Thursday, December 1, 2016

Celebrate for the Season with the Junior League of Washington

From cookie exchanges to cocktail soirees, office events to seasonal lunches, we are sure your December is filled with festive, holiday fun. 

We hope that throughout the month, you can take some time to celebrate and give back with your Junior League of Washington friends. Not only does the League have several holiday-themed social events (like Esprit’s ZooLights meet-up tonight at the National Zoo!), but you can also commemorate the holidays from the comfort of your couch. And don’t forget while you’re doing your holiday shopping – every purchase you make via Amazon Smile supports JLW!

Read on for three fun ways to make December a month to remember with the Junior League of Washington:

Make the season bright for our community partners! From the variety below, there’s something for every schedule or budget.

826DC: Holiday Party Wish List
The 826DC Reading All-Stars Committee is hosting a holiday party for the program’s 60+ students to recognize their hard work building literacy skills across the first half of the school year. Help make the December 17 celebration special by underwriting prizes via the committee’s
Amazon Smile wish list; even small donations will have an impact, and using Amazon Smile also donates a portion of sale back to JLW. Gifts may be purchased through December 9; please select “826DC RAS c/o Sarah Akins” as the shipping option, and contact vice chair Sarah Akins with any questions.

A Wider Circle: Family Sponsorship
A Wider Circle's Holiday Giving Program is looking for JLW sponsors to help families with holiday gifts. You can assemble your own JLW team or be matched with other volunteers depending on the family size and request. Drop-offs will be coordinated at JLW HQ and at the AWC site in Silver Spring. Please email chair
Heather Brown by early December to sign up.

Calvary Women’s Shelter: Gift Drive
The Calvary Committee is collecting basic staples for its residents: twin and full-sized sheet sets, fleece blankets, pillows, pajamas, bath towels, washclothes, bath robes, slippers, flip flops, gift cards (CVS, Target, Walmart, grocery stores, SmarTrip, movie passes), umbrellas, watches, backpacks, journals, and weekly/monthly planners. Please bring unwrapped items to Headquarters, and reach out to chair
Ashley Carter with questions.

CFLS: Adopt-a-Family Holiday Drive
Community Family Life Services has approximately 20 individuals who are still in need of holiday gifts this year. Typical gifts include winter clothing and gift cards. If you or your committee are interested in adopting a child, parent, or entire family, please reach out to by early December.

Folger: Wreaths Across America
The Folger Committee will be participating at Wreaths Across America on Saturday, December 17, at Arlington Cemetery. After the opening ceremony, JLW members will help lay wreaths at tombstones across the cemetery, including the grave of Carlile Patterson Porter, who was a member of the Junior League of Philadelphia and served as an Assistant Staff Director with the Red Cross during WWII. Email chair
Kate Abbott for more information.

Horton’s Kids: Clothing Drive
Horton’s Kids is collecting new jackets, hats, and gloves for its students. They specifically need coats in youth sizes M-XL and hats/gloves in all youth sizes, both for boys and girls; these are especially important since many children and older youth lose them throughout the winter season. Contact chair
Corey Cook to sign up.

National Rehabilitation Hospital: Toiletry Drive
The NRH Committee is collecting toiletries for the hospital’s patients. Please consider donating unopened bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, mouthwash, and deodorant, as well as toothbrushes, hairbrushes and razors. Items will be collected at Headquarters, and you may contact chair
Tarina Charleston with any questions.

Washington School for Girls: Clothing Drive
Scarves, hats, and gloves/mittens are being collected for WSG students. There is also a special request for girls’ tights and socks in navy, steel grey, or white. Please email JLW’s relationship manager
Jennie Kronthal with any questions or to donate.

If you’re still in search of the perfect gift for your parents, your boyfriend, or your sister (or anyone), don’t miss JLW Shops! exclusive shopping event at Tuckernuck’s flagship Georgetown store on Thursday, December 8. From 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., you’ll receive a 10% discount on purchases as well as free monogramming. Come thirsty – The Whiskey Library will be sponsoring a complimentary whiskey tasting. Plus, your shopping supports the League! 10% of all sales from the evening will be donated back to JLW.

See Old Town Alexandria in a whole new light – candlelight – on Saturday, December 10, as Junior League of Washington’s Historic Alexandria Docents (HAD) Committee volunteers take you back in time.

Every winter, the historic house museums in Alexandria get dressed up for a colonial-, Civil War-, or Victorian-era Christmas. Candlelight tours, heavily staffed with HAD volunteers, give guests a chance to see several historic properties, including Carlyle House, Gadsby's Tavern, Lee-Fendall House, and the Old Presbyterian Meeting House. Locals and tourists enjoy hot toddies and walk through the museums, where costumed docents share holiday traditions of the past.

The Lee-Fendall House, a HAD favorite, is an historic house museum and garden which has served as home to 37 members of the Lee family and other prominent Virginians. Furnished year-round as a study of mid-19th century life, the property naturally celebrates a Victorian Christmas. In preparation, HAD volunteers adorn the property with ribbon and greenery, trim the Christmas tree, and set out presents underneath.

The Candlelight Tours raise both funds and exposure for the historic house museums in Alexandria. Hundreds of guests will tour properties in one evening, including many who have never visited any of the properties before. The volume of guests means that JLW volunteers will be essential to helping the program run smoothly. The tours are also a fun way for volunteers to show friends and family what we do. Tour participants as well as museum staff have said they could not have pulled off the annual event without help from JLW and the HAD Committee.

This year’s Candlelight Tours is Saturday, December 10, 4 – 9 p.m. JLW active members who buy a $25 tour ticket and sign in with a JLW member in Market Square will receive a membership credit. Buy your tickets here or via Groupon.

By Jinny Shen, Historic Alexandria Docents Committee

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Day In The Life – Done-in-a-Day Committee

By: Aida Latorre

The Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Done-in-a-Day (DIAD) Committee brings members opportunities to volunteer with different organizations throughout the DC metro area. DIAD members come from varying backgrounds, and the flexibility of the committee allows its members to balance their involvement with JLW and their personal and professional lives.

Volunteers work with groups like the Capital Area Food Bank, DC Design House, American Heart Association, and the Rosemont Center. During volunteer shifts, members provide tutoring assistance, support 5K walks, serve as tour guides for various event centers, and work hands-on with children and young adults with physical or developmental disabilities.

I came to the JLW as a transfer from the JL in Denver where I served on the DIAD committee as well. Last year, I began my membership in JLW on the Transfer Committee and loved the many avenues where JLW is involved in the community and the varying opportunities for members to get involved within the League. It was difficult to decide on a placement because I loved providing tutoring assistance and providing support to different events like 5K runs and fundraising events.
When the time came to decide on a committee for this year, I had just started a new job that requires extensive travel, and I knew that DIAD would give me the chance to get involved with various organizations within the DC area but also would have the flexibility I’d need to get my membership points completed with my new hectic schedule.

I have loved volunteering as a member of DIAD. I have volunteered on a few occasions with Washington School for Girls where I was paired up with a student (usually sixth or seventh grade) and assisted the student with their language arts and/or reading lessons. With the American Kidney Fund, I volunteered at the “Get Social” kiosk that promoted attendees get preventative kidney screening.

Recently I volunteered at the Rosemont Center’s Fall Fiesta where I provided logistical support for their event. During the event, I was able to meet some great leaders in the community and helped support a school that provides early childhood education and family support programs in a bilingual setting. I look forward to continuing my involvement with the DIAD Committee and continuing to make a difference within the DC community.

To request short-term volunteers from our Done-in-a-Day Committee, please click here.