honor to recognize them today.”
Carol Valentine stated, “We were in the company of groups from all over the state whose work on behalf of the underserved was being recognized. We are honored that Mrs. Pence and the Board of Directors of the Indiana First Lady's Charitable Foundation chose to support Operation School Bell.”
Operation School Bell®, the largest of Assistance League of Indianapolis’ philanthropic programs, has provided new school clothes and supplies to qualifying children in the Indianapolis area for 31 consecutive years. During the 2014-15 season 3,375 students from the Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence, Pike, Washington, and Warren as well as Indianapolis Public Schools visited the School Bell shop.
Assistance League is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that is committed to serve the needs of children and adults through ongoing philanthropic programs developed and managed by its members. The organization is funded through private and corporate donations, grants, and fundraising activities. Grants received, such as the one from Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation, allow Assistance League to continue its mission.
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
Assistance League of Indianapolis