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.