Message from our President
Ninety 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 85 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 85 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 all know that the last couple of years have been hard for our community, and our organization has not been immune. However, our steadfast members used those challenges to learn, and to work towards lasting community change. Just a few things that we have done in just this last year:
- We held our 3rd Annual Capital Impact Leadership Summit for area high schools.
- We awarded four college scholarships.
- We held our 3rd Annual Little Black Dress Initiative poverty awareness campaign.
- We established a children’s room at the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment for children to have a safe place to play and process trauma while their parents receive support services.
- We donated $3,500 from our Heinz Memorial Fund to The Library Foundation for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide books to children, age birth to five in Topeka and Shawnee County.
- We collected and donated more than 15,000 school supplies to the Boys & Girls Club of Topeka.
- And we donated 4,000 feminine hygiene products to Community Action to help fight period poverty.
None of the above would have been possible without our wonderful donors, or the grace, determination, and dedication from our membership. Each year our members collectively give thousands of hours of their time and talents to ensure we continue moving forward in fulfilling our mission. We would not be able to make the impact on our community that we do if it were not for our amazing members. In supporting our members, it’s my hope that we continue to be flexible, agile, supportive, and kind as the world around us evolves.
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 continue our important work with our current community partner, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment.
- 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 addressing child welfare as impacted by community instability and violence.
- We will hold our 4th 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 will revise our Strategic Plan, so that is more aligned with both the current needs of our community and 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you join us!
I understand that I am merely a trustee of this amazing legacy of strong, bold, and empowered women lighting the way forward over the last 85 years. Like a point on a continuum, my year will be about how I can help empower each woman in our League to be the volunteer, advocate, and civic leader that she aspires to be. I am honored to serve as the 85th President of the Junior League of Topeka, to join the sisterhood of Presidents that have served before me, and to continue building on that rich legacy for those that will come after.
Junior League of Topeka