Project 50, No. 10: Junior League of Memphis
Project 50 is a weekly feature on a Mid-South nonprofit that will go on through 2014. I hope that you decide to get involved with at least one organization you hear about this year and put your love for Memphis to work. For this week's Project 50 edition, I've asked Lauren Price to write a guest post about her experience as a member of the Junior League of Memphis.
As a native Memphian, I’m passionate about this city. I joined the Junior League with the hope of making deep connections, and a becoming a leader and a catalyst for change within the community. Through the JLM, I have been able to meet some fabulous women, continuously develop leadership skills, and contribute to real improvement in the city.
The Junior League of Memphis has a simple but enormous goal: building a better Memphis. We've been focusing on this for over 90 years by focusing on volunteerism, women leaders, and projects that address the community's needs.
About 1,600 Memphis women make up our current JLM membership, and last year we clocked in more than 30,000 volunteer hours. Since 1922, the ladies of the JLM have raised more than $13 million that went towards making Memphis a better place.
Recently, Volunteer Mid-South named JLM Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year at their annual "Spirit of Giving" awards luncheon. Mayor Wharton named December 14, 2014 Junior League of Memphis Day to honor our G.R.O.W. program in Binghampton.
The G.R.O.W. program began in Binghampton in 2010. Its inspiration came from research that shows that one in five children in Memphis are born to teenage mothers and that one in four of Memphis' pre-school children live in dire poverty. G.R.O.W. provides programs in literacy, education, health and wellness, personal growth and development, and community empowerment. There is a weekly Thursday night supper club, special events on Saturdays, a tutoring programing at Cornerstone Preparatory School, and a preschool reading program at W.H. Brewster Elementary.
Because our goal is to train women to make an impact on the community, JLM provides on-the-job training in volunteer roles and service. Through their volunteering, many members learn new skills, grow professionally, and even become executive leaders of business and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, our LEAD (Leaders Evolving And Developing) program provides affordable leadership training to emerging leaders of local non-profits.
The JLM pairs money and volunteers like no other nonprofit. We partner with nonprofit agencies to supplement their work, providing the hands and hearts (volunteers) to directly deliver social services. And we just announced our 2014-2015 community projects, which include partnerships with a broad range of nonprofits: Baptist Trinity Hospice – Camp Good Grief; Memphis Athletic Ministries – S.L.A.M.; the Forrest Spence Fund – Family Fund Dinners and Unit Appreciation; the Corners at Highland Heights – FirstWorks at the Corners; Binghampton Christian School – Residential Training Program; and the Ronald McDonald House – Parents Night In. Go here for more info about our community projects.
Official Mission Statement: “The Junior League of Memphis is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.”
How You Can Help:
– Join (Membership is open to all women with interests that align with JLM's mission)
– Register for the 5K for Kids (It's May 10 at 9 a.m. – here's a video.)
– Rent our space for an event (historic Community Resource Center at the corner of Central and Highland)
– Shop at the Repeat Boutique
– Vote for the JLM in the First Tennessee "150 Days of Giving" campaign
Lauren Price is the Marketing and PR Chair for the Junior League of Memphis. Outside of the JLM, she manages in-house public relations for Varco Pruden. Lauren graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and later earned her MBA at Christian Brothers University. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or connect with her on LinkedIn.