Every spring for the past 29 years, Fullerton’s Assistance League Professional Humanitarian Auxiliary (ALPHA) has hosted “A Day of Authors,” a popular fundraising event where well-known authors inform and entertain over 400 book enthusiasts. As in years past, proceeds from the 2023 “A Day of Authors” will help fund ALPHA’s many philanthropy programs in Fullerton and surrounding North Orange County communities. Since this will be their 30th year holding the “Day of Authors,” I decided to reach out to Becky D’Arrigo, Publicity Chair for Day of Authors, to find out more about the philanthropies the auxiliary supports, how they’ve provided support to these different charities, and what they do for their communities.
“From 1992, ALPHA has hosted A Day of Authors. The generosity of event sponsors and funds raised by ticket and book sales, silent auctions, and raffles support our philanthropic efforts,” said D’Arrigo via email.
According to their website, the auxiliary was organized in 1989 and received its charter in 1990. They’re a volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit, which means all contributions they receive are tax deductible. ALPHA comprises professional or businesswomen who support and invest their time and varied talents in “transforming lives through community programs that meet essential needs, especially those of children and youth.” Currently, ALPHA consists of nearly 70 members, including those with active, sustaining, and associate status. This auxiliary is a part of the Assistance League of Fullerton. The National Assistance League has over 22,000 members in 120 chapters nationwide focused on making “our communities a better place to live.” This year marks ALPHA’s 33rd year serving Fullerton, Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda, La Habra, and Buena Park.
The non-profit helps the “Healthy Beginnings” Program at St. Jude’s Neighborhood Health Center by providing clothing, blankets, diapers, and age-appropriate preschool books to needy infants and toddlers to support pre-and post-natal care reading readiness. According to an ALPHA Philanthropy Program flyer from last year, St. Jude Neighborhood Health Centers received a provision of 108 clothing sets, 40 blankets, 80 cases of diapers, and around 197 age-appropriate books from the auxiliary to help local children. According to ALPHA’s website, “the Tiny Togs philanthropic program of Assistance League Professional Humanitarian Auxiliary supplies St. Jude Medical Center’s Healthy Beginnings Program with baby layettes and its Pediatric Mobile Health Vans with reading books.”
The “Day of Authors” event also allows the organization to support the McKinney-Vento Toiletry & Birthday Book Program. Assistance League Professional Humanitarian Auxiliary Volunteers distribute toiletry kits to homeless students in the Fullerton and Placentia/Yorba Linda School Districts. In addition, they celebrate the birthdays of these children with cupcakes and deliveries of wrapped books.
ALPHA also provides books for classroom libraries and supports scholarships for students. Last year, according to the organization’s website, 26 teachers in the Fullerton School District, from Pre-K through 8th grade, were awarded up to $250 each in books for approximately 450 books across 22 schools at the cost of about $4,000. D’Arrigo explained that ALPHA’s Teacher Classroom Assistance Awards are available to schools in the Fullerton School District to enhance their classroom libraries and promote reading in the community. ALPHA offers post-secondary Education Scholarships to help needy Fullerton Joint Union High School graduating seniors, who may be the first in their family to pursue accredited post-secondary education or training.
In coordination with Tara’s Chance, ALPHA donates scholarship funds to allow children access to equine-assisted activities and therapies. The program promotes the physical, cognitive, and social well-being of at-risk youth and those with special needs through a partnership with horses.
Working with Fullerton Police Explorer Program Post 204, ALPHA donates scholarship funds to provide opportunities for deserving students to attend the police academy and learn about careers in law enforcement. Last year, according to the ALPHA Philanthropy Programs flyer, $1,000 in scholarships were donated to provide the opportunity for ten deserving students to join the Explorer Program.
“In conjunction with the Assistance League of Fullerton, through their Operation School Bell project, we provide needy children and youth in the communities we serve with backpacks filled with clothing, shoes, and reading books, as well as providing Target paid shopping events, where the children can purchase clothing and school supplies,” said D’Arrigo via email. “We also join with their Operation New Start program in donations of food items to Pathways of Hope, and their Santa’s Closet, Silver Santa project, providing toiletry items to needy seniors in the Meals on Wheels program. Along with Pathways of Hope and Fullerton School District Parent/Teacher Association, ALPHA provides holiday gift cards for families in need to use in the Assistance League Thrift Shop.”
She explained that the organization purchases $10,000 worth of books to enhance the Fullerton Public Library’s young reader and teenage book collections. The non-profit also purchases plush toys that resemble the Police Department’s canine comfort dog, “Nubbin.” The toys are then given to local children during traumatic events.
Through last year’s Day of Authors event, ALPHA raised well over $60,000, according to ALPHA Chairperson Heather Gonzalez. The 2023 “A Day of Authors” event is scheduled for Saturday, April 22nd, at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Student Center.
For more information, visit ALPHA’s website at adayofauthors.com
See videos on YouTube @emersonlittle1901
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