The Assistance League of Wichita is hosting an “Eastside vs. Westside Trivia Throwdown” on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at The Olive Tree (2949 N. Rock Rd) beginning at 7:00. Register on line with the link below or the night of the event. Team (8 members) $140 or individual $20 ($25 per person at the door).



  Trophies             Prizes!                 Raffle Baskets!                Cash bar!           Free Snacks!   Build your team and make plans now to attend. Come for a fun-filled competition to show off (or simply laugh until your sides split)!  Let loose of all the trivia you thought you forgot!  Support your side of town---will this be the last word on what side of town is top dog??  Bring a few dollar bills for some unexpected opportunities to win bucks.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to have a good time with friends and support a great philanthropy in the community.  Your money goes to support the programs listed below.   Assistance League® of Wichita, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, is celebrating its 30th year of transforming the lives of children and adults through these philanthropic programs that provide service to the Wichita community including:   Operation School Bell which provides new school clothing, coats, shoes and grooming kits to USD 259 students in need.   Scholarships which help pay for fees and supplies toward completing a vocational degree at Wichita Area Technical College or Butler Community College.     Sexual Assault Victim Support which provides victims with new clothing and toiletry items through the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center.     Bear-Hugs which distributes new cuddly, tote-bags and journals or sketchbooks to children who are victims of violence. It helps a child to have a bear to hug while being interviewed and examined by the SANE/SART nurse or staff at the Via Christi-St. Joseph Campus and Wesley Medical Center. Also statistics indicate it enables children to heal by sketching or journaling.    


June and July Newsletter

Kathy Wilson A MESSAGE FROM YOUR PRESIDENT... It seems strange to be giving the "message from the President." I know I had a year to digest that and the responsibilities with the position and I suppose I will get use to the idea but it does seem daunting. I hope I earn your willingness to be a partner with me in moving our mission forward. It seems strange to be giving the "message from the President." I know I had a year to digest that and the responsibilities with the position and I suppose I will get use to the idea but it does seem daunting. I hope I earn your willingness to be a partner with me in moving our mission forward. After attending the National Conference last fall and the recent Leadership Training (...where it was like: Whoa! What in the heck was I thinking...!) I want to report that the Assistance League® Wichita Chapter has much to be proud of and the potential for what more we can accomplish as an outstanding group of women is limitless. In current cultural lingo... We ROCK! At intermission during our social at Roxy's---which was great fun---I presented the "10 Things You May Not Know About the Assistance League of Wichita" for not only the visitors who were attending but our membership. I am reporting those again here because the "10 Things" include updated data and recognizes our proudest moments of the year. 1. All members of the Assistance League are volunteers. 2. The Wichita Chapter produced over 27,000 volunteer hours this past year. 3. Because we are all volunteers, we are able to consistently give 74% of our budget to our philanthropic programs. Only 8% of the budget goes toward general and management expenses and 16% is used for marketing. (Those percentages are unheard of even among non-profits.) 4. We are all about the mission of our organization which is supporting four philanthropic programs. This past year, we accomplished the following: Operation School Bell® - We clothed over 3,000 Wichita Public School students and over 75,000 since the program started in 1985. Scholarships - Twelve students were given the opportunity to pursue post-graduate programs at Butler Community College and Wichita Area Technical School. Since 1988, 199 seniors have been given a "hand up". Sexual Assault Victim Support - Clothing, footwear and necessary items were provided to 399 individuals to support them in the aftermath of tragedy. We regularly serve 350+ individuals every year. Bear Hugs® - Two hundred fifty-five teddy bears were provided to sexually abused children for comfort during examination at one of the recovery team programs at Wesley and Via Christi-St. Joseph. Since 1997, 3,012 teddy bears have been distributed. 5. In April, Operation School Bell was recognized by the Wichita Board of Education for outstanding service to USD 259 students. 6. The Wichita City Commission proclaimed the week of April 19 - 25 as Operation School Bell Week and presented the proclamation at a reception on April 23. 7. For the first time, we presented the National School Bell® Award to the Spirit AeroSystems Good Neighbor Fund for their consistent support since 2007 in the amount of over $400,000. 8. The second year of moving the Thrift Shop to the new location, its profits provided over 50% of the funding for our four philanthropic programs. We also were able to pay off the mortgage in the second year...a huge feat! This past year, our Thrift Shop generated funds of over $177,000. 9. 2014 was the 20th year for Gingerbread Village, a major community event. 10. We achieved the highest rating---the Gold level---at Guidestar, a national non-profit organization that gathers and publishes information on non-profits for the public and potential donors to review as a measuring tool of the integrity of an organization. This is a major accomplishment. Your first reaction, after lowering your chest a little, has to be "WOWZA!" I heard from several members that their guests were impressed with our service and accomplishments. There were some who thought they knew all about the Assistance League and were bowled over that we go beyond giving clothes to students. We should be proud. Now a push....Our Mission statement is, "Assistance League of Wichita, a chapter of the National Assistance League, is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to putting caring and commitment into action through community-based philanthropic programs that address the needs of the Wichita community." We are a working organization and each member must commit to doing what it takes to move our organization beyond where we are today. Two of our responsibilities of being a voting member are: "(1) Attend chapter meetings as required; and (2) Participate in and support the philanthropic programs and fundraising activities of the chapter." We have a great place to meet and eat this coming year, Scotch and Sirloin. You are encouraged to put the monthly luncheon meetings on your calendar now and schedule around those dates/times (see below). We need everyone. Secondly, if you have not committed to working on one of the committees (see below) that keep our mission moving forward, contact Peggy Furan ( and let her know which one you wish to work. If you have physical limitations, contact me ( or 831-9834) and we can review options because there are several jobs that are sit down jobs that will help tremendously. This is going to be a great year for Assistance League of Wichita. We are going to do some fun socials like we did with Bunco night and the night at Roxy's so we can get to know each other better and we are going to work to meet more needs within our community. Thank you for committing. Membership Meetings: August 24, September 28, October 26, November 23, December-no meeting, January 25, 2016 (ouch!), February 22, March 28, April 25, and May 23. No meetings in June and July. Membership meetings will be at Scotch and Sirloin, 5325 E. Kellogg (south side of Kellogg) and begin with lunch at 11:30. The meeting starts at noon and ends by 1:00 pm. Cost is $10 a meal that includes tip. We are not charged for use of the facility. Members will have a choice of a cold entrée or hot entrée. There is a big dollar door prize at every meeting. BIG..... Kathy Wilson,  President

Gifts and Grants

We are so pleased to receive over $2,000 from the Friendship fund of USD 259. This grant is administered by the United Way and will support our Operation School Bell. During the Gala held on November 6, 2014 we received a Grant from the Spirit Aerosystems Employee fund. This group of dedicated employees are committed to giving back to Wichita. spirit resized   The Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita (RMHC Wichita) Grants Program funds ways to change children's lives for the better. RMHC Wichita not only provides and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children through the two core programs: Ronald McDonald House® and Ronald McDonald Family Room® but also extends grants to non-profit organizations in the state of Kansas that are making an immediate, positive impact on children who need it most in the areas of education and the arts, civic and social services, and health care and medical research. Grants to these organizations extend the reach and impact of RMHC Wichita. Awarded grants come from a combination of fund raising efforts through area McDonald’s restaurants and matching grant funds from Ronald McDonald House Charities corporate office. This year Ronald McDonald House Charities awarded a grant to the Assistance League of Wichita for Operation School Bell. Assistance League2 Assistance League

Assistance League Members celebrate with Teen volunteer

Wichita teen to represent Kansas in Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant Miss Kansas Organization had a busy summer with the Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen and the Miss Kansas Pageant in Pratt, Kansas, on June 7, 2014. Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen (MKOT), a sister pageant to Miss Kansas, is hosted by Pratt Community College every year for girls from ages 13-17. Lisa Ronen, the director for “Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen” pageant, was thrilled that it was a banner year for teens. With the highest number of contestants ever, 27 young ladies ages 13-17 from all over the state competed in four rounds of competition: interview, lifestyle and fitness, talent, evening wear and onstage question. Megha Gangadhar, a first time competitor, won the 2014 Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen title. Megha Gangadhar flew with her directors to Orlando to represent Kansas as she begins to get ready for a long week of competition from July 29th to August 2nd. 53 contestants from all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands are vying for the 2015 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen title and scholarship. For the first time ever, you can watch a webcast on August 2nd at 6pm EST at HTTP://KODIGITAL.COM/MAOTEEN. Megha Gangadhar is a native of Wichita, Kansas. She is a 17 year old senior of Wichita High School East’s International Baccalaureate program. She is President of Tri-M Music Honor Society, Co-president of Indian Dance Club, member of Debate and Forensics squad, Spanish Club, and an active “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wichita. Megha also plays the clarinet and volunteers in the Memory care unit at The Catholic Care Center. She is a tireless volunteer and advocate for Building Blocks of India, Assistance League of Wichita, and Books for Life organizations. Megha has also been actively fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network, the official platform for Miss America organization. Megha’s platform is “Educate to Empower”. She promotes taking advantage of the opportunities given in order to further one’s education. She realizes that education, which is a basic right, is a privilege in many other countries. Hence, she is passionate about causes that help break the cycle of poverty. Ms. Gangadhar has been raising funds for the slum schools in Bangalore, India for the last five years. Megha organized a clothing and book drive for Assistance League of Wichita’s “Operation School Bell” program. The program helps clothe impoverished students identified by social workers in USD 259 and offers scholarships to Wichita Area Technical College and Butler Community College. She has recently partnered with Balbir Mathur’s Books for Life organization and done a book drive for a library in the impoverished town of La Concepcion, Nicaragua. She clearly is a champion for the education of disadvantaged children! We wish her good luck in Orlando!      

Vocational Scholarships Awarded for 2013-14

On May 19, 2014, we awarded 9 scholarships to students who will be attending Butler County Community College or Wichita Area Vocational College. Also attending our ceremony representing USD 259, was Principal Ledy from South High and Assistant Superintendent Faflick.  Besides a grant for tuition, books and fees, these students will have a mentor from ALW scholarship committee to offer support throughout the year. Scholarships IMG_2308 scholarshps 2 IMG_2315

News from National

Without doubt, the big news this month is the national recognition our organization has received by winning the public vote for the National Make a Difference Day All-Star Award. Once again, our ability to mobilize our volunteer members nationwide has driven our success, not only through our second annual national book drive, but also through driving our personal networks to vote for us online - so thank you to all of you who voted, encouraged your friends and family to vote, and vote often - this is your award!


I had the privilege of representing the organization at the Make a Difference Day Awards luncheon in Washington, D.C.(USA Weekend article and video HERE). It was truly an honor and a proud moment for me to receive our award in such prestigious company. This kind of public recognition will help generate further national awareness of our organization, which in turn will lead to stronger national partnerships, increased national sponsorships and funding opportunities. Thanks again, everyone!

Best regards,

Geoff Wilson

Executive Director Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

As you have probably heard by now, Assistance League won the Make A Difference Day All-Star Award. Exciting, but more importantly, this was a testament to what can happen when we put social media to work. The call to get out the vote went out via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, chapter websites and the good old fashioned “word of mouth.” Friends, family, grandkids, students and entire workplaces all conspired to put us over the top and WIN!

Thank-you to all of you, our chapter members, who worked overtime to make sure that everyone voted and not just once, but every day. It is inspirational to see what can happen when we all share a common goal and believe that goal can be reached!


Maureen Smith

National Vice President Marketing Communications