After last week’s post about the proposed TriRock Annapolis, I wanted to check out the traffic around town. I left my house a bit before 10 am Saturday and made my way around (down)town. It was relatively quiet… just as it typically is. Such observations were total self validation.
During this little adventure, I made another interesting observation – the number of charitable events promoted was crazy! For a city of less than 40k, Annapolitans sure are involved. One event I saw really caught my eye – a dress up party put on by the Junior League, this Friday (April 20) at the Marriott Waterfront. The Junior League in Annapolis… what do they do? Are they the home makin’ women in white gloves and pearls creating important policies such as the Home Help Sanitation Initiative like the women from The Help? Okay, extreme example, but just trying to get my point across.
I went looking around these here interwebs for more info and I stumbled across this very interesting article, This Isn’t Your Mother’s Junior League as well as this one in Forbes, In a Different (Junior) League. So no, they aren’t the same “types” that they once were but it appears the work still is. Their mission is stated as such: …an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Locally, they are an organization of over 300 women who donate over 10,000 hours to the community each year. I must say, pretty impressive numbers so why don’t we know more?
It’s a group of women who volunteer, (where?) develop women, (huh?) and improve the community (how?). In most major metropolitan areas, the Junior League has a presence. In our town, I see their cookbooks around town, (they’re actually really good) but that’s about it. To answer my questions, I had to dig a little further… and it wasn’t so easy because their website is extremely text heavy, and rather boring and dry. (Sorry, ladies.)
After demonstrating patience (not my forte) I came up with the following:
- They are involved in A LOT of different projects.
- They donate and deliver 1,000 bookbags, totally filled, to Anne Arundel County Schools.
- They provide meals (manpower and product) at Lighthouse Shelter and Sarah’s House for those struggling.
- They do “stuff” about children’s obesity.
- They give money away to other organizations.
- They partner with just about every social service like county agency.
- And this article says they delivered coats and winter clothing to those in need, provided lunch and gave Christmas presents to foster care children, and donated activity kits to the pediatric unit at the hospital.
(There was a lot more, but I’m limited and need to keep my readers’ interest.) That answers the question of where they volunteer and how they improve the community. They obviously don’t do much in terms of self promotion.
But developing women- what in the world? Their website emphasizes training. And with all that they do, I’d imagine there’s a lot of opportunity for leadership. The women in Atlanta do a good job explaining their training here. I guess you learn by doing. There’s an elected Board, there are committees, there’s voting, there’s financial management… that’s a lot for a volunteer group of all chics who also work and/or take care of their families. So basically, it’s like running a company. And you work with women with a diverse skill set who exceed in different fields. Looks like they take new members each summer so if there are any female tech-savvy types out there, redoing their website would be a great resume booster I bet.
And like any other community service group, the projects cannot be done without money. So these women put on these fancy fundraisers (and apparently a Fun Run, Bar Crawl and Pig & Oyster Roast, too) to raise the money to do so.
So if you’re not partying with Katy Perry over at the Naval Academy Friday night, you can buy your tickets to Moonlight Masquerade here. Mo’town band Uncle Jack Band will be playing, Painkillers will be flowing (it’s open bar- hello!) and restaurants (Wild Orchid, Chart House, Rockfish, Carrol’s Creek to name a few) will be sampling their deliciousness. And I hear La Belle Cezzane donated some serious glitter for a $20 raffle. Get dressed up to party on a Friday night for a good cause? Yes, please! Maybe I’ll incorporate pearls and white gloves in my outfit after all….