I couldn’t be more excited to be able to witness such extraordinary things that will no doubt happen this Junior League year. You have chosen to become a part of an elite group of women. Once you become a part of the Junior League of Springfield, you become a part of history. Your efforts, time, and commitment will not go unnoticed and will ultimately make an indelible mark on the path that has been travelled by a rare breed of women for over 57 years in our Springfield Community.
On this upcoming year we have chosen to focus our attention on the engagement of our members, having purposeful actions toward training better women, and re-committing to our mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving our communities through the effective action of those trained volunteers.
We as a league take our commitment to you as a member seriously. We owe that to you, and to those communities you will choose to serve. We want to make sure you have been given the needed tools and can convey your passion to make other organizations, families, and groups better, because you became a part of them.
Last fall we collected input from our members on which project topics they want to connect with more. Utilizing these results, we will concentrate our efforts on researching the most effective and impactful way for our League to respond to the issue of our Homeless Youth Population. Our focus is and still remains, the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. 34% of our total homeless population in the nation is under the age of 24. 80% of this vulnerable population will use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate to get through their day. Our community will be impacted greatly if we allow this to be acceptable.
As an extension to our efforts in bringing Ruby Payne to our community in 2013 to widen the conversation on the impacts of poverty within our community, we are partnering with the R-12 School District to offer Ruby’s program Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World to families at the Robberson Community School. This curriculum supports people in poverty as they develop their own plan for stability. Our members will serve as mentors to those families participating in the program.
We as a league will continue to put on the highest quality fundraisers, give our members the best experiences we can to participate in numerous community projects, and most of all make every effort to give our members exemplary training opportunities.
Your time you give is valued. It is needed and critical to our league to be able to make the impact we as a League can. Enjoy your year. Make the most of every moment. But ultimately realize you are fortunate to be able to serve.
Thank you for your commitment. I am grateful to be able to have a front row seat to see phenomenal women do some phenomenal things.