November has arrived, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the media will soon focus on community needs of the season. For our league, though, there is no 'one season of support and sharing'.
We thank our talented, committed committee volunteers and those who support them through Community Experiences (aka as CEs) and Mini-Placements.
Our volunteers ensure that seniors receive weekend food deliveries in sun, rain, and snow through their work with Iona; Doorways volunteers have taken on new duties with their shelter's pantry this year, and Done-in-a-Day actively supports the Capital Area Food Bank.
Community Family Life Services volunteers lead, support and learn alongside women in transition in their bi-weekly book club, with learning activities for the children as well. The clients at N Street Village can count on our volunteers to deliver great activities each and every time. Bright Beginnings volunteers bring sunshine with them at their regular activities with children of homeless families.
Volunteers at Teen Life Clubs work with young girls on envisioning a lifetime of possibilities and provide books that build dreams. With Building Futures, we work with children and teens as study buddies and on expanding knowledge of geography with maps and books donated by the JLW.
And our Community Training committee interweaves with these placements to support life skills learning beyond our traditional committee programs, increasing the league's impact significantly.
Additionally, our fundraising committees support all of our community placements. Each one of us has the opportunity to join that support through one of the JLW’s signature events – A Capital Collection of Holiday Shops – in early December. With ACC’s arrival each year, a new opportunity arises for the JLW to make a positive difference in the Washington, DC, community. The funds raised during ACC this year will enable the JLW to provide worthy community support organizations with the resources they need to lead new literacy and life-improving opportunities.
English author Samuel Johnson stated, "The future is purchased by the present." This is certainly an apropos statement for the Junior League this month, as we celebrate the JLW’s 51st A Capital Collection—our 53rd year of working in the present to provide new opportunities for the future of those in need.
While Samuel Johnson’s quote can relate to the JLW’s annual ACC event in numerous ways, the "Making Spirits Bright" theme, chosen by this year’s ACC Committee, certainly supports the goal of "purchasing" future chances to bring joy for community members in need. With future opportunities in mind, the Junior League of Washington also works to help the community in future years by awarding grants to community organizations that work to improve literacy skills. The value of "purchasing" chances for community members to gain skills that help them better their lives cannot be over-emphasized.
As you volunteer and shop throughout the weekend of ACC, I encourage you to remember that you are making a difference in the life of a community member in need and make a positive impact on the community we live in. And while volunteering and shopping together, ACC provides an opportunity to strengthen existing – and begin new – friendships. We thank the committee that has been working so hard, long before this JLW year began, to bring us these opportunities.
Please enjoy this Thanksgiving with your families, and I look forward to seeing you at ACC!