Last year, before the nation started closing down due to COVID-19, the L&L Care team (based in Idaho) was working on charitable giving contributions for the Treasure Valley Area. We had pairs that were starting to take up storage space that we didn’t have, and we wanted L&L to have an impact in our region. We had planned to hold a sample sale for the first time in Idaho, with the proceeds and unsold pairs benefitting a local shelter. Sadly, when everything shut down, we were unable to complete our mission as originally planned -- a sample sale to benefit a local shelter using sample pairs, pairs from previous seasons, and 2nds (not in perfect shape).
Recently, as Idaho has started to reopen, Meghan, Wendy & Britany decided that it was time to find a way to ‘spread the love’ from our big ol’ box of shoes that had been living in Meghan’s home-office since we went to work from home.
First, we thought of friends or family members who could help us ‘spread the love’ and put L&L shoes into the hands of kiddos who might never get to try our shoes otherwise. Britany had several little girls in her life that had never experienced L&L’s, so she was able to gift 5 pairs! Wendy wanted to make sure that her grandkids and other little’s in her life each had the opportunity to enjoy L&L’s, she was able to bring 10 pairs to grateful feet. Meghan picked out a few pairs to give to one of her best friends, who is a single mom expecting her first little princess. The team also had a friend who offered to donate some to the little girls in her church, as well as taking a few pairs with her to Guatemala when she visited family and mailing a couple of pairs to a family member in Honduras; she helped our impact go further and wider than we ever could have imagined!
But we still had so many left, and still wanted to get out into the community, to help support the Treasure Valley. We didn’t want to donate them to a thrift store that would mark them up and keep the profits. So we researched, we looked, and we asked for help and suggestions from friends and family members. Wendy, with the help of her wonderful sister came to the rescue and helped us to find the Assistance League of Boise.
The Assistance League of Boise has been involved with transforming lives and strengthening our community since the Boise chapter was organized in 1976 (charted 1980). It is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit that currently has about 325 volunteers. There are 120 National Assistance League chapters in 26 states, with over 20,000 members. All member volunteers are dedicated to ongoing support and a long-term presence in the community through hands-on involvement and innovative philanthropic programs. Some of the Boise chapter’s programs include (but are definitely not limited to!) Operation School Bell (Elementary & Teen Retail), Operation School Supplies, Baby Bundles, Cinderella’s Closet, Empowering Youth and HY Hope, just to name a few.
Recently, the Idaho Press Tribune featured an article with the following excerpt about Assistance League of Boise for their 40th anniversary: Since its inception, Assistance League of Boise has provided new school clothes to more than 72,000 children through Operation School Bell – the Assistance League flagship philanthropy – and served over 277,000 children in combined philanthropic efforts. Its volunteers have served over one million hours at a value of almost $20 million.
The Assistance League of Boise thrift shop is the main source of funding for their philanthropic programs, and is staffed and managed entirely by member volunteers. It was so important to us that we donated the pairs somewhere that they could be resold at a fair price, and the money earned from those shoes would be sunk right back into our community. The ALB thrift shop is reputed as one of the best and friendliest thrift shops in the Treasure Valley, and were voted Best Thrift Shop in the Treasure Valley and Best Thrift Shop in Idaho in the Idaho’s Best of 2020 Survey as well as taking 2nd place as the Best Resale Store in the Idaho Statesman’s 2020 Best of the Treasure Valley survey. We look forward to seeing more L&L’s in our Treasure Valley community, and we love that we will get to help have an impact on local philanthropic programs.