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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.

The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of the LBDI

Little Black Dress Initiative

By: Jessi Parker, Member-At-Large

Who – Junior League of Greensboro with support from the Greensboro community and friends and family of league members.

What – The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a week-long fundraiser, driven by social media posts, to raise awareness about poverty in our society. The fundraiser was started by the Junior League of London in 2014. Women participating in the LBDI wear one black dress for five days and use social media posts to obtain online donations. If not able to wear a black dress, participants are encouraged to wear another variation of a black outfit for the five-day period.

When – November 6–10, 2017

Where – The LBDI happens wherever you are! Work, home, out with friends. You will wear your dress for those five days, when possible, to raise awareness and encourage donations to support the mission of the Junior League.

Why – Wearing the same dress for five days represents the lack of choices of individuals living in poverty. The Junior League of Greensboro is focusing particularly on the elderly population of Guilford County living below the poverty line. While the iconic black dress can be worn for a variety of occasions, a group of powerful and dedicated women wearing the same black dress for five days can spark a change in the community.

How -Through the Little Black Dress Initiative the Junior League of Greensboro aims to raise awareness and funds for our current initiative: Aging. Most of us have a very prominent social media presence, and through this campaign we hope to utilize social media to obtain donations. With each social media post, the goal is to also shine a light on the difficulties our aging population living in poverty must face. If you are participating in the LBDI Initiative, you will receive a toolkit with sample posts the week before it starts.

RSVP to our Facebook event and visit our Crowdrise page to sign up!

Why I Joined the League

Elizabeth Illig

By: Elizabeth Illig, Provisional Member 2017–2018

By the time I joined the league, most of my friends were already members. They had long touted the benefits of membership and frequently suggested I join. From Touch a Truck to the Women’s Leadership Summit, they listed endless opportunities for growth, philanthropy, and fellowship.

For my part, I was skeptical. Could the league really provide avenues for giving back while promoting career development to a diverse group of women?

After only six weeks in the JLG, I can tell you definitively that the answer is yes. Though I am still fairly new, I can already see how women in the League develop lasting friendships. I am already looking forward to attending the Women to Watch series to learn how to grow as a professional and a leader. And most importantly, I am already impressed by members’ sustained efforts to give back, whether working on a home with Community Housing Solutions or teaching children the benefits of healthy food choices through the Kids in the Kitchen program.

Not to mention, being a member is just downright fun. The Connections Committee plans monthly events ranging from exercise boot camps to haunted historical tours to promote, you guessed it, connections. The Special Events Committee is working on Big Night Out, a fall cocktail kicking off the Junior League’s Little Black Dress Initiative. And if you’re looking for a new outfit at an affordable cost, why not rifle through all 900 members’ closets at The Bargain Box?

I am continually in awe of the well-run, welcoming, charitable environment that is the Junior League of Greensboro. Looking back at the woman I was, questioning the impact of joining, I can only wonder what took me so long?