Creating a Sense of Community in Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia
 

The Impact of the Junior Leagues Around the Region

BRISTOL

The Junior League of Bristol (JLB) TN/VA is organization of women with one common goal, making a difference in our community. The organization is comprised of dedicated women who are committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of woman and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. In 2018, JLB celebrated its 70th Birthday!

Annually, members are committed to several community projects surrounding our two focus areas: hunger and literacy. Since food insecurity in the region is a large issue, the Junior League of Bristol partners with Kingsport and Johnson City Leagues on a food drive. Area Junior Leagues partner with Food City, Second Harvest Food Bank and Feeding America Southwest Virginia to advocate, raise funds, and request food on behalf of those in need. The Junior League of Bristol also prepares Thanksgiving Baskets for families in need. These baskets include all key items for a Thanksgiving Feast including a turkey! Key partnerships with Tennessee High School and the Bristol Virginia School System help to locate the families in need and gift them a holiday meal.

Our members are also committed to bringing literacy to the forefront of priority in Bristol, TN/VA. Through the Read Across America program, members volunteer at area school systems to read to children on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. This community project is not only a joy for the school children but something members look forward to doing all year. For several years, JLB has partnered with the national program, Little Free Library. JLB now has eleven Little Free Libraries that are kept stocked with books for people of all ages. Locations include: Sugar Hollow Park, Wellmont Hospice House, Girls Inc., Healing Hands Health Center, Slater Community Center, the YMCA, Anderson Elementary School, Haynesfield Elementary School, Fairmont Elementary School, Holston View Elementary School and Avoca Elementary School.

In an effort to bring awareness to the difficulties facing many veterans, the Junior League of Bristol provisional class, plans to show a screening of the documentary “Almost Sunrise”. The documentary follows two veterans acclimating back into civilian life from deployments. The screening will be held in the Spring of 2019, with the hopes of sharing the struggles of veterans with mental health issues.

The Junior League of Bristol TN/VA aspires to be Bristol’s premier women’s volunteer organization. They are committed to implementing projects and partnerships that impact women and children in the community.

JOHNSON CITY

The Junior League of Johnson City’s (JLJC) impact on the community is long standing, dating back to 1947. A committed group of women joined together to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. We have helped establish major community entities such as Watauga Mental Health (now Frontier Health), HandsOn! Museum and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Recently, we have donated $45,000 in the last three years to the Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse Working Group. This group of cross disciplinary professionals are instrumental in studying Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and helping to combat the opioid crisis our nation is facing.

In the 2017-2018 League year we adopted a new impact statement that drives our initiatives throughout the community. “The Junior League of Johnson City is raising awareness, gathering information, and educating women and the community regarding women and children’s health and well-being.” The Junior League of Johnson City is passionate about serving this need in community. In the 2018 – 2019 League year we focused on building relationships with our existing partners and new ones. We continue to work with the youth & adolescent wing at Woodridge Hospital and reignited a relationship with Girls, Inc.

Through the JLJC’s two major fundraisers- Touch-a-Truck and Cocktails we are able to accomplish small projects throughout the year, train our volunteers effectively, and aim to assist in areas we identify through research and community input.

KINGSPORT

For more than half a century, women involved with the Junior League of Kingsport (JLK) have served as a force for improving the community through effective action and the leadership of trained volunteers. Officially incorporated in 1958 to promote voluntarism and develop the potential of women leaders, Kingsport’s chapter is proud to be the first affiliate of the Association of Junior Leagues to establish in the Tri-Cities. Today, the “women of impact” legacy continues through annual partnerships with agencies like Children Exceeding Expectations, Hope House and Holston Home for Children. In addition, Junior League of Kingsport is proud to offer mini-grants for projects that empower women and care for children each year. In 2019, Kingsport H.O.P.E. (Help Our Potential Evolve), the YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, Girls Incorporated, the Literacy Council of Kingsport and Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee benefited from JLK grants.

Education and empowerment of women and youth is at the core of Junior League Kingsport’s mission. As such, JLK invests in future leaders by offering an annual scholarship for a Kingsport area female high school graduate who exhibits a commitment to voluntarism and leadership. JLK often assists with drives for supplies that benefit children in city schools as well. These drives have included everything from under garments and personal hygiene items to winter scarves and school supplies. This spring, JLK will assemble Teachers’ Toolboxes to help ensure that classrooms and students have the provisions needed for academic success.

Junior League Kingsport is able to give back in all of these ways due in part to tremendous fundraising efforts coordinated by both Active and Sustaining members. In 2017, JLK was proud to host a Holiday Tour of Historic Homes and publish a children’s book entitled “Experiencing 100” in conjunction with Kingsport’s Centennial Celebration. In 2018, the League hosted a fun, new holiday event. Jingle and Gingerbread welcomed families to decorate freshly baked gingerbread houses while enjoying holiday music and treats, having a photo snapped with Santa or shopping for crafts with local artisans. The excitement for this new event became even greater when the young ladies of Girls Incorporated were given the opportunity to enjoy a special party featuring Santa and more than 100 gingerbread houses as a result of funds raised. These are just a few of the ways that Junior League is collaborating, inspiring and mobilizing women leaders to impact the community in Kingsport, Tennessee.   

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