Gina Geldbach-Hall is the President of Assistance League of Las Vegas, an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that implements programs and services that enrich the lives of children and adults in need in the greater Las Vegas community. Founded in 1976, the organization has over 400 member volunteers who contribute over 50,000 hours annual to serve our community.
1) What motivated you to become involved with this nonprofit organization and assume the role of president?
My mom had been a member of Assistance League of Las Vegas for a long time and always bugged me about joining. She said, "You'll love it! You'll have a great time!" I kept putting her off, saying I was too busy working. Plus, my boys were still at home.
When I retired from the Clark County Fire Department, my mom amped up her enthusiasm by asking me every other month, saying I was a perfect fit for the organization. Finally, after three years of retirement, I completed the new member orientation. That was 12 years ago, and I haven't looked back. As usual, Mom is always right!
I wish my mom were still here with us because she probably knew I would become president of Assistance League of Las Vegas someday. My presidency and genuine love for this all-volunteer nonprofit are her lasting legacy to the organization she cared so much about. I'm having a great time!
2) Can you share any recent or upcoming projects or initiatives that the organization is particularly excited about?
One of our primary goals is to better educate the community we serve about how Assistance League of Las Vegas operates and our impact in Southern Nevada. In doing so, we aim to increase membership to better support our philanthropic programs and projects.
This fall, our signature community program Operation School Bell® will celebrate 45 years of helping local students receive the new clothing and other essentials they need to succeed in school. Since Operation School Bell began in 1978, our members have helped more than 176,000 local children in need.
The new clothing increases students' incentive for regular school attendance, which leads to higher academic performance and enhanced self-esteem. We love knowing we are making a difference. Plus, we love seeing the huge smiles on students’ faces!
3) Can you please tell us more about the Thrift Shop and its impact?
Our award-winning Thrift Shop on Charleston near Torrey Pines is what helps us keep the lights on! It helps fund our facility and our programs.
Assistance League of Las Vegas is a unique 501(c)(3) nonprofit in that we are 100% run by volunteers. That means none of our volunteer members take a paycheck from the president on down.
I personally love working in the Thrift Shop because I enjoy interacting with our customers. We hear stories all of the time about how we make a difference. One time, a customer I was helping shared that her house had burnt down and they needed everything to start over. We made it affordable for her and her family to get back on their feet.
People constantly rave about our reasonable prices and how clean and bright our store is. Whether they love to thrift as a lifestyle or a necessity, we offer a haven of quality items at affordable prices, putting a smile on everyone's face. There is a reason we have been voted the Best of Las Vegas Thrift Shop 6 years in a row!
4) What is the organization's long-term vision and strategy for creating sustainable social change?
Nevada is sadly fourth in the nation for unaccompanied homeless youth. While we do our part here at Assistance League of Las Vegas, we can't do enough or do it all. So, we partner with other nonprofits, such as Baby's Bounty and Project 150, to help the children who fall through society's cracks. Knowing there are kids in need breaks our hearts.
I would like us to get past fixing the immediate needs and start advocating for changes at the local and state levels, with the goal of one day being out of business as students would have everything they need to go to school. Until then, we are working on increasing our donation and revenue sources to help more children and families.
You can learn more about Assistance League of Las Vegas at ALLV.org. On our website you can also find information about becoming a member and how we work together to transform lives and strengthen our community.