Last Thursday, 30 members of NGA-Needlework Guild of America Hancock Park teamed up with the Anne Banning Auxiliary of the Assistance League of Los Angeles through Operation School Bell which provides school clothing, shoes and other items to help local children in need.
Over the last 7 years, NGA has provided over 10,000 pairs of shoes to Operation School Bell. But on this day, the women provided their manpower too. NGA worked behind the scenes to “prep” the shoes by discarding packing paper in the shoeboxes and tying up the laces so they are easy to try on, as well as assembling personal grooming kits containing toothbrush & toothpaste, hairbrush, soap, and shampoo.
The NGA volunteers also were given a tour of the Assistance League operation in Hollywood by Shelagh Callahan, Membership Chair for both NGA and Assistance League. Then, NGA members helped Assistance League volunteers assist students select their clothing, shoes, books, and toys. It was a great hands-on opportunity for NGA members to collaborate with one of the agencies they support and see the joy on the faces of the children as they preened in their new clothes.
NGA, with 82 members in the area, supports seven local charities to purchases new clothing, linens, and personal care items for those in need in our community. Assistance League is one of those charities. In addition, NGA partners with the Assistance League’s Operation School Bell program that annually helps over 5,000 impoverished LAUSD students from kindergarten thru 5th grade with new school clothing including uniforms, shoes, socks, underwear, and jackets, as well as backpacks, school supplies, grooming kits, books and toys.
The Anne Banning auxiliary of the Assistance League has 128 members, 13 of whom are also members of NGA and volunteer at both organizations, including NGA President Mary Jaworski, Anne Banning Chair Floran Fowkes and Assistance League President Andy Goodman. NGA also assists other Assistance Leagues affiliated agencies, such as Alexandria House, Imagine LA and Hollygrove, with arranging back-to-school uniforms thru Operation School Bell for the students they serve. NGA is proud to partner with these deserving organizations and for the synergies they have created among them.
NGA funds their purchases through their annual gala and this year’s “Crystal Ball” will be held on Friday, February 24, 2017 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood. Anne Banning raises some of their funds at their annual “A Spring Affaire” fashion show to be held at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills on Saturday May 13, 2017.
By all accounts, the event was a huge success for the children and the volunteers who got to see how much their efforts matter to the kids. Several NGA volunteers from last week expressed interest in coming back Operation School Bell to work a full shift and possibly join. Anyone interested in learning more about NGA or Assistance League and Operation School Bell membership or their annual fundraisers may contact Shelagh at Shelaghray@yahoo.com.