Assistance League of Hawaii is pleased to have Ronnie Wassill as its vice president and membership chairwoman, as she volunteers with its Operation Wildlife Program and Operation School Bell as well.
“Those two titles go together,” she says.
Her role as membership chairman allows her to do much of the recruiting and membership maintenance, which means she needs to know the organization inside and out.
After moving to Hawaii from Canada nearly four years ago, Wassill knew she had to get involved and help the community.
“I really like to be able to support something that I believe in,” she says of her efforts. “That’s when I found this group. Moving to Hawaii was a dream come true, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s important for me to give back. I feel very privileged to live here.”
She explains the whole purpose of Assistance League of Hawaii is to provide philanthropic programs to the community. One such program with which she is involved (and spent the most time working on) is Operation Wildlife, which caters to fourth-grade students across the state.
“We do presentations on endangered species and the environment,” Wassill explains. “We have a lot of animal artifacts that we make available for the students to see and touch.”
A presentation of about 100 photos is accompanied by an informative discussion about taking care of the environment and actions that can lead to endangered species.
Wassill also spends time with Operation School Bell, the signature program of all 120 Assistance League chapters across the nation, which provides clothing to school-age children in need.
“We make the majority of the money through running the thrift store that we have,” explains Wassill, who worked in health care most of her career. “All of our goods are donated, and volunteers run the store.”
Volunteers are responsible for all the sorting, pricing, merchandising and more. The thrift store is just one aspect of Operation School Bell, which also involves working with schools that offer 75 percent or higher supported lunch programs.
In-store shopping experiences are another element of equipping children with clothes for the school year.
“I strongly believe that it’s important for people to be involved in the community,” she says. “For volunteers to be involved and give back, that’s the best thing they can do to maintain their physical and mental health.”
For more information about Assistance League of Hawaii, visit assistanceleague.org.