Tallahassee’s ‘Junior League’ Wins Praise for Volunteer Efforts

The Junior League of Tallahassee was named the Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropic Organization by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Big Bend Chapter on Nov. 10, in honor of National Philanthropy Day. Each year, the AFP honors individuals and groups who have enhanced philanthropy in their communities and the world.

R. Jai Gillum, an active member who sits on the Board of Directors, said the JLT was nominated by The Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Foundation, which the group volunteers with.

In 2010, the JLT donated $10,000 to help support a newly renovated waiting room in Tallahassee Memorial Pediatric Services. In 2011, the JLT provided ceiling tiles with ocean scenes for the Pediatric Services Treatment Room.

“The Junior League of Tallahassee is honored to be recognized for our talented and dedicated membership and their amazing work in our community,” JLT President Cari Molinaro said in a press release. “We are 500 women strong and excited to continue to fulfill our mission of improving the lives children and families.”

The JLT serves more than 5,000 volunteer hours and contributes more than $80,000 annually to the Tallahassee community through fundraisers and community donations.

“Without the community support of their fundraisers, the JLT cannot do what they are able to do in the community,” said Jennifer Diaz, who has been a part of the Junior League for five years. “It is important for the community to know that there is an organization that’s sole purpose is to improve the lives of the families in our community.”

A JLT project includes Kids Boutique, which provides back-to-school clothes and supplies for elementary school children in need. The group also sponsors Operation Prom Dress and gives students from Gretchen Everhart School for Exceptional Students and local teens prom attire

Upcoming events include the 2011 Jingle Jubilee—A Canopy Road Christmas, from Friday, Dec. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Leon County Civic Center. This year’s Jubilee features Breakfast with Santa, a Girls Night Out event and more. All proceeds fund the community projects of the Junior League of Tallahassee.

“We have such a great impact on lives,” said Gillum. “A family may not

be able to buy their child school clothes, and that’s something some people think is trivial and materialistic, but when a child feels good and has good self-esteem, they can then learn.”