Assistance league, Assisteens providing support through philanthropic programs


Camila Flores

The Coppell Assistance League prepares for its 11:30 a.m. meeting on Thursday on the Palio’s Pizza Cafe patio. The ALC’s mission is to help transform the lives of children and adults through community programs.

Drishti Gupta, Staff Writer

Bright faces and radiant smiles unfurled across the room as Assisteens and Assistance League members strolled in with their crossword puzzles to play with the senior citizens. 

Surrounded by young, energetic bubbles of energy, the senior citizens beamed at their visitors who had brought them fun, excitement and joy during the most difficult times. 

This is just one of the several events that the Assistance League organization, along with its auxiliary, Assisteens, engage in to generate a positive impact on the Coppell community.

The Assistance League, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, was formed in 1999 with its main goal being Operation School Bell. Operation School Bell, a nationwide philanthropic program, focuses on providing students with clothes, backpacks and other necessities they need.

“Here [in Coppell], we work with the counselors and clothe children,” Assistance League President Bobbie King said. “If the counselors see a child in need, they contact us. In years past, we actually had clothes in our warehouse that we would take out, but with COVID, it’s changed everything and now we are [providing] gift cards to GAP.”

The Assistance League hopes by providing supplies for families in need, they are able to lift a burden and provide support during these financially challenging times.

“I actually [met] a lady in a grocery store one day and I had my [Assistance League] name tag on and she said ‘Thank you. My little boy didn’t want to go to school because the kids were making fun of his clothes and you all gave him clothes,’” King said. “That almost makes me cry everytime I think about it.” 

In 2019, the Assisteens program was formed in order to provide teens with the opportunity to participate in charitable programs and give back to the community. 

“It’s really to help provide philanthropic programs to support the community,” Assisteens coordinator Debbie Hinson said. “It’s also to help the teens learn life skills in terms of giving back, taking responsibility for programs and public programs.”

One recent Assisteens event is Action Week, a national program that all Assistance League chapters participate in. This year, the Assisteens made fleece blankets to distribute to the senior citizens residing in Christus St. Joseph Village and River Oaks Assisted Living in Coppell. 

Just prior to the winter storm, Assisteens had its fleece blankets ready for distribution. As heaters went out in the senior centers, the fleece blankets provided comfort to the residents. 

“It has helped provide warmth in an emergency situation,” Hinson said. “It also showed people who were probably pretty lonely and not able to have visitors that there are people who are still thinking about them. There’s still love out there and we wanted them to know that they are recognized.”

[When] my husband passed away, I can’t tell you the support that I got from them. It’s just a great bunch of people.”

— Assistance League President Bobbie King

Another recent addition to the Assisteens program  is the mentorship program in which teens tutor and support younger students at Valley Ranch Elementary School. After asking teachers at the elementary school to identify students who would benefit from additional help, Assisteens paired up with a learner and set up a time to tutor them. 

“[It’s] great for the student, especially during the pandemic, to have somebody who’s older,” Assisteens assistant treasurer Nikita Nair said. “My student is the oldest sibling in his house, so it’s very helpful having someone who’s older to give feedback and advice. At the same time, it’s been really helpful for me just having his point of view. It’s been really fun getting to know him.”

Through these programs and interactions, members of the Assistance League have created memories and impacts that many will cherish. 

“I went to my first Assistance League meeting [in 2012] not knowing anyone, and I never looked back,” King said. “It has been the most unique group of ladies (and gentlemen) that I have ever been around in my life that are there for each other and care for each other. [When] my husband passed away, I can’t tell you the support that I got from them. It’s just a great bunch of people.” 

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