We operate a thrift store that sustains itself through charitable donations from the community at large. We sell clothing, books and magazines, small furniture, household goods, electronics, various kids' stuff, and decorative items at low prices to anyone who stops by. The money made by these sales goes to fund our variety of programs - a shoe fund within the schools that provides free shoes to schoolchildren; a vision fund that provides eye glasses and exams to children through the schools and adults through the Salvation army; a community needs program that offers immediate material assistance to peoples who are experiencing homelessness or debilitating poverty; a cold weather program that gives away blankets, gloves, scarves, hats, and other warm weather articles to those who need them; and a Prom Queen Closet where people can come to get free formal dresses for any occasion. We rely almost entirely on volunteers, from the organization and upkeep of the store to our Board of Directors to the donations we receive.
The purpose for which the Social Service League is formed is to promote the social welfare of Lawrence and surrounding Douglas County in cooperation with local benevolent and charitable organizations, by relieving the condition of needy individuals and families, to the end that they may sustain themselves. We began as the Associated Charities as a response to the devastation of Quantrill's Raid in 1863 in an effort to support the many members of the community who were left desperately in need. In 1911 this group officially became the Social Service League and was concerned largely with "eliminating poverty and pauperism and their causes...by providing industrial training, in securing employment, providing loans to needy persons at reasonable rates and similar social services." Since then, the League has been many different things, such as a sewing room, a canning kitchen, and job placement center.