A Pillar of Hope For Over 50 Years
As you drive past the Lyndsay Wildlife Experience, you’ll come upon a little house on a corner. This treasured cornerstone in the community is the Assistance League Diablo Valley. Established in 1967 the Assistance League Diablo Valley has been serving Contra Costa County for over 50 years. Steve Linkhart Calfoods Logistics CEO stopped by to visit this important community pillar of hope, to present a donation of $5,000.00 to this worthy cause.
The mission of the Assistance League Diablo Valley is dedicated to improving lives in their community through hands-on programs in three focused areas: Operation School Bell®, Scholarships, and Community Needs. The ALDV’s primary fundraiser is the Assistance League Thrift Shop at the Way Side Inn in Lafayette, CA. Other funding sources for ALDV include grants, corporate and individual donations.
Ann Livingston, Suzi Geldin, Steve Linkhart
That financial support through contributions of goods and services, and volunteerism help to create a better life for those served. And over $331,000 was returned to the Contra Costa County community.
Last year, 450 dedicated member volunteers contributed over 33,000 hours of service and touched the lives of 10,000 children and adults in Contra Costa County!
Committed to the Community
Steve met with Ann Livingston Assistance League Diablo Valley Grants Committee Member and President Suzi Geldin, both who have dedicated years of service to this fabulous organization. They took Steve on a tour of the facility and explained more about the work they do locally and their programs.
“As you probably know, most of our members are the upper age range. To be polite, we have a couple of original members that are close to 100 years old. And until the pandemic, one of them still participates in the assembly of programs like baby boxes, and food boxes,” explained Suzi Geldin.
“We have 16 active programs and have been very lucky getting grants and donations, thanks to Ann. She has turned around the Grants Committee. And we even came out of pandemic much better than we thought we would, we didn’t have to dip into our reserves much. We can only stretch the volunteers so far and we can only stretch the budget so far, so this donation from CalFoods is wonderful. Thank you very much, this means a lot to us!” said Geldin.
A Facility Built on Love and Community
Touring the facility, you’ll walk into a bright entry way next to a donor tree displayed on the wall. There is a lot of activity going on the building with a small conference area, office rooms and chatter around. Walk next door into a little house and it’s filled with supplies, and donations of all kinds. This storage area is very organized and very efficient. Everything is in its place, and you can see how the ALDV can manage 16 programs, because they are efficient. And everything they do has a purpose!
One of the programs they have is putting together food boxes and giving them to Cal Works. These boxes provide one weeks’ worth of food for a family of four. ALDV purchases the food and assembles the boxes. These could have cereal, pasta, sauce, peanut butter, and canned veggies. All shelf stable for the convenience of the recipient as they may not have easy access to a standard kitchen or stable location. And even with a dedicated volunteer staff who understands the needs of the community, they have a couple of programs that they would like to expand. One being a weekend food program for kids called the Sunshine Boxes.
Within one year, they have increased from 200 to 500 boxes, monthly! They deliver to one school that has a warehouse facility and the school district will deliver the boxes all over Pittsburg.
Ann Livingston said, “Prior to the pandemic, all the district employees would come and form a line and just pass the boxes to each other down the line. You never see that anymore. This was wonderful to see, now everyone has a dolly and it’s more efficient.”
Geldin commented, “We are in a great community and the neighbors are so supportive. It’s a young area, and we even put out a little library and the people going to the park nearby get books all the time. It’s wonderful to see the kids running up to it looking for a book. And the local community members fill the food barrels also.”
Steve finished the tour and said,” I am happy to contribute and am very familiar with the great work you folks do here, happy to donate.”
The Assistance League Diablo Valley is a one of 120 chapters of the larger Assistance League in the United States, established in 1890. Founded by Anne Banning, and Ada Edwards Laughlin.
16 Programs Run by ALDV and Why You Should Donate
Please consider your next donation to this 50-year-old institution that keeps giving and providing to all community members all over Contra Costa County. They also have donation bins outside of their building for those who want to stop by and donate canned goods or other shelf stable items.
Programs that can use your help!
- Providing student uniforms – Retail shopping for students that are not uniformed
- Baby bags, backpacks for kids filled with fleece blankets, sweats, school supplies or a toy for younger kids,
- Sunshine Boxes – weekend food boxes for school children
- Assisteens Auxiliary (7-12 graders) 60 teenagers that select their own philanthropic programs and raise the funds to implement the programs.
- Kids on the block – teaching kids through puppeteering. The group goes to different school districts to perform with the life size puppets.
- Reading program – books for specific schools
- Listening program – working one on one with kids in second and third grade
- Student Scholarships – philanthropic programs to assist deserving high school senior students
Here are some ways to support this organization
Mail a check to Assistance League Diablo Valley 2711 Buena Vista Ave. Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Visit their website https://www.assistanceleague.org/diablo-valley/
See all of the volunteer opportunities here.