Monday, April 30, 2012

Community Partners Reception

Preparations are underway for the Community Partners Reception on Thursday, May 3rd at the Loughborough House! This annual reception not only highlights all of the work JLW volunteers do in the community, but will also feature the JLW's Youth Poetry Contest winners. Loughborough Room will be packed full of community partners, JLW members, students from local DC Public Schools and their parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and school administrators. The invitations have been sent, RSVPs are coming in and the menu is being planned. Savory appetizers, delicious drinks, and sweet treats will be served throughout the evening.

The final touches are being put on 'The State of the CPC.' This 'snapshot' is compiled at the end of the League year to give a quantitative look at the impact JLW women have had on the community. Ever wonder how many books, how many games of bingo or how many meals have been served to the community throughout the year? Come join the Community Placements on May 3rd at 7:00 p.m. to hear for yourself. Reserve your spot at the Reception by signing up at under Membership Credit Opportunities.

See you there!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Transfer’s Shopping Soiree at Kiehl’s

The Transfer Committee at the Junior League of Washington has put together a series of great events throughout the city over the course of the year. Transfer gatherings have included brunches, happy hours and dinners at Vinoteca, Brasserie Beck, Jaleo, Poste, Darlington House, and many other chic and trendy venues in D.C. We've also had the opportunity to work with JLW Community Partners and participate in mini-placements just like new members giving Transfers the opportunity to see the various placement opportunities within JLW before our first official active year.

As icing on the cake, the Transfer committee put together an absolutely fabulous shopping event on Wednesday, April 4th at Kiehl’s in Georgetown. The shopping party started at 7 p.m., giving everyone enough time to get there from work, and the store stayed open till 9 p.m. – just for us!

Kiehl’s shopping events are a must – for two reasons. First, it’s a great opportunity to test out all the products you love, without having to wait in long lines. Secondly, it’s yet another fantastic way to meet more transfers in a cozy and intimate setting. Surrounded by sunflower and coconut shampoos, revitalizing day creams and cucumber eye masks, we had plenty to talk about - and lots to get to know about each other. Everyone walked away from the event with new friends - and lovely gift bags!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“Find Your Words” Youth Poetry Contest

When I was a child I loved to read and write poetry so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee’s Mini-Placement for the 13th Annual “Find Your Words” Youth Poetry Contest.

For the icebreaker during our first meeting, we were asked to share our favorite children’s poem or book. Hearing others share their favorites including Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss reminded me of the books and poems I enjoyed. I named one of my favorites: Maya Angelou’s Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. The courage and strength expressed through the playful rhymes and vivid imagery still inspires me to this day.

The poetry contest was open to students in Washington, D.C. public and charter schools, grades 4-8. We received 175 submissions of poems written in a variety of techniques and styles. These talented young poets chose many different topics as their focus, including friendship, animals, family, death, 9/11, homework, pain, and self-esteem. I was impressed with the depth of emotion that could be felt in the poems. Some were powerful and thought-provoking, others heartfelt and sweet. Analyzing and discussing the poems with other new members was a fun and worthwhile experience.

We chose 15 outstanding poems, one winner and two honorable mentions from each grade level. The winning students will receive a booklet of the winning entries, a book provided by Books for Bright Futures, a gift card, and a certificate of congratulations. Please join us as we honor the winners and hear them recite their poems at the 2012 Community Partner Reception on Thursday, May 3rd at 7:00 p.m. at Headquarters.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Boutique hopping in Georgetown

A few times a year, the Junior League of Washington organizes a shopping event with participating stores in Georgetown. Not only is this a shopping extravaganza but also an opportunity to raise money for literacy programs supported by the League. On one evening back in March, participating stores in the Georgetown neighborhood offered 10% discounts to Junior League shoppers on all merchandise and 15% of sale proceeds from each store were given to support JLW’s literacy programs.

The registration started at Urban Chic, where the girls were welcomed with trays of delicacies and fruits. What a nice way to start off the shopping evening! Urban Chic had just received an amazing spring collection with beautiful day dresses, swimsuits and tops. Right across the street, Sassanova welcomed shoppers with a new collection of spring shoes and wonderful selection of hors d’oeuvres! They also had pretty cute beach attire… if only there was a tropical beach close by! With the 10% discount and the 15% donation, there is no reason to feel guilty on a little splurge!

I encourage you to check out JLW’s Georgetown Shopping night – it’s a fun way to enjoy the evening with girlfriends, shop a little (or a lot!), while contributing to a great cause!


Editor's Note: While you're waiting for the next JLW shopping night, be sure to buy your Shop Around card. Shop Around takes place from Saturday, April 21, 2012 to Saturday, April 28, 2012. Tickets for League members are currently on sale and can be accessed on the JLW website, or by clicking here. Tickets are also available for non-league members through our public website, or by clicking here

With the purchase of a card you get a 20% discount at participating businesses in DC, Maryland and Virginia. 100% of the proceeds from card sales will go straight to the Junior League to help fund community programs, grants, scholarships, and efforts to promote literacy in the DC area. Over 25 business have been confirmed and are listed on our website.

Join us for the Annual Bright Beginnings 5K Race!

Bright Beginnings Inc. was established in 1991 by the Junior League of Washington, which identified a critical need for quality childcare among homeless families in Washington, DC. Since then, Bright Beginnings has met the needs of nearly 1,700 homeless children by providing families with developmental childcare and on-site therapeutic and family support services.

Today, the Junior League of Washington supports the center in a variety of ways. During the school year, members of the JLW Bright Beginnings Committee volunteer on selected Monday evenings and assist teachers in the classrooms by reading and playing with children while their parent’s attend an adult education seminar designed to prepare parents for employment or learn skills related to raising their children.

JLW volunteers also plan Literacy Nights in the fall and spring and work with Books for Bright Futures to select a book and plan activities around the book’s theme. Together, the volunteers and children read the stories, sing songs, and complete various arts and crafts projects. Each child goes home with their very own copy of the book, as well as a take-home bag filled with goodies to keep them excited about reading. The JLW volunteers also throw an Annual Holiday Party for the children where they meet Santa, attend a magic show, listen to a banjo player, and more! It is truly a highlight for all involved.

One of the biggest events that the JLW Bright Beginnings Committee plans each year is the Annual Bright Beginnings 5K Run/Walk in the spring. This year the event will take place on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. at Hains Point in Washington, DC. The committee has been working tirelessly on the planning for the race and anticipates it to be the most successful yet! To help us reach our fundraising goal, the committee is asking JLW members to join us for the race or to make a personal donation online by visiting or Participating in the race will also earn JLW members a Membership Credit. The run is for friends and family of all ages so please bring help us spread the word!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Money Market Conversations

Who could have thought that discussing stocks, bonds, dividend yields and appreciation curves could be so exciting? Analyzing the dividend yield graphs may not be as thrilling, but reaping the rewards from investment in dividend paying stocks, is a completely different ball game.

On the evening of April 10th, the Development and Training Committee of the Junior League of Washington put together an informative seminar on financial markets: “A Different Approach to Investing in Stocks – The Power of Dividends.” The seminar was presented by Mrs. Binney Wietlisbach of The Haverford Trust Company, as well as two Junior League members: Katie Bilek and Erica Linthicum of Morgan Stanley.

Unlike other finance lectures, where my eyelids usually feel extremely heavy at the sight of a yield curve chart, this seminar was far more dynamic. The key speaker, Mrs. Wietlisbach, was very well spoken and knowledgeable, with a sincere passion and confidence in the subject matter. She spoke eloquently about the cycles of the market: the bear and bull market, the advantages of dividend stocks (i.e. enhanced income and strong corporate earnings) and how dividend paying stocks can play an exciting role in your portfolio.

What stood out the most during her presentation was not necessarily the ‘power of dividends’, but her sincere hope that we, women of this generation, would encourage our sisters, friends, mothers, to be an active part of the ‘conversations’ pertaining to investing. Being a part of the conversation seems to be the foundation and the first step to making the right decisions about the future of our finances.

How can you be a part of these conversations? Reach out to professionals in your community, take a seminar, or come to another Junior League Development and Training event – but get there early, as these are packed events!

Event: Development and Training: “A Different Approach to Investing in Stocks – The Power of Dividends” 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Community Cash Cards make an impact

If you ever wondered what the Tossed and Found Community Cash Cards can do for the JLW community partners, I have a great success story for you! Two vans from Community Family Life Services arrived bright and early to take advantage of the great shopping. Thanks to the cash cards, 9 of the 16 CFLS families were able to obtain much needed items for their homes and families.

Overheard in each space – “I wish I had started in the other room, there is so much we need!” Small appliances, clothing, furniture, utensils and other kitchen items as well as baby clothing and accessories were snapped up by the women. Many of the kids were able to come, and pick out toys. One little boy even got his first bike!

The families and CFLS employees were so grateful for the opportunity to shop and fulfill their needs for both individuals and the organization. Thanks to the Tossed and Found volunteers and the donations of the cash cards, the JLW was able to make a huge impact for CFLS!

Loading the vans
Happy shoppers

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are you in it to pin it?

Last month, I spent an evening in Crystal City, helping to set up shop for the upcoming annual Tossed and Found event. Being a new member, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived for my work shift. Over the course of the evening I was impressed with the vast array of clothing, home goods, books, furniture, kitchenware and holiday items. I found myself looking at all these wares with a fresh new eye. I could see these items re-purposed and reinvented in new ways. Items that were no longer needed by their previous owners could get a second chance in a new home.

The next morning it hit me. I was scanning the racks and rows at Tossed and Found, looking at things from the Pinterest Perspective.

Are you pinning yet? I’m referring to the incredibly popular (and addictive!) website, Pinterest. The website recently hit the notable mark of 10 million monthly visitors. What’s even more impressive is that it reached that number faster than Facebook or Twitter.

What’s contributing to Pinterest’s surge in status is its rapidly growing popularity with women. Young and old alike, droves of women are turning to Pinterest for recipes, wedding and event inspiration, crafting ideas and home d├ęcor suggestions. On the site, users are able to create boards and name them, like “wedding” or “kitchen.” When you find images you like, you simply “pin” them to the desired board. You can pin things you see around the web, even creating a Pinterest button on your web browser’s toolbar for easy pinning. But I think the more popular method is to re-pin things you see on the boards of your friends and other Pinterest users you follow.

So now that you've hit up Tossed and Found, consider spending some time online getting inspired for what you may be able to do with your fabulous T&F finds!

Editor's note: AJLI has joined Pinterest this week. Follow them for plenty of Jr League inspiration