2020 has been a uniquely challenging year globally and the city of Memphis is not immune. Although COVID-19 may have altered the Junior League of Memphis’ volunteer methods, its core mission of promoting volunteerism is stronger than ever.
To help Memphis’s youngest citizens, JLM provided summer activity kits for Carpenter Art Garden and Memphis Athletic Ministries including snacks, games and sketchbooks, diaries and hygiene kits. G.R.O.W. Binghampton and Carpenter Art Garden provided more than 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to students for the 2020 school year. JLM volunteers also helped fund activities for Camp Good Grief participants during their virtual summer camp. Lastly, the JLM Volunteer Scholarship recipients started the mentorship program virtually as they begin their college careers this fall.
For immigrants in the Memphis area, the JLM donated laptops to the Refugee Empowerment Program to help support adult participants. These laptops provide access to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) software, citizen preparation classes, online applications, forms, surveys and more.
COVID-19 has been financially difficult for some families. JLM members know that in addition to all the challenges the pandemic brings, access to food should be readily available. We purchased a greenhouse for Memphis Tilth at St. Paul Garden to allow for year-round gardening of seedlings and plants. The produce is sold at farmer’s markets or is given out to different community members in need. Through the Kids in the Kitchen program, we provided food, recipes, and Kroger gift cards to Binghampton families at Lester Community Center.
No matter the situation, JLM will continue its quest to be there for those in need. The women of this organization strive to be leaders in the community and an example of volunteerism.