For more than 95 years, the Junior League of Syracuse has trained members to be valued community volunteers. Through volunteer service and financial support, the JLS and our members have been instrumental in the development and growth of more than 100 educational, cultural, human service, and philanthropic assets in our community from the Discovery Center (which is now known as The MOST), to the Volunteer Center and have responded to urgent social issues, including domestic violence and human trafficking awareness.
The JLS operates using the Issue Based Community Impact model, in which our volunteer and training efforts focus on a single topic that is relevant in Syracuse and of interest to League members.
The Community Collaborations Committee’s 2016-17 goals were to support at-risk families in at-risk situations. Our focus areas included:
-Women and Children
We worked to achieve those goals by spending OVER 500 VOLUNTEER HOURS actively out in the community and countless more planning our community events.
In November, we served 400 diners at a Thanksgiving Dinner with THE WESTSIDE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER (PEACE, INC.).
In January, our members packed backpacks for a school supply drive with SCSD DANFORTH MIDDLE SCHOOL.
We also assisted with prepping and serving meals at the RESCUE MISSION to help those in poverty in our community.
In March, we had fun cookie making with the children of HUNTINGTON FAMILY CENTERS.
To celebrate NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK in April, we prepared first aid kits for Congolese Refugees, assembled hygiene kits for VERA HOUSE and learned about its programs and services, and refreshed the book nook at THE LITTLE WHITE HOUSE OF HOPE (THE WESTSIDE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER (PEACE, INC.) with new books and wall art. We also completed our 3rd #JLSMYMONDAY where our members complete random acts of kindness on their own and share with the community through social media to spread of mission/vision.
We also hosted our 5th Annual STEM Expo at SCSD DANFORTH MIDDLE SCHOOL. It was a day of hands on learning opportunities for the 6th grade girls and focused on career opportunities in the Health profession. Speakers included a Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Nurse and others.
In May, we hosted a Hygiene Education Seminar with THE LITTLE WHITE HOUSE OF HOPE (THE WESTSIDE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER (PEACE, INC.). JLS members spoke with 30 pre-teen girls about feminine hygiene and body care. We participated in games with the girls to increase self esteem.
And in August, our members helped organize/assist with the kids fun run at the INNER HARBOR 5K FOR IT’S ABOUT FAMILY AND CHILDREN.
IT WAS A GREAT YEAR DOING GREAT THINGS!
In the 2015-16 League year, the Community Collaborations Committee organized and participated in numerous community-focused initiatives:
Organized donations of casual/business clothing for My Sister’s Closet at the Burt Street YWCA.
95 FOR 95 – During a four day span in October 2015, 55 JLS members touched the lives of:
- Women and children at THE DOROTHY DAY HOUSE, preparing a hot meal, providing game night and donating yoga pants.
- Clients at THE RESCUE MISSION, preparing and serving a meal.
- Children at THE WESTSIDE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER (PEACE, INC.), participating in painting pumpkins.
- Women and children at THE CHADWICK RESIDENCE, providing culinary instruction and children’s crafts.
- Families at UPSTATE GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, brightening their day with crafts and pizza.
- Men at THE CATHOLIC CHARITIES EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR MEN, supplying a hot meal and 150 pairs of socks.
Served 400 diners a Thanksgiving Dinner for THE WESTSIDE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER (PEACE, INC.).
Prepared holiday cards for the Veterans located at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.
Coordinated a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating party for THE DOROTHY DAY HOUSE.
“NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK” – From April 10th to the 16th, our members were out in the community and volunteering in various activities at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, The Rescue Mission and an prepared an installation of the Westside Family Center’s Book Nook.
Donated canned goods and can openers to various FOOD BANK OF CENTRAL NEW YORK food pantries.
Hosted a Mother’s Day Brunch and a Father’s Day Picnic at THE LITTLE WHITE HOUSE OF HOPE.
In the 2014-2015 League year, the Community Collaborations Committee has continued its Human Trafficking advocacy through the following monthly themes:
- First Aid kits creation and donation to Catholic Charities (October)
- Recreation item drive benefiting Southwest Community Center (October)
- Third annual STEM event for Syracuse City School District middle school students (May)
- In addition to events in the community, the Community Council’s Public Policy Committee is involved in influencing the League’s Human Trafficking interests through the New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior League (NYSPAC).
During the 2013-2014 League year, the Community Collaborations committee planned and/or participated in the following activities in Syracuse in an effort to share our anti-human trafficking message to agencies and their clients and to develop JLS member capabilities:
- Regional Market food collection for Assumption Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen (Saturdays May-September)
- Reception at and sock donation to Catholic Charities of Onondaga County‘s new men’s shelter (July)
- Kids in Motion (Saturdays September-November)
- Becca’s Closet dress sorting (November)
- McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center playroom donation event and tour (November)
- Cookie baking and donation event for Assumption Food Pantry (December)
- United Way Community Program Fund Application Review process (weekly January-March)
- Becca’s Closet dress donation event at Liverpool High School (April)
- Catholic Charities Emergency Services clothing, home goods & food pantry drive (April)
- McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training on ending sex abuse of children (May)
- Second annual STEM Expo event for Syracuse City School District middle school students (May)