Founded in 1932 as the Junior Charities of Topeka, the Junior League of Topeka, is an organization of more than 400 Topeka area women who are focused on “building a better community.” Over the years, Junior League of Topeka has contributed more than $1.8 million, as well as countless volunteer hours and leadership, to projects benefiting Topeka children and their families. Each year, Junior League of Topeka returns proceeds from its fundraiser to the community in the form of trained volunteers and funding for specific community projects.
Junior League of Topeka is credited with having established such noteworthy Topeka organizations as ERC Resource & Referral, Hospice, CASA, Kansas Action for Children, Meals on Wheels, the Volunteer Center, the Topeka Community Foundation, and Everybody Wins! When Adults Read with Children. In 2012 Junior League of Topeka launched its newest project, the Diaper Depot, the first and only diaper bank in Shawnee County. After months of community research it became very apparent that providing diapers, a basic need for all babies, was a huge struggle for many families in Shawnee County who often had to choose between buying food for their families or buying diapers. Furthermore, this need is not being met by government funded agencies or other non-profit organizations in our com-munity and diapers are not covered by state programs such as WIC. This is a void that the Junior League of Topeka feels it can fill. The first diaper raising efforts began in the summer of 2012. Junior League of Topeka members began collecting diapers through community drives and individual donations from it’s members and from other generous community members. Various local businesses have also helped by hosting their own diaper drives or by giving back a percentage of their profits to the Junior League to help us continue to support our new project, the Diaper Depot. Last year the Junior League of Topeka collected over 96,000 diapers and in June of 2013 the first diapers were distributed to needy families through our partnership with Let’s Help, where they are currently supplying 125 children fifty diapers per month.
Other projects funded or assisted over the past 75 years by Junior League of Topeka include: Happy Healthy Me!, the Arts Council of Topeka, Kansas History Museum Discovery Room, Kids Voting Kansas, KVC Behavioral Healthcare, Menninger Lecture Series, Success by Six, TARC, Topeka Literacy Council, Topeka Festival Singers, Topeka Symphony and the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.