With the reopening of the Bargain Box Thrift Store, the Assistance League of Arcadia members — who make up the masked volunteer sales staff, greeters and cashiers — are eager to see returning customers again after a long year of pandemic restrictions. Unfortunately, they are desperately short on volunteers and goods and cash donations.
According to publicist Beth Costanza, the Assistance League is short-handed “mostly due to many of the older ladies who are still not comfortable back out in public, a few have moved, etc.” As not everyone, especially seniors, is comfortable about taking extra risks during ongoing worries about the Delta COVID-19 variant, the Assistance League finds itself in need of more help.
Assistance League of Arcadia volunteers staff the Bargain Box Thrift Shop, and the funds raised by sales flow directly into Operation School Bell to buy new school uniforms, jackets, shoes, book bags, and school supplies for underserved school children throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Every year, about 1,200 children are clothed.
Currently they serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade from the Arcadia, Alhambra, Monrovia, Duarte, San Gabriel, Temple City and Rosemead school districts as well as students of the Almansor Center (a community-based education and training facility for at-risk youth).
The small building adjacent to the organization’s main building houses Operation School Bell where volunteers offer a “shopping experience” to underprivileged students in our San Gabriel Valley. Operation School Bell has assisted more than 25,000 children in need with clothes and school supplies since 1970 and clothed over 1,000 this past year.
During Operation School Bell, students also receive a personal hygiene kit containing personal items such as a brush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, shampoo and soap; and a kit containing school supplies such as pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, highlighters, rulers, protractors and a pencil pouch.
The popular store operates Wednesdays and Saturdays weekly from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers accept donations on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The thrift store is located at 64 E. Live Oak Ave. in Arcadia.
Additionally, other Assistance League of Arcadia philanthropic programs include a book drive; delivering kits containing a coloring book and crayons for children in waiting rooms or other areas of the hospital; and providing personal cards or letters and a lotion several times a year to senior citizens in a local health care center.
Assistance League of Arcadia also provides space for three senior citizen groups and a visually impaired group to meet weekly. Annually approximately 200 members of Golden Age, Friendship Club and Senior Men use the facility each week.
The annual Holiday Boutique is scheduled to open again on Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Bargain Box. The boutique features Christmas trees, ornaments, decorations, wreaths, and all sorts of holiday decor. The boutique will be open through Nov. 20.
If you’d like to volunteer in any capacity, call: 626 446-7605 .
Assistance League of Arcadia is a local chapter of National Assistance League. It is a completely volunteer-based nonprofit organization serving communities in the San Gabriel Valley. All funds raised by the local chapter go directly back into the San Gabriel Valley communities.