Saturday, May 27, 2017

Leadership in Bloom: Kristen Soltis Anderson


Meet Kristen Soltis Anderson, a JLW member who founded her research and analysis firm, Echelon Insights, authored “The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading America and How Republicans Can Keep Up,” and was named as one of TIME Magazine’s “30 Under 30 Changing the World” in 2013, among other national accolades in the last few years. Read on to learn about her challenges, how much she values female mentors, and some clutch advice for any other aspiring business owners.

You’ve had such a successful professional life – even before you started Echelon Insights. Was it hard getting your business started?
The first struggle was the fear of not feeling like I even knew how to get started, like what are the things you need to do to start a company? Get a Tax ID number, pick a name…and then what? I didn't want to jump in until it felt like I had a firm grasp on every little thing involved in running a business.

How did the experience help you grow as a leader?
I had to learn to let go a little – to be diligent and responsible – but be willing to take risks and to venture into territory where I didn't have experience already.

As a mentor to other women who aspire to start their own business, what advice would you give?
Talk to others who have done it before, and find at least one person to whom you can pose questions that you are too embarrassed to ask anywhere else. I had many questions early on that I thought, "Oh, surely, everyone already knows the answer to this, and asking will just make me look dumb," when really, you're not alone.

How has your League involvement benefited you personally or professionally?
Being involved in the League helped me build relationships with women in a variety of different industries and to learn about fields I knew very little about! I also learned a lot about nonprofit board service. Serving on the JLW Board was one of my first experiences learning the ins and outs of the duties of serving on such a board and helped prepare me for roles on other boards.

What does it mean to you to have strong female role models?
It is so helpful to not feel alone, and strong female role models help you see that you're not the only one facing this or that struggle, question, or issue. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Leadership in Bloom: Samantha Brainard


Meet Samantha Brainard, a JLW member whose life changed forever when her sister was diagnosed with Synoval Sarcoma at age 23 in 2013. Ever since, Sam has been involved with the Ulman Cancer Fund as a volunteer. This spring, she took on the near-herculean challenge of participating in the Key to Keys bicycle ride from Baltimore to Key West to support her sister and raise funds and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, which helps young patients navigate the medical system. Think that sounds hard? Well, Sam only just bought her first bike in January. A serious force of nature, nothing is stopping Sam from rising to this challenge.


Watching your sister battle cancer must be heart-wrenching. What have you done to get involved?
I started volunteering with the Ulman Cancer Fund after my sister was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma in 2013 at age 23. Their staff and volunteers have been by her side throughout her cancer fight, and they have helped to connect her with other young adults facing cancer too. They provide patient navigation services for young adult cancer patients in local hospitals in the DMV, scholarships, cancer to 5K training programs, and so much more.

The bicycle ride sounds difficult to say the least. What impact will it have?
I participated in the Ulman Cancer Fund's Key to Keys bicycle ride from Baltimore to Key West from April 22-29. Over the course of a week, our team covered 1500+ miles to raise awareness of the young adult cancer fight and to support the work of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. This amazing organization works to provide support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer.  

Your dedication to the cause is so admirable. Besides the family connection, what motivates you?
I did this ride in honor of my sister and in honor and memory of all young adults who spend their 20s and 30s fighting cancer instead of living a "normal" life.

Challenges like this are such a tangible symbol of strength and support for the cancer community. Where do you get your strength?
I would not be the woman I am today without strong female role models in my life. I'm blessed to be surrounded by strong women who inspire me to pursue my dreams personally and professionally. My grandmother was a member of the Junior League, and she encouraged me to join so I could find like-minded women in the Washington, DC, area. Through my League membership, I'm able to meet women who continue to inspire me every day.

I've made friendships in JLW that will last throughout my life. In particular, I know that I wouldn't have been able to do this ride if it weren't for my dear friend and fellow League member Kelly Hunter who has helped me to train and been my rock throughout this process! We met through the League, and I'm so thankful to JLW for bringing us together!



Friday, May 19, 2017

JLW by the Numbers: A Budget Snapshot

The Junior League of Washington supports over 2,300 members and over 20 community partners on nearly $1 million. How do we make the most effective and efficient use of our funds to support the League’s members, mission, and our community? Let’s run the numbers!



Above: JLW revenues come in mainly through membership dues and our fundraisers. The League also generates income by renting apartments located on the top floors of our Headquarters, as well as our investment accounts (House Fund, Emergency Fund, and Impact Fund). The revenue numbers shown here are net any expenses associated with that line item. For example, Dues and Fees includes both the New Member course fees and membership dues, minus the New Member Committee expenses for the programming. Building – Apartments revenue is net maintenance expenses, and Fundraisers are net their expenses.


Above: Our expenses are broken out here according to a tenet of JLW’s Mission, “developing the potential of women”, and our 3 strategic priorities: building community impact, building an internal sense of community, and building JLW’s brand. Committee budgets are categorized into one of these four buckets:

  • Because we believe in developing the potential of women, we are spending over $100,000 in training, which includes Leadership Institute and Development & Training programs, as well as AJLI-sponsored training, in 2017-2018.
  • Because we believe in building community impact, we are spending $55,000 in programming support for our members who volunteer in the community and are giving over $100,000 in grants and scholarships.
  • Because we believe in building an internal sense of community, we support the Membership Development Council, as well as our Sustainers. 
  • And because we believe in building JLW’s brand, we allocate over $20,000 toward the Communications and Public Relations Council.

A fifth bucket – supporting the work of JLW – reflects additional Headquarters-related, personnel, and administrative (phone system, cloud, internet) expenses.

The League has budgeted for a net surplus of just over $6,000 for 2017-2018.


Above: This chart is another way that the League has compared its expenses over time.  In this 2014-2018 analysis, Headquarters, personnel, and administrative expenses were allocated to the committees based on membership placement in those committees. Tracking this information over time will continue to help us understand where we are investing more and less each year. Please note that this includes expenses only – no revenue.

 
Above: In 2016-2017, the Board of Directors discussed beginning the budget process later in the year. Such a shift is only possible if the budget is no longer a part of the Annual Ballot approval process. As a result, a question was placed on the ballot to remove budget approval from the ballot moving forward; the measure passed with a majority of votes in April 2017. Effective 2017-2018, committee leaders will have more time and information, as well as the right people, with which to develop more meaningful budgets or plans for the coming year. It will also leave budget decisions in the hands of the Board members, the slate of leaders elected by the general membership to make these informed budget decisions and on whom fiscal responsibility rests. The budget will remain accessible to the entire membership via jlw.org.





Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Connecting the Dots: Learning More about Our Members and Mission through JLW’s Annual Survey

Each year, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) polls our members to gather feedback on important topics. In addition to the standard, year-over-year questions regarding member satisfaction, placements, reasons for remaining active, and training opportunities, etc., the Strategic Planning Committee also develops new survey questions based on current initiatives, including findings from the 2015-2016 Membership Task Force, as well as themes under consideration for the League’s new 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2022). Based on these results, JLW takes steps to improve both the member experience and our footprint in the community – such as creating new placements (e.g. Leadership Institute and A Wider Circle Committees), implementing targeted Annual Plan tactics, and taking on special initiatives (e.g. Women’s Leadership Luncheon and Day of Service), to name a few.

For 2016-2017, JLW is excited to report that 679 members participated in the Annual Survey, representing a 35% increase compared to last year’s 503 participants. Especially important to note was a spike in Sustainer participation – up 126% from last year. Through these results, we are able to gain valuable insight into members’ experiences.

Let’s explore how the survey fits into the bigger picture of JLW:


Satisfaction:
·        There was a 7% increase in members who selected “Very Satisfied” compared to last year’s survey
·        28% of participants are more satisfied with their JLW experience than they used to be, and 53% are just as satisfied with their JLW experience
·        55% of participants are very satisfied with leadership; up from 52.4% in 2016 (a 2.6% increase)

Top 3 reasons why members remain active in JLW:
·        Volunteer opportunities in the community
·        Leadership development and training
·        The professional network that JLW offers

Top 3 choices for training opportunities:
·        Time management
·        Managing resources
·        How to become a leader in the community

Strategic Goals
·        Overall, survey participants strongly agree with JLW’s goals as reflected in the Strategic Plan.
·        A new question on values was added to this year’s survey to help support the Strategic Plan. Here is what members value most:
o   League friendships and networking
o   Giving back, making a difference, and improving our community
o   Volunteer opportunities
o   Leadership and development training (for personal and professional growth)

As always, we look forward to hearing from each JLW member about her League experience and how we can continue to improve. Contact us at stratplan@jlw.org, and keep an eye out for the unveiling of the new 5-Year Strategic Plan this summer to see how your feedback has been incorporated!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Get in with the New Placements


Trying to decide where to volunteer next year? The Junior League of Washington (JLW) has 46 placements that give back in a variety of ways – through direct work in the community, through fundraising, and through League programs that help cultivate and develop our volunteers.

In 2017-2018 – our 105th anniversary year – JLW will have four new volunteer opportunities: 105th Celebration Committee, Member Communications, Washington School for Girls, and The Reading Connection.

Read on to learn about what each of these committees will do, and don’t forget to participate in this year’s placement fair – running from May 1-26.

105th Celebration Committee

The Junior League of Washington is getting ready to thrive in 105! 2017-2018 marks our 105th anniversary, and we will celebrate throughout the League year. The Celebration Committee is a special anniversary year committee that will be responsible for coordinating a year of celebration and recognition of JLW, our members today, and our bright future. The committee will be managing communications campaigns throughout the year, as well as a birthday party in the fall and a day of service in the spring – so members involved with specific events will be busier around those dates. If you are dedicated to JLW and passionate about celebrating the fantastic work we do, don’t miss out on this placement – because it probably won't be available again until our 110th. If you have additional questions, please contact Erin Buechel Wieczorek.

Member Communications Committee

Be a connector and join the Member Communications Committee! New for the 2017-2018 year, this in-League placement addresses how JLW communicates with its members to share news of events, Membership Credit opportunities, League information, and other important news. It's perfect for someone who wants a smaller, more intimate committee (4-6 women, plus the chair) and the flexibility to do work on your own time. You'll also get to know JLW well because you'll work with all committees and councils to help communicate their opportunities and activities to members. Potential volunteers should have solid communications skills, flexibility, and creativity. The monthly time commitment is around 4-8 hours with monthly meetings. Additional questions can be direct to Jennifer Lim.

The Reading Connection Committee

JLW is pleased to announce our newest partnership with The Reading Connection (TRC). In the 2017-2018 League year, we will be volunteering with TRC’s Read-Aloud program, which inspires children (and volunteers) through the power of reading aloud and a love of great books. This program trains and deploys community volunteers to serve children living in shelters and other housing complexes – situations where parents are likely to be too stressed to read for the fun of it. At each Read-Aloud, JLW volunteers will read quality, age-appropriate books to the children, encouraging engagement and interest, then coordinate activities and conversations based on the theme of the books. Every child selects a book to keep after every weekly session – because when kids enjoy a book, they’ll want more. Volunteers will be expected to plan and attend one Read-Aloud session per month with a team of four to five of your JLW peers. For more information about this placement, contact Christina Prevalsky.

Washington School for Girls Committee

Let’s hear it for the girls! Another new community placement for the upcoming year is at the Washington School for Girls – which is currently the recipient of a multi-year, targeted grant. This committee will work on literacy skills with girls grades 3-8 during their Saturday School Program (9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.). Volunteers will have the opportunity to help improve literacy in the DC ward that needs the most help. The girls are bright and eager to learn, and many don’t have much opportunity to work with an adult one-on-one regularly. Potential volunteers should be comfortable around kids of all ages and different socioeconomic levels as well as have the ability to generate excitement and motivate children to learn. WSG is in Anacostia; the location is easy to find and offers free parking. If you have additional questions, please contact Jennie Kronthal.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Celebrating Women’s History Month at NMWA

On Sunday, March 12, the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Esprit and National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) Committees teamed up to celebrate Women’s History Month by co-hosting a museum tour and brunch. NMWA is the “only major museum in the world solely dedicate to recognizing women’s creative contributions,” according to the museum’s website – an ideal place to celebrate the contributions of women throughout history, as well as the powerful band of women who make up the Junior League of Washington.

The tours were led by two JLW docents, Sarah Bryant, NMWA Committee chair, and Jamela “Jam” Black. Attendees viewed pieces by Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of a Noblewoman (1580), Amy Sherald’s It Made Sense… Mostly in Her Mind (2011), and many other great works in the NMWA collection. NMWA features pieces that span generations, styles, nationalities, and subjects, with more than 100 works by women from the 16th century to the modern era on display.

Bethany Poteat, a NMWA Committee member, attended the event and said, "Our docent (Jam) structured the tour around the theme 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' and encouraged us to look at seemingly unrelated works from a different perspective. I loved hearing what thoughts and references the pieces evoked for different people."

Attendees pose for a photo in NMWA’s great hall before the start of the tour.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Keys, JLW President
After the tour, attendees enjoyed brunch at Momofuku and continued the conversation on women artists. They also discussed the artists and works featured on “See For Yourself” cards, packets that comprise a self-guided tour. JLW and NMWA volunteers help put the packets together.

Attendees at brunch pose with “See For Yourself” cards and discuss women artists and works they viewed on the tour.
Photo Credit: Jackie Frederick-Maturo

Attendees had a wonderful time learning about women artists and their accomplishments. You can join the conversation too! Join the initiative started by NMWA, use #5WomenArtists on social media and share photos of works by your favorite women artists.

NMWA incorporated as a private, nonprofit museum in 1981, opening its doors to the public in its current location on New York Avenue in 1987. JLW has been associated with NMWA since 1982; today, women from the League serve as visitor experience volunteers, staffing the Information Desk, leading Conversation Pieces, and supporting the museum at a variety of events. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

New Member Kelsey Sullivan Lives Out Our Literacy Focus in Her Mini Placement and Community Experience


Junior League of Washington (JLW) New Member Kelsey Sullivan served in the community for both her mini placement and community experience, gaining eye-opening experiences during her provisional year. Read on to find out all about Kelsey’s experiences in her mini placement and in her community experience.

“I've had the pleasure of completing a wonderful community experience as well as an unforgettable mini placement. For my community experience, I volunteered with the DC Books to Prisons Project, and for my mini placement, I volunteered with the Washington School for Girls (WSG) four Saturday mornings over the course of a few months.

“At the DC Books to Prisons Project, I read letters sent to the organization directly from incarcerated men and women from around the country and responded by picking out and sending books to them I thought they would like. Their letters spoke about their interests, aspirations, and favorite authors and genres, and we worked to carefully select literature, self-help books, and even textbooks that would cater to their requests. It was a very moving experience, because when we think of the criminal justice system in the United States, we think of the millions and millions of Americans who are behind bars. This experience allowed me to get to know a few of these Americans personally. It made an issue that is so vast and at times seems helpless very accessible and personal. I was nervous about my choices, because I didn't want them to be disappointed by the books they would receive. I wrote little notes back wishing them happy reading, and I do hope that they all enjoyed the pieces I picked out for them.

“At the Washington School for Girls, I had the pleasure of working with and socializing with underprivileged girls in grades 3-8. We ate breakfast with them, played some ice-breaker games, and then spent the rest of the time helping them with homework and various assignments. My favorite part of this opportunity was knowing that I was helping these girls solve problems and appreciate the learning process, and hopefully, along the way, acting as a role model for them. Despite coming from families and communities with few resources, these girls are happy, smart, confident young women with bright futures, thanks to WSG. 

“I think I was most inspired by the JLW leader of the WSG partnership. Her passion for WSG and the work the school is doing was incredibly inspiring. While we volunteers spent our time tutoring the little girls, JLW’s relationship manager [Jennie Kronthal] spent her Saturday mornings teaching a girl’s mom how to read. This was so moving, because her work truly was contributing to JLW's mission of literacy promotion. Teaching a mother how to read will not only empower her to read, but it will allow her to teach her children and grandchildren how to read, and the gift of reading will be passed on through generations to come. Improving one person's literacy can have implications that reach far beyond that one individual. [Jennie] really inspired me to think about the ways that I can contribute to society, and to JLW, in my own future as a member. This was definitely a ‘mission moment.’

“I joined JLW because I wanted to be connected with opportunities to volunteer, and I must say, it has exceeded my expectations. I have volunteered more in the last four to five months than I have in the last four to five years of my life here in DC. Additionally, I have made some great friends so far, which I honestly didn't expect. I knew I'd meet some lovely young women with similar goals and aspirations as me, but I didn't really expect to meet young women with whom I would click so fast – that has been a wonderful bonus to my JLW experience so far.

“I am sincerely looking forward to becoming a full member and joining different committees. This has been a great experience, and I have encouraged many, many friends and acquaintances to consider joining JLW. I am so excited about the coming years of good friendships, leadership experiences and most importantly, opportunities to give back to those around me who are in need.”

Thank you for sharing your experiences, Kelsey! Now, it’s your turn. What have been some of your favorite JLW experiences volunteering in our community?


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Get On Board Enabled Me to Get on a Board (and Stay There)


By: Laura Lieberman

One of my favorite things about the Junior League of Washington is that it has helped me develop skills that have allowed me to enhance my usefulness in the areas in which I volunteer, allowing me to take my involvement to “the next level.” For example, my first-year community experience participation with Iona Senior Services led me to be the Meals on Wheels coordinator for my church. But another major example that stands out for me is participating in Get On Board.

When the first Get On Board class was announced in spring 2015, I’d just been recently nominated to serve on the board of directors for the Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden. The Executive Director, John Christiansen, had nominated me because he believed that my volunteer experience (the museum is my Historic Alexandria Docents placement) would provide insight for the board’s governance. I was pretty nervous about this, so I thought taking the Get On Board classes would help.

And they did! My nomination to the board was approved right about the same time as the first Get On Board class, so the timing was perfect. Through the span of four lessons, I was exposed to a lot of important information, such as a board member’s responsibilities, optimal relationships between the board and the executive director, what documents a board member should access and familiarize herself with, and how to identify problems within an organization’s board.

The material taught was all useful, but learning the proper role of a board member in a tight-knit organization has proved to be particularly helpful for my own situation. The Lee-Fendall operates on a small scale—small staff, small group of volunteers, and small board. Because I’m also a volunteer, it can be easy for these roles to overlap. However, learning how to keep my involvement in these two positions separate from the beginning has been a good way to enjoy being engaged without overstepping boundaries.

The course was also a good way to learn more about nonprofit governance generally. Coming out of the sessions, I felt much more knowledgeable about the structure of both nonprofit board and staff. Additionally, I definitely recommend the program for anyone who is on (or is considering) the Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee—learning about the elements of a stable organization can be helpful when reviewing grant application documents.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Celebrating 25 Years of Fabulous Finds!


The Junior League of Washington (JLW) will host its 25th annual Tossed & Found rummage sale on March 25 and 26, 2017, in Crystal City, Virginia. One of the Junior League of Washington’s largest fundraisers, Tossed & Found provides DC-area families and community groups with quality, gently used household goods at bargain prices.


“The Junior League of Washington is looking forward to opening the doors of our Tossed & Found rummage sale for the 25th year running. We welcome not only savvy shoppers, but also members of our community in need of bargain household goods and clothing to help them get back on their feet,” said JLW President Elizabeth Keys. “Since 1993, Tossed & Found has been a fundraiser that directly connects our members to our mission by improving our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. In celebrating Tossed & Found’s silver anniversary, we are celebrating 25 years of being able to continue promoting voluntarism and giving back to our community.”

Support Tossed & Found through the following ways in 2017:

Buy Community Cash Cards – The concept is simple. You donate to Tossed & Found’s Community Cash Card program, and we give a $40 gift certificate for the sale to a JLW community partner, neighbor in need, or a charity or church of your choice. These gift certificates allow women, men, and children, often dealing with homelessness, extreme poverty, or crisis situations, to shop the sale and get much-needed items, like pots and pans, furniture, clothing, and baby items.

Attend Our EventsThis year’s sale will take place at 2200 Crystal Drive, 6th Floor in Arlington, Virginia – space generously provided in partnership with Vornado/Charles E. Smith and the Crystal City Business Improvement District. The rummage sale is free and open to the public.

Hoops & High Heels Preview Night
March 24, 2017
7 p.m.
The 25th Annual Tossed & Found Rummage Sale
March 25, 2017        March 26, 2017
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.        9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Invite Your Friends - All of our events are open to the public – show your friends and family one of the many ways JLW supports the DC area.

Work a Shift – Come have fun with the committee as we sort, organize, and set up for our events. Get to know some new people and earn a membership credit.


Over the past quarter-century, Tossed & Found has raised over $2.1 million cumulatively; in 2016, the sale raised more than $150,000. Proceeds from the sale are used to advance the League’s mission. JLW focuses its financial and volunteer resources on the issues of literacy – adult, child, and cultural – and works with a diverse group of community partners, including Horton’s Kids, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Iona Senior Services, and N Street Village.

For a complete list of events and more information on JLW’s Tossed & Found, please visit www.jlw.org/TossedandFound. And to get a sneak peek at some of the fabulous finds from this year’s sale and learn a little more about the history of the sale, visit our Facebook event.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Member Tess Terrible Experiences Passionate Strategic Planning


The Strategic Planning Committee focuses on the long-term goals of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) and develops and maintains the League’s Strategic Plan. Tess Terrible, a New Member, experienced the passion and knowledge that goes into our strategic planning in her mini placement – an 8-10-hour sample of what it’s like to be an active JLW member for our New Members.

When asked about her experience with the committee, Tess said, “Walking into the Strategic Planning Committee meeting, I did not know what to expect. I knew I would be surrounded by some of the most experienced minds in the Junior League of Washington, so I was fairly nervous. I chose this mini placement because I wanted an opportunity to learn more about the League, leadership within the League and, perhaps, become more comfortable speaking my mind. I am an introvert, but I aspire to be a leader in my industry, and I knew I wanted more experience

“I couldn’t have picked a better time to join this committee. In my first meeting, I learned the committee was tasked to draft the League’s next five-year plan. My first meeting, I hardly spoke. I took some notes and listened to the conversation; the depth of knowledge and insightfulness of these women was truly inspiring. Conversation was civil, but these women don’t hold back. They are passionate about the League and the direction it goes, and they bring a wealth of experience to ensure that JLW continues to grow and improve the lives of women in the Washington, DC, area.”

We asked Tess about what she enjoys most about being a part of JLW, and she said, “I do not have a legacy of Junior League women in my family; I learned about the Junior League through the women in my professional life. These are women of outstanding character, grace, and ambition. What I love most about being a New Member is being part of this circle of elite women. I feel like I have a sea of advisors who constantly inspire me and seek to elevate me as I go forward in my career. In parallel, I truly feel like I am working to better the lives of other women in the Washington, DC, community who need it most. It is a cycle of mentorship and improving and inspiring women to reach their greatest heights that I am completely honored to be part of.”

We’d love to hear about your experiences in JLW! Share what you love about being a member in the comments.


Monday, February 27, 2017

New Member Etta Hulcher Has a Backstage Pass in Her Community Experience


The Junior League of Washington focuses on literacy as our primary outreach, and JLW volunteers donate their time and talents in myriad ways to organizations like Iona Senior Services, Calvary Women’s Services, Bright Beginnings, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. These community experiences serve to not only extend a hand into the DC community, but to empower our members as well.  JLW prides itself on building well-rounded leaders and positive role models.

Etta Hulcher, a JLW New Member, experienced the Folger Shakespeare Library Committee’s work through their efforts to help the theatre put on “Sense and Sensibility.” The Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and two major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art.

The Folger is known for its wide array of scholarly and public programs. These include plays, concerts, literary readings, family activities, and exhibitions, as well as numerous K-12 and college programs for students and teachers.
Folger Committee members usher for a wide variety of performances, including plays, poetry readings, PEN/Faulkner readings, and "Words on Will" lectures about Shakespeare. The committee also volunteers for the annual Shakespeare's birthday celebration at the Folger, which includes a number of games and activities for children and families.
When asked for a peek into her community experience with the Folger Theatre, Etta said, “My New Member community experience was at the Folger Theatre. Luckily, I found out from a new member email that the theatre had extended their showing of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and needed volunteers! We helped organize programs prior to the show, helped guests to their seats, and helped with concessions. It was particularly exciting to learn that the volunteers are the face of the theatre and truly make the experience for most guests. It was really nice to be able to help make someone else’s evening that much more memorable and special with a positive experience. Not to mention I got to see the extended showing of ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ What a treat! The show was absolutely fantastic and hilarious. I would love to have another opportunity much like that one.”

Etta’s exciting experience is typical of the JLW’s community experiences and volunteer opportunities.  As Junior League volunteers, it is satisfying to know that we can enrich the lives of others while also enriching ourselves.