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Community Program Spotlight: Food Assistance

Food Assistance

Imagine being in your home, hungry, and with no way to get food. This is a challenge that many senior citizens face due to low income, no income, or diminished mobility. In Guilford County alone, nearly 17,000 people age 60 and up experience food insecurity regularly. This year, the Junior League of Greensboro is working to make a difference in the aging population. One way we are doing this in our local community is by working with Food Assistance.

What is Food Assistance?

Food Assistance, Inc. (FAI) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Founded in 2003 by Jane Carlson, FAI serves low-income and disabled seniors in Guilford County.

How does the Junior League of Greensboro assist with Food Assistance?

The Junior League of Greensboro helps Food Assistance by volunteering one Saturday each month to help package groceries for Meals on Wheels. Volunteers work in the warehouse, getting groceries ready for delivery to seniors age 62 and up. In addition to packing groceries, some volunteers may choose to assist with food deliveries. The Junior League of Greensboro also provides monetary support to Food Assistance.

What is the Food Assistance Committee’s goal?

The goal of the Food Assistance Committee is to have each committee member complete six volunteer shifts in the Food Assistance warehouse in the program year.

Community Program Spotlight: Friends Against Fraud

Friends Against Fraud

It seems that scam attempts are everywhere during the holiday season, and we often hear stories of community members falling victim to fraud this time of year. With a new focus area on the aging community, Friends Against Fraud is one of several programs that the Junior League of Greensboro is supporting this year. Here, we shed light on this impactful program and how our members are making a difference.

What is Friends Against Fraud?
For our Friends Against Fraud initiative, the Junior League of Greensboro has partnered with the Corporation of Guardianship (CoG), a private non-profit that supports decision-making services for people with diminished capacity who don’t have friends or family available to help them. With the help of CoG and several other area non-profits, we’ve implemented an educational program that raises the awareness of elder financial abuse and helps teach aging adults and their caregivers how to protect themselves against financial fraud.

What is the Junior League of Greensboro’s role in this project?
So far this year, we’ve held three educational events in the community where we’ve shared the Friends Against Fraud presentation. We have had great attendance at these events and we’ve received an overwhelmingly positive and appreciative response from attendees. Beginning in April 2018, we’ll host three more events in an attempt to reach as many community members as possible.

What is your committee’s goal?
The goal of the Friends Against Fraud committee is to educate as many community members as possible on the prevalence of elder financial abuse and to train them on how they can protect themselves and loved ones against financial fraud.

How has the partnership with Friends Against Fraud and CoG made a difference?
The events we’ve hosted so far have helped those in attendance realize that while the dangers of financial fraud and abuse are everywhere, they are not alone. Almost everyone we’ve spoken to has had a story to share about how they’ve been affected by financial fraud. This is not just a problem for older adults — it’s a problem that impacts all of us.

Community Program Spotlight: Kids in the Kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen

This year, Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) is one of several programs supported by the Junior League of Greensboro. Here, we shed light on this impactful program and how our members are making a difference.

What is KITK?
Children’s health and wellness has consistently been a key issue for the Junior League, and the Junior League of Greensboro is one of many Leagues across the country and internationally that support this initiative. The goal of the KITK program is to promote health and wellness by empowering children and youth to make healthy lifestyle choices, with the goal of preventing obesity and its associated health risks.

How does the Junior League of Greensboro assist with KITK?
The Junior League of Greensboro is responsible for everything related to KITK, including planning the events, determining the food demonstrations, and volunteering during the event.

What is the KITK committee’s goal?
Our goal is to have an impact on as many local kids and families as possible by providing opportunities to make a healthy snack — and hopefully introduce some new healthy options. We work to accomplish this by hosting several events throughout the year. So far, we have hosted two KITK events at LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro, which have included demonstrations on how to make trail mix and where bananas come from. We also participated in the Touch-A-Truck event this fall.

When is the next KITK event?
Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kids in the Kitchen at Lebauer Park on March 17, 2018. You’ll be sure to leave with a new knowledge of all things green!

Follow the Junior League of Greensboro’s Facebook page to get the latest updates on our events. Every KITK event is free and open to the public.

Community Program Spotlight: Community Housing Solutions

Community Housing Solutions

This year, the Junior League of Greensboro shifted our focus area to the aging community. With this new focus, the League has partnered with several community programs, one of which is Community Housing Solutions. Here, we shed light on this impactful program and how our members are making a difference.

What is the Community Housing Solutions program?

The mission of Community Housing Solutions (CHS) is to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing to low-income households. The program works to eliminate substandard housing and to restore dignity and hope to families living in Guilford County neighborhoods.

How does the Junior League of Greensboro assist with this program?

As part of our focus on aging, the Junior League of Greensboro has partnered with CHS to repair the homes of elderly and disabled people in our community who cannot physically or financially complete the renovations themselves. The Junior League has committed to completing six home repair projects throughout the League year. Earlier this year we participated in Paint the Town, CHS’ annual one-day event. Our volunteers repainted a porch ceiling, front window shutters, and railings. Last month we assisted a disabled homeowner and their elderly mother by removing a metal ramp and replacing it with a leveled wooden ramp.

What is your committee’s goal?

First and foremost our goal is to address a need in our community, and we’re dedicated to improving our community through effective action. By partnering alongside CHS and providing trained volunteers and financial assistance, we are helping this program meet the needs of more individuals that they may not have otherwise had the means to reach. Secondly, we aim to be mindfully present in the work that we are doing and ensure that we are always representing what the League stands for in our community. We hope to provide our League members with a quality placement experience that may foster interaction with women who they might not have otherwise interacted with, expose members to areas of the community that they may not frequent or be familiar with, and allow our members to learn and utilize skills.

How has the partnership between the Junior League and CHS made a difference in the Greensboro community?

Earlier this year, Leatrice Priest, CHS Committee Chair, attended a luncheon before the Paint the Town event. When Gene Brown, President and Executive Director of CHS, introduced her as a Junior League representative and announced our partnership, the audience gave a standing ovation. Our presence has made a huge difference. Because these projects are labor intensive and costly, our support is twofold: We provide both labor hours and financial assistance. The builds enable our members to put a face to our volunteer work. For the individuals we are helping, the impact extends far beyond the Saturday we’ve spent with them.

How can other League members get involved?

The CHS committee invites League members to join us for an upcoming Saturday build project (January 20, March 17, May 19). If you are interested in volunteering for an upcoming project, please contact Leatrice Priest (alpriest08@gmail.com).

 

Community Program Spotlight: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

This year, the Junior League of Greensboro shifted our focus area to the aging community. With this new focus, the League has partnered with several community programs, one of which is Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Here, we shed light on this impactful program and how our members are making a difference.

What is the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program?

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is a program that serves as a support group for grandparents (age 55+) who are the primary caregivers of youth (under age 18). The program aims to provide these grandparents with the tools and resources they need to establish successful family units and helps to foster lasting relationships among these grandparents.

How does the Junior League of Greensboro assist with this program?

The League will help with several events throughout the year and will provide both volunteers and monetary donations. A dedicated Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Committee, comprised of Junior League members, will help plan and conduct meetings, identify and invite speakers, serve family-style dinners, and provide activities for the grandchildren. The League’s biggest goal is to create lasting relationships with these families and make community connections for the grandparents. We also want to provide the grandparents with tools and resources within the community.

Most recently, the committee hosted a fall-themed evening with the families. Grandchildren participated in games while the grandparents learned about social media safety and school/home safety.

When is the next Grandparents Raising Grandchildren event?

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Committee is hosting a Jingle Bell Ball on December 9. This holiday party is an opportunity for grandparents to relax and have fun alongside their grandchildren. League members will give gifts to the grandchildren and will have a lima bean auction for the grandchildren to bid on gifts to give their grandparents. It’s a fun event and the children are typically very eager to give gifts to their grandparents.

How can other League members and the local community get involved?

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Committee invites League members and the general public to provide donations for the Jingle Bell Ball. Your donations will directly help to make this event successful and memorable for these families. We are seeking:

  • $10 gift cards to Target, Walmart, and grocery stores
  • New, unopened toys valued at $10

Kindly deliver donations to the Junior League of Greensboro headquarters (3101 West Friendly Avenue) by Friday, December 1.