What We’re Thinking (the JL blog)


The Junior League of Tampa made a big impression on the Tampa Bay community this year with an aggressive, multi-media awareness campaign called AbolishMovement.com with the theme Abolish Child Sex Slavery. Here’s what Lee Lowry, former JLT President and recent gubernatorial appointee to the newly created Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, thinks other Leagues can do to make their human trafficking initiatives powerful and, in the process, raise their own community awareness and impact.
How did JLT become involved in the human trafficking fight?
The ball really started rolling three years …


While there are many great examples of what individual Junior Leagues and SPACs are doing to fight human trafficking, the Junior League of Kalamazoo’s Sara Morley-LaCroix shows how League members can use their training to create community-based organizations to address critical issues.
How did you become involved in the human trafficking issue?
I became aware of the severity of the human trafficking crisis in Michigan through my work as a delegate to the Michigan State Council of Junior Leagues, which represents nine Leagues in Michigan, and its State Public Affairs Committee. MSC has …


The fight against human trafficking has become one that a number of SPACs have adopted as their own. Here, the Junior League of the City of New York’s Lisa Hofflich describes how the New York State Public Affairs Committee got into the game early—and became a player in the action in Albany.
When did NYSPAC get involved in fighting against human trafficking in New York?
We’ve been involved at the state level since 2006, when we strongly urged members of the New York State Assembly and Senate to enact a strong, comprehensive …


This is a fact that many Junior Leagues have embraced over the years with programs that encourage childhood literacy and look to involve parents as well as teachers in the process. Which is why we were delighted to see the recent announcement by the American Academy of Pediatrics asking its 62,000 members to take the time in office visits to tell parents of young children that reading aloud and talking about pictures and words in age-appropriate books can strengthen language skills, literacy development and parent-child relationships. The statistics on the …


You arrive at school to an empty dorm room. And outfitting that room with even the basics – sheets, towels, blankets, pillows and the like – can be very costly (according to the National Retail Federation’s Back to School report in 2012, the average back-to-college family spending was $907).
Enter stage right the Junior League of Bronxville. For the second year, in partnership with Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE), the League held a successful “Dorm Room Drive” this spring to collect necessities for college-bound graduating high school seniors of neighboring Yonkers, …


Very! For over 35 years, May 18 has been celebrated worldwide as International Museum Day, to raise public awareness about the role of museums in the development of society. But the importance of museums to a community – particularly children’s museums – is nothing new to Junior Leagues.  In fact, Junior Leagues across the U.S. have been key players for decades in the movement to develop hands-on, learning-oriented children’s museums to supplement education in the sciences and arts.
According to League history, the first mention of Junior League members getting involved …


Because reading and children’s literacy programs are the cornerstone of many Leagues’ community outreach initiatives, we try to give a shout out every March to National Reading Month. This year we missed our target by a couple of days, but thought this initiative was so important we’re sharing it now regardless that it’s April.
But this year we couldn’t resist giving a hat tip to a truly innovative nonprofit organization that is addressing the “other” illiteracy…numerical. That organization is Bedtime Math, the brainchild of Laura Overdeck, who, among her many other …


After the heady consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to think about giving back, rather than taking. And that’s the whole thought behind the #GivingTuesday movement, which AJLI has officially joined!
Now in its second year, #GivingTuesday aims to create an international day of giving to kick off the giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.  (And some of our Leagues may be following closer to home through #GivingTuesdayUK, #GivingTuesdayCa and #DiaParaDar.)
It’s a great fit for The Junior League and our Mission. Every dollar donated via AJLI’s #GivingTuesday …


Maybe. Let’s face it – this holiday has been heavily commercialized for years and, increasingly, is more often an opportunity for adults to party than a chance for kids to be kids.
So it’s interesting to look at how some Junior Leagues have worked hard to refocus Halloween – whether as a way of involving kids who might be left out because of illness or economic status, or as a way to bring kids and their parents together in safe and fun activities that emphasize the value of coming together as …


If you’re from the Northeast, chances are you were preparing for Hurricane Sandy, little knowing that it would soon become the storm of the century (so far!). A day later, particularly along the coastline of New Jersey and in waterfront sections of New York City, whole neighborhoods were demolished, beaches and boardwalks washed away, and millions found themselves without heat or power, and many remained homeless, living in temporary accommodations, for months. Even now, with the first anniversary of Sandy, some communities and organizations are still struggling to rebuild.
But if …