The Community and Outreach (CandO) committee had a busy start to the 2022-2023 league year. Emily Keller, Chair of CandO, shared about the twenty events that JLC members have participated in since August 2022. On-going community partnerships with Family Nurturing Center, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, Saturday Hoops, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, and Girls On The Run were a success this year with a large turnout of volunteers at each event. Other events this year include organizations like Mentoring Plus, Cancer Support Center, and many more. Emily shared that “members seemed enthusiastic about helping at the events this year based on high numbers of volunteers and their positive feedback.”
JLC volunteers served with community partners in many helpful ways. Family Nurturing Center hosted a Fall Fest with Halloween activities planned for children. Volunteers helped by decorating, setting up, passing out candy, and with a scavenger hunt. Nine additional volunteers helped out at the festival that exceeded the number of volunteer slots offered for the four day event.
The Cancer Support Center Community Gala was a hit as volunteers provided 39 total hours and helped make the gala a successful event. Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank hosted diaper wrapping events where an average of 10-15 volunteers signed up for each of the two events. The Children’s Theatre volunteers served to usher attendees, and passed out programs. Children’s Theatre held a total of four events with an average of 5 volunteers per event.
During the holiday season, volunteers worked with children at the Saturday Hoops program hosted at the Winton Hills Recreation Center. Volunteers were assigned to help make crafts and play basketball. Food and snacks were provided for the kids. Emily shared that most of the kids seemed hungry and underfed when they would come to the event. An average of 10 volunteers participated at each of the three Saturday Hoops events this year.
Recently Jay Decroft from Saturday Hoops had this to say about our involvement with the program, “Each of you have been amazing cheerful givers and have made a significant impact, both with the kids and our program. You’ve consistently poured positivity into the kids, reinforced their value and have allowed them to be kids, expressing themselves with the creative arts & crafts projects your team leads on Saturdays. Every time I walk in the arts & crafts room I see so many smiles and I love it when the kids proudly showcase their projects each week! It’s often tough to see the difference you’re making in the moment, but having observed the kids over time, it’s clear that you’re touching them, brightening their days and helping them feel better about themselves. This is what Saturday Hoops is all about!”
This year CandO has been focused on providing events with strong attendance and membership engagement. Emily mentioned how the CandO Committee is developing events where members have the opportunity to continue to volunteer and feel passionate about the organization’s cause. Emily also shared how her committee members have shown a strong connection to their community partners they were assigned to work with and seemed really engaged in the work they were doing. The Junior League of Cincinnati is proud of the work we do in the community and the connections we build through collaborations like the ones we have created through the programs we serve.