Thinking about joining the JLM? It’s never too late.

doneinadayBCAphoto

Traci Strickland (lower left, hat) with fellow JLM members at Binghampton Christian Academy

A couple of years ago, I was sitting in my office and I saw a Facebook post on one of my closest friend’s wall about her experiences in the Junior League of Memphis (JLM). She, along with many of my dear friends, had initially joined JLM several years ago, and a few were already sustainers. I had always wanted to join the Junior League, but always thought I was too busy at work. Then my husband and I started out family and had our two sons, who are now 11 and almost 7.

Reading her post got me thinking, “Is it too late to join?” “Am I too old to get started?” After I talked to her about it and asked her those questions, she told me of course not! It was never too late. She was so right. Joining the Junior League of Memphis was one of the best decisions I’ve made, and here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • The JLM is a diverse group of women of all ages, backgrounds and interests who come together for one common purpose – to make a difference in the Memphis community. I learned this immediately at my first activity as a provisional member, the provisional bus tour. I met some incredible women that day and we all got a sneak peek of some of the great projects JLM does to improve Memphis.
  • In my provisional year, I made some very dear friends who I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for JLM. My provisional small group was so close, we intentionally created more reasons to get together than what was required. Having served as an active member this year, I’ve continued to build new friendships with some incredibly talented and passionate women. I’ve learned so much from them and am so thankful for their friendships.
  • I’ve always wanted to be able to serve in the Memphis community, but honestly with so many choices in Memphis, I sometimes didn’t know where to start. JLM has helped me focus my time and efforts where I feel like I can make a contribution. I’ve loved serving at GROW, Binghampton Christian Academy and within the League

    MMP Leadership 2014

    2014-2015 JLM Merry Marketplace leaders

Whether you are new to Memphis or have lived here your whole life, JLM can help you develop your leadership skills, make some wonderful new friendships and serve the community we call home all within one amazing organization. I’m so glad I realized it wasn’t too late.

Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the JLM, including details for upcoming informational sessions in May, June and July.

Traci Strickland
2014-2015 Secretary

Merry Marketplace

Advertisements

JLM partners with Forrest Spence Fund to support LeBonheur families and staff

JLM Forest Spence Fund Committee members

JLM Forrest Spence Fund committee members

This year, the Junior League of Memphis (JLM) is excited to be supporting the Forrest Spence Fund (FSF) as a first-time placement for JLM members.  The Forrest Spence Fund was created by Brittany and David Spence in 2007 after the death of their first child, Forrest.  Shortly after his birth, Forrest developed complications and was rushed to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at LeBonheur, where he stayed for the next 55 days.  Inspired by the support they received from LeBonheur staff and family members during this time, the Spences wanted to set up a fund to assist with the non-medical needs of critically or chronically ill children and their families.

Our volunteers support the Forrest Spence Fund’s mission by serving alongside other volunteers during the FSF’s monthly dinner at LeBonheur, offering families at LeBonheur a place to go to get a warm meal.  Some families don’t want to leave the patient’s bedside, scared something might happen while they step away. Because of that, volunteers will pack up dinners into To Go boxes that dinner attendees can take back with them.  But most often, these dinners are used as a way for the volunteers to get to know LeBonheur patients and their families, so they can see what kind of assistance the FSF can offer them.  Our JLM volunteers set up a craft table each month for kids to escape from the monotony of the hospital and have some fun.  It’s been rewarding having the kids create something fun, and oftentimes siblings will bring a craft back to the hospital room for their sick brother or sister to complete later when they are feeling better.

In addition to the monthly dinners, JLM Volunteers have taken charge of coordinating and planning Unit Appreciation Bags for various units at LeBonheur.  These bags are created as a token of gratitude from the Forrest Spence Fund, while also serving as a way for the Fund to spread their mission with LeBonheur staff.  We set aside one evening each month to get together as a committee and assemble these bags.  It’s been a great opportunity to get to know other JLM members, while knowing that our hard work is supporting the staff at LeBonheur who work so hard to take care of their patients.

forest spence

Unit appreciation bags created for LeBonheur staff by the JLM Forrest Spence Fund committee members

Our committee this year is passionate about the Forrest Spence Fund’s mission, and I’m so grateful to have gotten to work with them.  Our committee  is composed of mothers who’ve received support from the FSF in the past, nurses from LeBonheur, and other volunteers who just want to support the FSF’s mission.

JLM-Forrest Spence Fund Committee Members are Sarah Fiser, Val Hall, Marissa Rogers, Chelsey Savage, Jennie Tucker, and Amy Wilhite, and Kristen Ellis.

If you’d like to learn more about how to become a member of the JLM and join us in making a difference in our community, please visit our website and email Jen Larkin at jen.l.larkin@gmail.com to find out more.

Kristen Ellis
2014-2015 Chair
Forrest Spence Fund –  Family Fund Dinners and Unit Appreciation

Discovering New Treasures: JLM Hosts its Annual Estate Sale & Preview Party

The Fabulous Items will be up for grabs at the JLM Estate Sale

These fabulous items will be up for grabs at the JLM Estate Sale

Preview Party: March 19, 6-10 p.m.Estate Sale: March 21, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

You don’t want to miss this!

One of my favorite pastimes is searching for vintage treasures. Finding the perfect unique piece to fill a space makes my heart sing! Getting it for a good deal? Double bonus

The JLM’s Estate Sale is the ideal event for shoppers looking to score an amazing deal. Don’t miss your chance to find that piece you’ve been searching for or perhaps a treasure you didn’t even know you needed.

The best part? You can feel good about your finds because you are shopping for a great cause. Funds raised help support the many different community projects the JLM supports, including G.R.O.W., MAM, and Camp Good Grief! Not only do JLM members and friends donate items to this sale, we also received some fabulous donations from Ray & Baudoin Interior Design. On top of that, JLM members participate in the trash to treasure challenge and you won’t believe the talents displayed! I purchased a bright yellow desk and chair for my porch last year that had a chalkboard top. My girls LOVE it!

Sample of items donated by Ray & Baudoin Interior Design

Sample of items donated by Ray & Baudoin Interior Design

Do you want an exclusive preview of Estate Sale merchandise and the first opportunity to purchase items? Then, you don’t want to miss the Estate Sale Preview Party on Thursday, March 19, 6-10 p.m. at the Community Resource Center, 3475 Central Avenue. Tickets are only $20 in advance ($25 at the door). Click here to purchase tickets now! Here’s the Event Breakdown: Your ticket includes beverages provided by Eagle Distributing, Stella Artois and Spirits of Timbercreek, entertainment by DJSwagg Memphis (6-8 p.m.) and Bamboo Forest (8-10 p.m.), catering by Paradox Catering & Consulting, LLC, and desserts by The Painted Cookie. The Preview Party also will feature a special Trash to Treasure Silent Auction and Me & Mrs. Jones demo/inspiration station. Take a break from your shopping and participate in the lawn games where you will have opportunities to win “JLM Bucks” for discounts on items purchased. We will also feature a liquor pull at a cost of $20 for one pull and $30 for two. A few of the bottles have also been bundled with gift certificates or prizes so try your luck at pulling a number! If you are unable to attend the Preview Party or if you’re looking for another opportunity to shop, then you don’t want to miss the Estate Sale on Saturday, March 21, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the CRC. Attend both events in order to see all of the wonderful sale items! Furniture, artwork, china, lamps, rugs and draperies are among the fabulous goods that will be available. We would like to thank all of our donors including Ray & Baudoin Interior Design, I.O. Metro – Collierville, Worlds Apart – Memphis and Blu D’or Interiors. I look forward to shopping with you! Jeni Linkous Community Outreach Director 2014-2015 estate sale

Parents Night In: JLM supports Ronald McDonald House

JLM Oscar Night -

JLM members show off the photo props for Oscar Night at the Ronald McDonald House

One night a month, members of the Junior League of Memphis (JLM) provide the moms and dads living at the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis (RMH) a special Parents Night In.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for the patients treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their families. RMH strives to provide a home environment so the whole family can concentrate on getting the child healthy and happy. As such, research has shown that the presence of family helps sick children heal faster. And for those staying at RMH, there’s also an enhanced opportunity to monitor complicated treatment plans and provide ongoing communications with the child’s medical team while providing a sense of normalcy with warm beds, warm meals and the opportunity to participate in normal activities with other families fighting the same battle.

The JLM Parents Night In project brings exciting activities to the RMH families and we have seen tremendous participation and enthusiasm from all of our JLM efforts. Our 11-person JLM committee includes Stephanie Bada, Betsy Brasher, Leslie Drummond, Kasandra Fernandez, Mary Griffin, Laura Haralson, Lesley Patel, Heather Ross, Jessie Walker, Grace Weil and myself.

10733884_951782211502614_6578573421078047647_o

JLM Parents Night In committee members

One of our recent events was Oscar Night at the Ronald McDonald House. Entering the event, the kids dressed up and had their photo made along the red carpet before they moved on to arts and crafts. The kids had a fun time decorating their own gold and silver stars for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And popcorn was a big hit while the Lego movie played in the RMH living room.

Our JLM committee has great respect and empathy for the emotional hardship these parents are going through, and as such, they have done a wonderful job creating a little normalcy so the kids can be kids and the parents can take a breath through the Parents Night In project.

Tabitha Glenn
2014-2015 Chair
Ronald McDonald House Parents Night In

G.R.O.W. – Making a Difference at Brewster Elementary School

I am Erica Coopwood, and as the 2014-2015 Chair of G.R.O.W. Brewster Pre-K / Kindergarten Reading Readiness, I want to offer our readers a glimpse of the rewarding work that the Junior League of Memphis is doing with its newest G.R.O.W. (Giving Reading Opportunities and Wellness) program at William H. Brewster Elementary School.

IMG_3262 (1)

Proud Brewster students and their Valentine craft created with G.R.O.W. volunteers

Brewster Elementary School is located at Collins and Sam Cooper Blvd. Every other Tuesday for two hours, JLM volunteers work directly with pre-kindergartners and kindergarteners by reading a book, hosting a craft activity and helping them complete an educational activity worksheet that correlates with their weekly curriculum. Each year before school begins, we meet with the teachers and principal, Dr. Angela Askew, to “map out” our year. Our goal is to make sure that each book, craft, and education worksheet that we choose follows the teachers’ curricula.

JLM Member and G.R.O.W. volunteer, Mandy Lamey interacting with Brewster students.

JLM member and G.R.O.W. volunteer, Mandy Lamey interacting with Brewster students.

As soon as we enter the classroom hallway, the kids catch a glimpse of their “G.R.O.W. Friends,” and we get many hugs, but only one question: “Are you coming in my room today, G.R.O.W. Friend?” (For the longest time, we all thought the kids were calling us their Girlfriends because they say it so quickly!) Being able to spend one-on-one time with the kids gives the kids time to read cool books, create imaginative crafts and complete worksheets that are right on target with what they are learning. The teachers benefit from our presence by having a staff of excellent women (might I say!) who are reinforcing their weekly lesson curricula in a different format. And for the volunteers, there is simply nothing more satisfying than being able to give your time and talents to children who need it! Whether it’s helping a child “get” what’s being taught in the classroom, or being able to comfort a child whose day didn’t start out so well—the volunteers benefit from the immediate gratification of being able to see the difference they make.

IMG_3295

JLM member and G.R.O.W. volunteer, LaTina Thomas working with students on their activity page

Brewster also has many community partners who are ready to step in when they see a need. Last Fall, two of JLM’s provisional members who were completing their community shifts noticed that many of the kids were wearing school shirts that looked as if they’d been worn over and over. So they offered to wash the kids’ clothing!  They were adamant about it, too. They saw a need, and immediately offered a solution. I shared this concern with my husband, President and CEO for Regional One Health, and Regional One Health, along with many Brewster lovers, gifted each Pre-K and Kindergarten student with a new, embroidered long sleeve school uniform shirt from Agape North for Christmas. The teachers and children were overjoyed and so appreciative of this, but for us as Junior Leaguers, it was a no-brainer: the need was there and we found a way to meet that need. That’s who we are and what we do!

IMG_3134

G.R.O.W. volunteers and Brewster students showing off their new shirts

JLM members have made great strides in solidifying G.R.O.W. as a top-notch, award-winning volunteer program in Memphis. Our members have had the privilege of impacting the lives of our City’s most vulnerable, and with our expansion to Brewster Elementary, we have certainly made a positive impact on many lives in this community. What’s more, we have a team of administrators and teachers at Brewster who are excited about JLM’s presence. We are into our second year at Brewster, and we look forward to continuing G.R.O.W.’s tradition of excellence with the children of William H. Brewster Elementary School. Go Brewster!

Please “like” us on Facebook to stay up to date on what’s happening with G.R.O.W.   If you’d like to learn more about how to become a member of the JLM and join us in making a difference in our community, please visit our website and email Jen Larkin at jen.l.larkin@gmail.com to find out more.

Erica Coopwood
2014-2015 Chair
G.R.O.W. Brewster Pre-K / Kindergarten Reading Readiness

What is Issue Based Community Impact?

Issue Based Community Impact (IBCI) is a new catch phrase around Junior Leagues all across the country, but what is it exactly? Simply put, it is a strategy to determine which issues the JLM can really impact and how the JLM can help move the needle in Memphis.

For example, the JLM averages eight to ten community projects annually across a myriad of issues – health and wellness, education, grief, diversity, etc. Therefore, we know the JLM’s projects are widespread but not necessarily very focused…which begs the question: “Are we truly making the kind of impact we desire in our community?”

After much thought and discussion among leadership and members, the Community Impact Committee was formed last year to help answer this question and to capture the pulse of Memphis’ current community issues where JLM could best serve. This research group, now in its second year, has held a series of focus groups, met with various organizations and combed through a multitude of statistics to help recommend issues to the JLM.

The three issues that have risen to the top are:

1.  Neighborhood Revitalization
2.  Education
3.  Literacy

In January, the Community Impact Committee will be providing more information on these three issue areas via this blog and other communication outlets, including our social media accounts.

Come to the General Membership Meeting tonight at the Orpheum to hear more and stay tuned to this blog for more details on each issue.

It’s an exciting time to be in the JLM as we’re working hard to transform Memphis! We hope you are as excited as we are about this next step in the future of the JLM.  If you have questions, please direct them to Kristen Bland, Community Impact Chair, at kmt23_2000@yahoo.com.

Image

Celebrating the Season of Giving at G.R.O.W.

While The Junior League of Memphis’ signature project G.R.O.W. Giving, Readiness, Opportunity, and Wellness focuses on families in the community throughout the year, the holiday season is a very special time to us. The season of giving really kicked off in full swing with the Grizzlies Day of Caring in October and hasn’t let up since. We started mobilizing for the year end and holidays with renewed focus the week following our special day with the Grizzlies. Cue the magic!

After five years of operations, G.R.O.W. is woven into the fabric of the JLM. Our members are always finding ways to incorporate G.R.O.W. into daily JLM life whether with General Membership Meetings, helping with shifts, or supporting project needs like supply drives. We were recently involved in a big way with The Junior League of Memphis General Membership Meeting & Holiday Party on November 24 held at The Community Resource Center (CRC). Ms. Harper (a volunteer from Binghampton who dedicates her time running the afterschool program at Lester) brought a group of the G.R.O.W. children to the party for caroling! They were amazing! Ms. Harper and The G.R.O.W. Carolers in action:  https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=767700029933111&set=vb.238545949515191&type=2&theater

The kick off for the necessities supply drive happened that night, too. Our members were asked to donate essential household items like toilet tissue, bar soap, footie socks for adults and children, laundry soap, kitchen garbage bags, and dish soap. The generosity of our members was overwhelming.

IMG_5436

All of the planning came to fruition this last week! New Ballet Ensemble  came to G.R.O.W. Thursday Night Supper Club on December 4 for a captivating holiday performance of NutRemix (a modern telling of the Nutcracker story) at our monthly family night. New Ballet is a great friend to Lester Community Center and to the Junior League of Memphis. They are an incredibly inclusive dance company and have regular weekly dance classes at The Community Center.

Next we celebrated students at William H. Brewster Elementary School  by donating new embroidered uniform shirts to each student and teacher in four PreK and two kindergarden classrooms. Generous and gracious JLM members partnered with Regional One Health to sponsor Agape North shirts for the children. Uniform shirts are important and being able to provide them serves a tangible need.

IMG_3392

We continued promoting a life long love of reading and learning at Cornerstone Prep. The JLM gifted each student  in the tutoring program books from the Harry Potter series. What better way to spend the upcoming holiday break than reading Harry Potter?

IMG_5365

GROW Thursday Night Supper Club on December 11 was the last supper club of 2014. The PreK children wrote letters to Santa.

IMG_5405

The kids ages 6-12 partnered with another fabulous community project, The Forrest Spence Fund, to have our kids help out with another charity and teach them the importance of giving their time during this holiday season. Kristen Ellis, a JLM member who chairs our Forest Spence Fund Project, led the G.R.O.W. kids to help complete care packages that will be distributed to the families of LeBonheur.

IMG_5367

G.R.O.W. teens made Christmas ornaments with G.R.O.W. volunteers Katy and Leah. Hayley and Lauren led the adults in making the always popular Christmas wreaths!

IMG_5393 IMG_5420

Marcie Maxwell, a talented professional photographer who is a member of Thursday Night Supper Club, took family holiday photos. Check out her blog post on G.R.O.W. family photos here: http://triplemphotos.blogspot.com/2014/12/christmas-at-grow.html

FINAL BLOG Dec 11 2014 (9 of 12)

On the day before the grand finale (the December G.R.O.W. Saturday Special Event) a few members met at the CRC and packed out the mountain of supplies raised in the necessities drive! We then played Santa and transported everything to Lester for the big day.

IMG_5442

The 2014 grand finale was a stunning success. Our Saturday Special Events team put on a great party and family celebration. We had cute craft and holiday card making stations. Families were able to use Marcie’s photos in their cards!

IMG_5485 IMG_5486

The G.R.O.W. Carolers back in action for a follow up on their JLM GMM performance:

IMG_5466

We served lunch and passed out the necessities baskets to each of our G.R.O.W. families and G.R.O.W. teens!

IMG_5481

Lester Community Center Director Casey and JLM President Carolyn Danley visiting at G.R.O.W.:

IMG_5468

G.R.O.W is a very special project which highlights the importance of collaboration to build “infrastructure” for little minds. I am grateful to my team – the village – who help make it all possible.

I hope you will consider learning more about G.R.O.W. Check out our Facebook page for more info and photos.

GROW on Facebook!