Message from our President
Ninety-One years ago, a strong, bold, and empowered group of women joined together to create the Junior Charities of Topeka. Their aim was to use their collective voice and drive to help those in the community that needed assistance, identify solutions to issues, and to provide meaningful leadership engagement for women. Five years later they joined forces with a larger group, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and became officially known as the Junior League of Topeka in 1937. For the last 86 years, the Junior League of Topeka, and the thousands of women that have been members during that time, have worked for the betterment of our wonderful community by lighting the way forward in creating meaningful community impact while advancing women’s leadership through Junior League membership.
That momentum created and focused over the last 86 years has through collaboration, training, and volunteerism of members enabled the Junior League to transform our community with projects like the Diaper Depot, CASA of Shawnee County, Meals on Wheels, Midland Hospice, Ronald McDonald House, and the Topeka Community Foundation, just to name a few.
We have worked hard over these last few years to maintain an impact on our community, through the many challenges we have all experienced. Our members dedicated their time and talents to keep working towards lasting community change. A few projects we completed last year:
- We donated over 10,000 school supplies to Boys & Girls Club of Topeka.
- We donated over 1,000 pairs of socks for Socktober.
- We held our 4th Annual Little Black Dress Initiative poverty awareness campaign.
- We donated new and used books to Kansas Children’s Service League for “I Love Reading Month”.
- And we donated over 47,000 feminine hygiene products to YWCA to help fight period poverty.
All of the above mentioned items, as well as the countless other opportunities we have participated in, has allowed our League to continue to grow and be a change agent for our community. Last year we revised our Strategic Plan and adopted a new one. This has helped us to align more with what the community needs. One task in our Strategic Plan was to adopt a new issue area. We had lengthy discussions with our members, used community resources, and AJLI’s resources to vote on a new issue area. Our new issue area is: “Our Signature Programming Focus is Women’s Health”.
This League year we will be continuing to heavily focus on civic engagement and community impact as it works towards our membership development, our organizational governance, and our sustainability. We will also dig deeper into the community needs to see how we can help focus more on those needs.
- We will continue our important work as we develop a partnership with a new community partner this year.
- We will challenge ourselves with tackling immediate impact projects that further our mission, expose our membership to other community partners, and tackle our issue area of women’s health.
- We will hold our 5th Annual Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) to help raise awareness and fight poverty and community instability.
- We will continue our efforts to educate ourselves on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging by exploring our weaknesses and have open and honest discussions. In addition, we will continue working diligently to dig into our policies to ensure that the work we do going forward is equitable and inclusive to all.
- We will continue to provide a variety of training and development opportunities for our membership.
We would love to have you join us working towards our mission. Here are some ways that you can help.
- You can become a member!
To learn more about the mission, vision and work of the Junior League contact our Director of Membership firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you join us at one of our meetings or events to get to know us!
- You can become a sponsor!
To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact our Director of Funding Development at email@example.com. Without your support we could not be women as catalysts for lasting change!
- You can participate in one of our community drives!
To learn about upcoming opportunities, contact our Director of Community Impact at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, to inquire about collaboration with the Junior League!
- You can join us by participating in LBDI!
To join us in our poverty awareness campaign, contact our LBDI Chair at email@example.com. We would love to have you join us!
I am completely honored to be the 86th president of the Junior League of Topeka. The women before me and the women after me are a true testament to the amazing power of empowering women and training leaders in our communities. I look forward to serving as the President for the next two years.
Laura Harrison – firstname.lastname@example.org
President, 2023 – 2025
Junior League of Topeka