The bright smiles of about 7,500 schoolchildren who will receive new clothes this year motivated a group of women from Sun Lakes and the East Valley who put on a fashion show, luncheon and boutique March 25 to raise funds for the effort.
Assistance League of East Valley provides new clothing, shoes and hygiene kits for children each year through fundraising events, donations and proceeds from their new thrift shop at 2326 N. Alma School Road, Chandler.
Sun Lakes residents Mary Louise Lansbarkis, Pat Kovarik and Judith Robins, all of whom were especially active in planning the event, said the proceeds will allow the group to expand their efforts.
Elementary school children from Tempe, Mesa, Kyrene, Chandler and Gilbert school districts receive clothing from the organization after being recommended by family resource officers at their schools.
The group also provided 4,000 assault survivor kits last year to local police and fire departments containing clothing and personal care items for victims of trauma and teddy bears for child victims. They also hold monthly birthday parties at an adult care center, provide supplemental materials to teachers and award 12 scholarships.
A new, larger Assistance League thrift shop that opened last fall on Alma School Road just north of Warner Avenue has been very successful. The upscale shop carries boutique and everyday apparel, books, housewares, crafts, small appliances, fabric, toys and children’s clothing. About a dozen women from Sun Lakes are members of the group, which welcomes new members as well as donations of all kinds.
“People are so surprised at the wonderful items they can find at our shop,” said Lansbarkis. “The clothes that we sell are very nice and reasonable.”
Assistance League of East Valley is part of a national nonprofit Assistance League that carries out community-based philanthropic projects.