Assistance League of Northern Virginia

Herndon, VA   |  www.alnv.org

Mission

Mission: Assistance League of Northern Virginia volunteers transform the lives of children through community programs Our all-volunteer, nonprofit organization accomplishes this mission through our programs that help to feed, clothe and educate children in great need in our community.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are a small organization with about 50 members and a modest budget, but we consistently achieve remarkable results due to the dedication and commitment of our members and the continued support of many businesses and individuals. We devised new methods for delivering essential items to students and families during the pandemic and hope to expand our efforts with the continued support of all who recognize the importance and the impact of what we do. As the Table of Accomplishments demonstrates, we provide much-needed help to children, new mothers, and families throughout the area.

Ruling year info

1994

President

Ms. Gina Glenn

Main address

PO Box 209

Herndon, VA 20172 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

54-1935378

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In Northern Virginia, one in six children is at risk of hunger. To help, we provide nonperishable, weekend food bags to elementary school children at 6 Title 1 schools during the school year who qualify to receive free or reduced-priced meals. Statistics show that having proper clothes promotes educational success through better self-esteem and school attendance. To help meet this need we provide clothing, shoes, toiletries, winter jackets, scarves, and gloves. Young students who are identified by teachers as needing extra help are tutored by members weekly at two schools, which greatly helps to enhance their language and comprehension skills. We also provide hundreds of new books to children who are often receiving their first book, through our literacy program. Helping to comfort young children, we provide heart-shaped Hugs Pillows filled with child-friendly items as well as layette sets, baby afghans, hats and other hand-made items for new moms.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Operation School Bell - Weekend Food For Kids

This program provides nonperishable, weekend food bags to children who qualify to receive free or reduced-priced meals during the school year. Once a month, Assistance League of Northern Virginia members and volunteers pack gallon-sized food bags and deliver them to six Title I schools so that the children have enough food on weekends. Starting in February 2022, we were able to resume this effort and provided 6640 food bags. We had provided grocery gift cards to families during the pandemic and distributed 3450 card during the 2021-22 school year to help sustain food-insecure households.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Working with eleven Title 1 elementary schools, Assistance League volunteers provide new clothing, shoes, personal grooming products, and outerwear to children from families in extreme need. We also provide hand-made blankets, hats, and other items for infants and young children of very low income mothers being treated at a clinic for low-income families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Since 1999, Assistance League volunteers have enhanced language arts and literacy skills for 1st grade students in Fairfax, Virginia. Weekly, we meet with students at two Title 1 schools for one-on-one tutoring sessions. Our efforts are focused on enhancing reading skills such as sight word recognition, vocabulary and comprehension and read-aloud practice.

To further improve literacy and foster an overall enjoyment of reading, we supply hundreds of new books to children at Title 1 schools in Fairfax, and Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. We hold book fairs at a selected school where every child gets to choose a book to take home. For many children this is the only book in their home. We also provide books to the students we tutor and donate books for summer reading programs and Little Libraries. During the past school year, we donated nearly 4000 new books.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Operation Hugs was initiated in 1999 to bring an extra measure of comfort to young children at a local clinic for low-income families and has since been extended to include young students to comfort them and give them coping skills.

Community volunteers make hand-made, heart-shaped pillows in vibrant fabrics whose pockets are then filled with child-friendly items by Assistance League members. These huggable pillows help ease the stress that some youngsters experience. Since 1999, we have provided more than 12,600 pillows. We also provide Baby Bundles to new mothers being served at a local clinic for low-income families that include hand-made baby blankets and hats, onesies, and a book the new mother can read to her infant. We provided 100 Baby Bundles this past year

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Accreditations

Highly Rated - Great Nonprofits 2021

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Philanthropic Programs
• Expand the number of children served by Operation School Bell's food, clothing and literacy programs and our Operation Hugs program by 5% per year.
• Ensure all programs demonstrate measurable outcomes against our defined objectives.

Membership Growth
• Retain our general membership.
• Increase membership by 10% annually.

Public Relations
• Expand our outreach to businesses and community neighborhoods through online, print and visual media.

Resource Development
• Increase total funding by 5% annually.

Leadership
• Develop new leaders to replace outgoing Board members and committee chairpersons.

Philanthropic Programs
• Develop output measures for Operation Hugs & Operation School Bell (OSB).
• Design and implement a plan for each program (Weekend Food for Kids, New Clothing for Kids, Literacy, Hugs) to increase the number of children served.

Membership Growth
• Develop and implement a plan for retaining members.
• Develop and implement a plan to attract new members
. Schedule recruitment sessions throughout the area to explain our programs and increase interest in ALNV

Resource Development
• Develop and implement a plan to increase our outreach to former and current donors, grantors and sponsors.
• Develop and implement a plan to increase outreach to corporate partners and community organizations.
• Develop and implement a plan to identify new potential grant opportunities.

Leadership
• Implement an effective succession plan for Board members and committee chairpersons.

Chapter Growth
• Meet regularly with our Advisory Council for advice on improving and expanding outreach opportunities.

Assistance League of Northern Virginia is an all-volunteer organization that is one of 120 chapters of Assistance League, a nationwide organization of over 22,000 members. Our chapter was established 2004. Since then, we have expanded our philanthropic programs to provide services and support to children in great need in our community, consistent with membership level and funding levels. Our financial resources are derived from fundraising events, grants, and corporate and individual donations. More than 85% of funds raised are spent on our philanthropic programs. We are able to accomplish our mission because of devoted members and business and community volunteers who perform the hands-on work for each of our programs.

In 2012, we began a very productive collaboration with Dominion Energy to support our Weekend Food for Kids program. That program was suspended during the pandemic and instead we provided grocery gift cards to help struggling families. In February 2022, we were able to resume our monthly food packing, and delivered 1660 bags each month. We will provide grocery gift cards during the summer months. Dominion Energy not only provided the facility where we pack the food but also trucks to help with the purchasing of food and employees to help package and deliver the food bags to six schools monthly.

We are continually seeking new collaborative relationships and/or financial support with other companies and organizations to facilitate expansion of not only our Weekend Food for Kids programs but also our New Clothing for Kids and Literacy for Kids programs. Local retirement communities provide hand-made items for our Hugs program. Also, we are always looking for new grant opportunities and soliciting for potential donors.

Because we had to suspend many of our programs during the pandemic, we redesigned our programs and found new recipients. For example, we began providing grocery gift cards instead of weekend food bags; and donated many new books because we could not provide in-person tutoring. See the accompanying accomplishments table for details on all that we have done in the past 4 fiscal years.

This past year, our philanthropic efforts touched the lives of more than 7,530 children at 11 elementary schools and a local medical clinic for low-income families. We accomplished this through the dedication of our members and the community who served over 10,500 hours this past year.

Operation School Bell - Weekend Food for Kids: Since the program began in 2010, the program has steadily grown from providing 500 food bags monthly to eligible children in one school to 1,800 monthly for a total of 11,310 bags to eleven schools before the pandemic hit. After schools closed due to the pandemic we provided 1031 grocery store gift cards to families in need at our schools from April through June 2020; more than 4800 gift cards in the 2020-21 school year; and about 3450 in the 2021-22 year. We were able to resume our weekend food program in February 2022. We continue to seek more funding and ways to develop more corporate partnerships, the critical drivers for expanding this program.

New Clothing for Kids: Since
2010, the number of items that we provide to schools has greatly increased as well as the number of schools that we support. During the 2019-2020 school year, we supplied 772 new items of clothing and 350 new pairs of shoes to students at five schools. We also provided 1,200 coupons for free haircuts to children at our schools. With students attending school remotely, we suspended our clothing and shoe donations during the pandemic but resumed them in 2021. This past year, we provided 1325 clothing items, such as pants, shirts, jackets, gloves and scarves; 192 pairs of sneakers, 500 child-sized face masks; 2300 toiletry kits (containing soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste) and several hundred pairs of underwear and socks and more than 100 hand-made winter scarves and hats.

Literacy for Kids: At two of our schools, our members meet with young students individualized weekly tutoring to help improve their vocabulary and reading comprehension skills we also provide new books to students at many of the other 9 schools we serve. We suspended in-person tutoring but greatly expanded our book donations during the pandemic. Earlier this year, we resumed tutoring at 1 school and also donated nearly 4000 books.

Operation Hugs - Pillow Program: Through this program, we reached out to help comfort children at a local clinic for children that serves low-income families. In 2018-2019, we provided over 792 handmade heart-shaped pillows containing child-friendly items. Since 1999, we have distributed over 11,000 of these delightful pillows. When the clinic couldn't accept the pillows, we delivered them to community organizations and schools. At a local clinic for low-income families, we furnished layettes (handmade baby blankets, hats, onesies and books) to mothers of young children and other handmade items.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve students at 11 elementary schools in the area, through programs that feed, clothe and educate. During the pandemic, when we could not provide our normal services, we began distributing grocery gift cards to the families at those schools.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Feedback from teachers, counselors, and students,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We resumed purchasing new clothing for students during this school year, and have purchased winter jackets, and other items of clothing based on requests from the schools regarding what they needed, in what sizes, and for boys or girl.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our board, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Before the pandemic, we requested feedback from teachers and parents regarding our Weekend Food for Kids food bags and made adjustments to what was included in the bags based on feedback, where there was a clear majority that preferred certain items.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Assistance League of Northern Virginia
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Assistance League of Northern Virginia

Board of directors
as of 07/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Gina Glenn

Darlene Cooke

Nannette Henderson

Lynn Barron

Nancy Treanor

Cheryl Brunner

Dorine DiConti

Jerilyn Woelfel

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data