Assistance League Celebrates 55 years

Assistance League of Greater Portland is celebrating its 55 Anniversary. The Assistance Guild of Portland became a fully qualified chapter of the National Assistance League, Monday, Jan. 18, 1965. The Portland group, organized in 1961, worked for full chapter status through adoption of the Creston Dental Clinic for disadvantaged children as its major project. The Assistance League of Portland was the 33rd chapter in the national chain and the second in Oregon.  Today there are 120 chapters across the U.S. Funding for the dental program came from a Thrift Shop at 629 NW 23 Ave., Portland. Selling donated clothing and housewares. At that time the chapter had approximately 70 member volunteers.

Today Assistance League of Greater Portland is located at 4000 SW 117th Avenue, Beaverton with a Thrift and Consignment Shop with 175 volunteer members. The funds generated from the shop support Operation School Bell which cloths approximately 4,000 students annually with new clothes in Beaverton, Hillsboro schools and Portland Public School Clothes Closet.   Currently Beaverton and Hillsboro students are shopping for new clothes at Fred Meyer. They are able to purchase $135 of school related clothing. 

Here is what a local school counselor said:  “Parents really appreciate the program. To families of poverty, the monetary savings to them is significant. It gives them security knowing they can take care of their children’s needs. For older students, they now feel like they fit in. They can have clothes like the other students.”

A mother said: “My family has experienced homelessness for a long time and last year finally had a place to call home. It was a blessing to have my kids chosen for this program. It made them feel special. They told me, ‘Now with my new clothes, I won’t be picked on in school.’ I cried happy tears. You guys made my kids feel good inside. Thank you.”

Assistance League of Greater Portland is an all-volunteer organization so all funds generated stay local and fund additional philanthropic programs which transform lives and strengthen our community:

  • Victims of assault are given dignity with clothing and personal need items through

Assault Survivor Kits® given out at seventeen area hospitals and clinics.

  • Scholarships are awarded to local students pursuing careers in trade programs at

Portland Community College, giving them the skills to earn a livable wage.

  • Member volunteers support the recovery of teen boys in residential treatment run by

Janus Youth Program.

This month’s Coffee Connection, Friday, January 31, will be held at Assistance League. Members will have an opportunity to see first-hand their work and a chance to do a little shopping. On April 27, the annual Portland Promenade Fashion Show luncheon will take place at Multnomah Athletic Club, showcasing area boutiques with a silent and live auction. Tickets are $80 and sell out quickly.

Looking to make a difference in 2020? Consider joining Assistance League. Learn more at www.portland.assistanceleague.org or on Facebook @assistanceleagueofgreaterportland