Books scholarshipsThe Assistance League of St. Louis (ALSTL) Scholarship Committee awarded 17 scholarships to qualified students from the St. Louis Community College in 2021-22. Established in 2015 and under the aegis of Project ROSE, the ALSTL Scholarship Committee oversees a fund managed by the St. Louis Community College Foundation. The funding is determined each year by the Assistance League’s available philanthropic funds.

Common majors of ALSTL scholarship recipients are:

  • General transfer (requirements to transfer to a 4-year institution)
  • Nursing
  • Paralegal

Teacher scholarshipsThis fall semester there were 61 applicants, and seven scholarships were awarded. The awards are based on criteria established by ALSTL (2.5 GPA, academic or personal references, financial need) and by the St. Louis Community College Financial Aid Office.

Since 2015, more than 132 ALSTL scholarships have been awarded. On average, 95 students per year apply for this scholarship.

Below are a couple of the extremely grateful letters we received from awardees this fall. The Scholarship Program is a much needed and appreciated endeavor!

Kandise
I am honored that I was chosen to receive this scholarship. Thank you! Your act of kindness will allow me to continue my education with one less worry. This scholarship will go towards books and tuition. As a single mother of three, and still being impacted by the financial hardships of COVID-19; any additional funds that I am able to receive are greatly appreciated.

Caitlyn
I can't express how thankful and appreciative I am to the donor for this award. Being a single mother while going to school full time has been extremely challenging and this scholarship will be so helpful. Thank you on behalf of myself and my 3-year-old son!

Imagine! Assistance League of St. Louis Puts on the Glitz With Gratitude

MaryPatTwenty-first century flappers and Gatsby-esque gentlemen recently gathered to celebrate IMAGINE! at the Doubletree by Hilton-Chesterfield. This year, Assistance League of St. Louis' signature fundraising gala was attended by 245 glittering guests. See Town&style for more photos.

With Rene Knott, KSDK News Anchor as MC, the packed ballroom of generous bidders achieved a "roaring '20s" financial success. The annual gala raises a significant portion of the funds critical to implementing the five community programs managed by the volunteer members. In the past year, 36,000 lives have been touched through these programs in the St. Louis community. With gratitude for this generosity, the nonprofit is a prudent financial steward, accredited by the BBB and has achieved Platinum status by Charity Navigator.

Fantastic Finds Gives Back With Customer Appreciation Days

FF MembersIn addition to IMAGINE!, Assistance League of St. Louis volunteers manage and staff FANTASTIC FINDS, their upscale resale shop in Creve Coeur voted 2022 A LIST* BEST RESALE SHOP by St. Louis Magazine. Fantastic Finds is the year-round fundraising engine for the nonprofit and empowers it to transform the lives of children and adults through their five programs.

drone photo125 Assistance League members gathered at their Ellisville headquarters on a glorious autumn afternoon for a ribbon-cutting at their new garage storage addition. With a drone hovering overhead photographing the event, members in bright yellow hard hats cheered President Pam Bogosian and Past-President Yolanda Perez-Cunning-ham, as they cut the ribbon.

Ribbon CuttingThe excitement for this long-awaited storage addition continued inside headquarters with flutes of bubbly and appetizers created from recipes in the members' own Fare to Remember cookbook. The cookbook was composed by members as a fundraiser in the chapter's early days, and the recipes continue to inspire newer members.

View the article in TOWN & style.

Pictured on the cover: President Pam Bogosian (center) with students and staff from Adams Elementary.

TS COVER MOCKUP Pam 

BFF UrbanLeagueExpo croppedAssistance League of St. Louis volunteers marched in a parade dressed as children's favorite book characters to welcome aspiring readers to the annual Urban League's Expo Back-to-School event. Held at America's Center on Saturday August 6, the community event drew over 27,000 visitors and was held inside the spacious dome for the first time since 2019.

ALSTL Books From Friends costumed volunteers gave over 5,000 books to Pre-K through 5th grade children at the Expo. Each child received two age-appropriate books for their own home library. In addition, St. Louis children's author Micheal Anderson, special friend of ALSTL, signed and presented 393 copies of her Zoey Lyndon books to eager young readers.

Micheal Anderson

Books from Friends is the literacy program of Assistance League of St. Louis, and last year provided 26,675 books to schools and readers of all ages, positively impacting literacy throughout our community.

Women Who Care Check

Recently, the Assistance League of St. Louis was honored to receive a $4,750 check from local organization, 100 Women Who Care. Assistance League will use this money to help fund its philanthropic programs which benefit children and adults. Shown accepting the check are Assistance League members Polly Rutherford (far left) and Past President Yolanda Perez-Cunningham (second from left) along with Women Who Care members Julie Herrmann and Lisa Rosenstock (on the right).

AL Pam Bogosian 4826r 4x5Assistance League of St. Louis has named Pam Bogosian president of the 500-member organization for 2022-2023. Pam retired in 2012 after a 32-year career teaching 4th and 5th grades, including 25 years at Barretts Elementary in the Parkway School District.

After retiring in 2012, Pam joined Assistance League of St. Louis and quickly took on leadership roles as chair of Operation School Bell, the signature school uniform program required for all Assistance League chapters. Pam also chaired STEPS, the St. Louis chapter's athletic shoes program for school children. Pam moved on to serve three years on the Board of Directors, as Vice President of Philanthropic Programs.

In 2020, Pam received the St. Louis Chapter Award to acknowledge her tireless commitment and dedication to the St. Louis chapter. From serving as a school liaison for eight years, to volunteering in sales at Fantastic Finds for nine years, Pam has worn many hats over the past ten years in addition to her leadership roles. Perhaps she is best known and loved by elementary school children in her Pete the Cat costume, marching energetically in Books from Friends character parades.

When asked what inspires her, Pam immediately said, "educating someone, seeing the light bulb go on when they understand and learn." "Assistance League volunteers want to make a difference, to improve our community," Pam says. As a leader and a teacher, Pam's dedication helps make that difference. And her genuine, contagious laughter makes an instant connection with everyone she meets, both children and adults. Pam believes in the wisdom of having fun and says that," Assistance League of St. Louis is unique because we have fun together while helping others and that camaraderie creates lasting friendships."

Volunteers from Assistance League of St. Louis (ALSTL) and St. Louis Children's Author Micheal Anderson Surprise Students!

On Friday, March 4th volunteers from ALSTL's literacy program Books from Friends and St. Louis children's author, Micheal Anderson met at Mullanphy-Botanical Garden ILC, 4221Shaw Ave., St. Louis 63110.

MichealAndersonActionWeek

National Assistance League's annual Action Week focuses on children's literacy and this year, the St. Louis chapter's celebration proudly included children's author, Micheal Anderson. Picture: Micheal in selfie with students at Mullanphy.

475 preschool through 5th grade students from Mullanphy Botanical-Garden ILC were entertained by a parade of costumed ALSTL volunteers dressed as book characters, who brought the books alive. Costumed volunteers, including Pete the Cat, Thing One, Thing Two, Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Cat in the Hat and a charming unicorn assisted 1st through 5th grade students to select two new books to take home.

How do volunteers meet the challenge of providing fitted, new clothing when schools are closed?

Claudia Dooley, Assistance League of St. Louis member and Co-Chair of Operation School Bell® (OSB), reminisced about past years in which OSB volunteers took pride in being able to directly interact with the school children who visited our headquarters for uniform fittings and fun activities. Besides everyone being in high spirits, the team could take accurate measurements so that each child had fitted clothes that looked good. But that was the past, so the team leadership, also co-chaired by Kris Lewis, reviewed current processes, took what would work, dropped what didn’t and adapted so that they could continue fulfilling those objectives.
OSBSmiling Ladies 20220217
The OSB team developed a process which included forms sent to school personnel; these were then passed along to parents who were responsible for measurements and noting any special needs. Schools would return the forms in batches via email. The forms were reviewed, fulfilled, bagged and delivered by ALSTL volunteer liaisons to the school for distribution.

If you’ve ever measured someone for a sewing project or tailoring, you’ll appreciate the challenge that the OSB volunteers had when interpreting the responses. Claudia smiled and stated that the team was fortunate to have a number of ladies who “were really good fitters” and able to work out the appropriate sizes. Their success was realized when it was noted that very few of the packages were returned requesting a different size. The fitters hit the mark the majority of the time, even without being able to physically measure the children themselves.

HOW do volunteers provide children with shoes, when schools are closed & learning is virtual?

IMG 1191 3 kids croppedMindy Hellmich, Assistance League of St. Louis member and Co-Chair of Steps to Success explains HOW: “You think outside the box. You think WAY outside the box!” The all-volunteer Steps to Success (Steps) team has adapted and refined sizing, fitting and delivering children's athletic shoes and socks since COVID began. They continue to streamline the system to provide shoes to children in St. Louis City and St. Louis County Schools. The program's other Co-Chair is Beth Yeck.

The Steps team focused on 25 schools in St. Louis City in the Winter-Spring 2020 session, using a voucher system. An Assistance League liaison provided each school with an envelope of vouchers for shoes and instructions in English and Spanish to be redeemed within 8 weeks at the Maplewood Shoe Carnival Store. The returns and redemption rate were disappointingly low.

Results of a follow-up survey to parents revealed two issues: finding transportation and scheduling a fitting before the deadline. Undaunted, volunteers devised a new form for Spring 2021 to more accurately reflect the necessary requirements (child’s name, sizes/style). Parents' responses and vouchers were then given to our Shoe Carnival contact, Katie Junge, who filled the orders at the Maplewood location. ALSTL volunteer liaisons delivered over 1,900 athletic shoes and 3,300 pairs of socks safely to the schools.