What We’re Thinking (the JL blog)


It’s no secret that women are critical to the nation’s military branches, whether as serving members or as the wives who keep families together during long and often dangerous deployments of loved ones. Leaving the military to rejoin civilian life also has its own hurdles.
That’s why a growing number of Junior Leagues have turned to programs that address the needs of military families both while they are serving and as they are leaving the service.
A great example is Between the Lines, a national program begun by the Junior League of …


Force for Good—Community First Foundation’s online giving director and Junior League of Denver member, Dana Rinderknecht, sparked $83 million in donations to nonprofits during five 24-hour donation events.
Looking back over the last six years, why has Colorado Gives Day been so successful? Are Coloradans simply more generous than people in other state?
We started Colorado Gives Day because historically Coloradans gave below the national average. I believe that was because no one was asking them to give and they didn’t have a safe and secure place to give. So that is …


Urban open spaces are vital community assets. They not only bring communities together, but accumulating evidence suggests that both the conservation of open space and the creation of city parks are investments that produce many benefits. Aside from providing opportunities for increased physical activity and social interaction, public parks and open spaces can lessen climate, air and water pollution impacts on public health.
And each of those benefits translates into economic benefits. The Trust for Public Land’s Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System outlines ways in which cities …


Bertina Whytehead was introduced to the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP) in 2013 through her work with the Junior League of Philadelphia. Now, she’s President-elect of POP! Aside from holding various leadership positions in the League, she has also volunteered with Girls Inc. of Philadelphia and Southeastern New Jersey. We asked Bertina how important Junior League membership and leadership training has been to her.
The Philadelphia Orchard Project sounds like a great League project. How did it come about?
Founded in 2007 by economic development pioneer Paul Glover, POP is part of a …


The answer seems obvious, right? But creating broad awareness of the true importance of nutrition as a public policy issue, and not just a matter of personal choice, is not so easy.
That’s something The Junior League has long championed. In fact, shortly after its founding in 1910, the Junior League of Brooklyn successfully petitioned the New York City Board of Education to provide free lunches in schools.
And that’s why National Nutrition Month, celebrated in March, is so important. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which launched the event in 1973, ties …


Nancy Reagan was many things in a long, productive and often glamorous life. Born in modest circumstances in New York City, she went on to become a Hollywood movie star in the 1940s and 1950s. Wife of a California governor and, later, of the 40th President of the United States, she traveled around the world, meeting popes and presidents. And through it all, she was known as her husband’s best friend and closest advisor.
She was also very much her own person. Mrs. Reagan used her own bout with breast cancer, …


It certainly is – and not just in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom and Australia. (Canada’s celebration takes place in October, with Persons Day.) Also in March, International Women’s Day, on March 9, recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, and creates a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas, including gender parity.
Because we are a global organization, these two events afford us the perfect time to reflect on the role …


In case you missed it, February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 1 in 10 teens have been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year. As that statistic suggests, teen dating violence is a problem that crosses both geographic and demographic lines. And it’s a good bet that it’s a problem in your community, too.
Teen dating violence has many causes, but lack of self-esteem among girls is clearly a major factor. That’s why …


How valuable is Junior League leadership training? As soon as we heard that Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens, former president (2009-2010) of the Junior League of San Jose was recently named one of America’s Top 20 Women in Philanthropy & Civic Engagement (along with heavy-hitters like Oprah Winfrey), we decided to ask her. Here’s what Mari Ellen – currently the Chief Business, Development and Brand Officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation – had to say.
You’ve been a Junior League member and leader for many years. How did that prepare you to …


We can’t find statistics on the number of girls who don’t go to their high school proms every year because they can’t afford a prom dress and the shoes and accessories needed to put on a good show on the big night out. But we all know it’s more than a few.
With prom season 2015 nearly over, we wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all of the Junior Leagues that have prom-related initiatives. While we know there are many other non-League programs out there – …